CEOs Bet They're US Presidential Material

Aug. 23, 2012
43% of CEOs responding to a survey agreed with the statement that a corporate CEO is better skilled than a candidate with a traditional political background to serve as president.

Does Mitt Romney’s experience as a former Bain Capital CEO make him more qualified than other candidates to be U.S. president?

CEOs responding to a Korn/Ferry Institute survey released Thursday say they can run the U.S. equally or better than a candidate with a traditional political background.

Of more than 100 executives responding, 43% agreed with the statement that a corporate CEO is better skilled to serve as president, while 34% disagreed.

Negotiation and compromise skills were among the key qualifications CEOs said they possess to be U.S. president.

Executives also cited their ability to understand others and "conflict management" as skills that are difficult to develop.

"Whether you're the CEO of a multinational company or the president of the United States, the foundational competencies of effective leadership are typically calibrated around the ability to deal with ambiguity, build effective teams and motivate others toward a common vision," said Ana Dutra, CEO of Korn/Ferry's Leadership and Talent Consulting. "The proven ability to master these mission-critical leadership competencies is often what separates executives who rise to the top of the organization or the political official who gains prominence and stature in our nation's capital."

About 22% said CEOs are equally skilled to hold the job, according to the survey by the research arm of organizational leadership firm Korn/Ferry International. 

Despite confidence in their abilities to be an effective U.S. president, most business executives said they wouldn't want the job.

When asked if they would like to be U.S. president, 74% of respondents said no, while 26% said yes.

In addition, 56% also believe maintaining voter confidence is more difficult than securing the support of shareholders and directors as CEO.

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