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Bill Freehling is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and Fredericksburg.com. This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Bill Freehling.
Top-rated CEOs have similar traits
THE MARCH 24 edition of Barron’s featured a list of the world’s 30 best chief executive officers.
Barron’s compiles the annual list by surveying investors and analysts, studying financial and stock market performances, and relying on its staffers’ own knowledge of the leaders.
While the CEOs have different attributes, there are some commonalities that unite them. Here are some of the leadership traits mentioned more than once:
They practice conservative leadership but are ready to pounce when opportunities present themselves. They also think long-term.
They’re modest publicly and don’t make flashy moves, but they’re inwardly driven and are tough businessmen.
They’re vigilant about eliminating wasteful spending but don’t hesitate to invest in their businesses.
They think like owners rather than managers. In many cases, they own large stakes in the business.
They’re innovative and unafraid to make bold changes if things aren’t working.
While investors need to look for more than just great leadership when picking stocks, it’s certainly a huge bonus if a topnotch leader is heading a company. Warren Buffett frequently counsels to "bet on the jockey" when making investments.
Without further ado, here are Barron’s top 30 CEOs, listed alphabetically:
Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, Research in Motion
Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway
John Chambers, Cisco Systems
Kenneth Chenault, American Express
Richard Clark, Merck
Charlie Ergen, Dish Network
Laurence Fink, BlackRock
Lew Frankfort, Coach
Fred Goodwin, Royal Bank of Scotland Group
Hugh Grant, Monsanto
Mark Hurd, Hewlett-Packard
Jeffrey Immelt, General Electric
Satoru Iwata, Nintendo
Steven Jobs, Apple
Henning Kagermann, SAP
A.G. Lafley, Procter & Gamble
Robert Lane, Deere & Co.
Terry Leahy, Tesco
Jack Ma, Alibaba Group
Fujio Mitarai, Canon
Lakshmi Mittal, AccelorMittal
Michael O’Leary, Ryanair Holdings
Samuel Palmisano, IBM
Frank Riboud, Group Danone
Peter Rose, Expeditors International
James J. Schiro, Zurich Financial Services
Bob Simpson, XTO Energy
James Sinegal, Costco
Fred Smith, FedEx
Ratan Tata, Tata Sons.