Should a CEO Be Charming, Win Hearts & Minds?

Should a CEO Be Charming, Win Hearts & Minds?


Should a CEO Be Charming?

Of course!  A CEO needs to be charming as conflicts are inevitable in leadership and daily management.  Otherwise, he or she cannot execute his or her vision and strategies if his or her leadership cannot be adequately perceived.  In addition, his or her career can be in jeopardy, whether the person is a national leader or the head of a Fortune 500 company.  There were 253 Fortune 1000 CEO Replacements in 2014, Man: Woman = 252:1, some of which were due to poor conflict management.

Case Study:
A CEO almost lost his job because of the conflicts with his team and his public image.  Nevertheless, he became charming in less than 3 months since we identified his “missing software” and installed it smoothly through the 6Q Approach.  Read more…

Recently, another issue emerges– How to Win Hearts and Minds?

A CEO spent several months annually visiting his global offices since he found eye to eye and belly to belly was the most efficient way to communicate.  I agree with him except he could spend a whole year visiting offices if his company got bigger than today since he only had 24 hours a day.

As a company grows, leaders have to win hearts and minds through management team building and system designing, and in the meantime, be charming.  The management team building should start with the right people instead of the best training.  The system should be multi-tasking instead of singular as all steps are somehow connected.  These often are not hard to achieve if we can go beyond IQ, EQ and behavior approach and identify the “missing software.”  The differences can be more significant with more steps involved, for example,

0.9 x 0.9 x 0.9 x 0.9 x 0.9 x 0.9 =0.53144  << 1


On the other hand, it is more critical to be charming and win hearts and minds during tough time, for example, mass lay-offs due to Automation.  McKinsey research suggested about 15% of current work could be automated by 2030, which can potentially impact nearly 800 million workers globally.   While mass lay-offs can save companies massive costs, they can also create greater inequality and “massive disruption.”  It is wise for companies to re-skill or redeploy their existing workforce if possible instead of simply discarding them.   A lot of time, money, headaches, and tears can be saved if we can anticipate existing workforce’s development needs before “the 360-degree evaluation” and make their learning easy and fast.

What Helps a CEO Be Charming and Win Hearts and Minds?

Empathy, communication, conflict management and public image are fundamental to a CEO’s charisma.  In addition to people skills, a CEO also needs vision, dignity, problem-solving, etc. to win hearts and minds, especially during the storm.  Because a leader’s charisma optimizes his or her leadership efficiency, a part of our Level 5 leadership development is to help leaders be charming and win hearts and minds.   What makes a CEO charming?  Here are some examples:

  • See far and do what is right
    This matters more when making tough decisions, such as downsizing company size and laying off staff.  Being fair and making the right decision make a CEO charming and help the CEO win hearts and minds of those who stay AND leave.  That was what Kenneth I. Chenault, the CEO of American Express, did after the 911 economic crisis.  When the economy got better, those who he laid off happily returned to American Express.
  • Let the team contribute and be proud of their achievement
    Everyone wants to make a difference.  If the CEO can properly utilize team’s talent, be proud of them and reward them, the team would consider the company “their company” even the business failed.  The former CEO Bill Campbell at Go is the best example.
  • Being cool during the storm 
    Almost all great CEOs are cool during turbulence, which make them unforgettable since that is the time when they are needed the most.  Being cool during storm is one big reason they can breakthrough and take their business to the next level.

Regarding management team building and other aspects, please visit 8 Dimensions of How to Be a CEO.

How to Be Charming, Win Hearts and Minds Efficiently?

Different leaders have different kinds of charisma.  There is no fixed format.  We empower leader(s), team(s) and system(s) according to their development needs today and tomorrow.  For more information, please click here.

As the talent war, competition, change, and disruption intensify, how a CEO stays charming and wins hearts and minds has become increasingly important.  As the new storm is coming, such as the “massive workforce disruption” or massive lay-offs due to Automation, a CEO’s Vision, Power, Humility and Will matter more than before.  These rules apply to all other leaders.

  • Are you charming?
  • Can you win hearts and minds efficiently?

You can take a mini leadership assessment to see how you are doing.  Many businesses and leaders have development needs at personal, interpersonal or institutional levels.  Usually, it is not hard to improve if we can identify the “missing software.”   Contact us with your issue even if it is impossible to anyone else.

About the Author 
Bin Yang is the Managing Director of The Prince Synergy (www.theprincesynergy.com), a leading consulting firm that focuses on building exceptional leaders to strengthen society and solves the hardest issues in leadership and performance that no one else can. She is also the author of Identify Your “Missing Software,” Go from Good to Great Efficiently.  For more information or to schedule an interview, lecture or appointment, please contact us at 310-668-1828.