Corvinus Executive MBA

Executive MBA at Corvinus University of's all about excellence

The Leadership Litmus Test

2015. április 05. - Kevin Jackson

As a news junkie, I regularly hear about CEOs of companies from around the world. From an outside perspective, these CEOs often appear to be quite different. Moving in a bit closer, however, reveals that successful business leaders from a wide range of industries have many key qualities in common. During this process, I became curious about who are the world's best CEOs and why. To answer this question, I have created a  “Leadership Litmus Test” in order to evaluate these business leaders. For future blogs, I will select the CEO that best exemplifies each quality before writing a final blog where I select my top business leader. This CEO will then be invited to Corvinus as a guest lecturer and presented with this prestigious award. 

The Leadership Litmus Test

  1. Honesty: It all starts with trust. Integrity in any organization has to be demonstrated and constantly reinforced by the CEO.
  2. Confidence: Good leaders are not only confident in good times and bad, but they also make everyone around them more confident in good times and bad.
  3. Decisiveness: Extraordinary leaders do not hesitate to make tough decisions when facing uncertainty. Natural intuition is an important quality when making these decisions.
  4. Accountability: Top CEOs know how to not only evaluate the performance of their employees, but also their own and adjust accordingly.
  5. Communication: Knowing what you want to accomplish is one thing, but effectively communicating it is another. All great CEOs are masters of communication.
  6. Inspiration: The act of setting high standards does not make a good leader. The ability to inspire employees to embrace these standards does.
  7. Focus: The ability to prepare, establish, and execute strategies is critical to the success of any business leader. 
  8. Creativity: Uncertain conditions often push strategies off course. The ability to think outside of the box in critical situations is a mark of a good CEO.
  9. Ability to delegate: It is not enough for employees to trust a CEO. A good CEO must also trust those who support their efforts by sharing key responsibilities.
  10. Sense of Humor: Things will go wrong. Challenges will emerge. The ability to avoid panic and instill positive energy is a trait great CEOs possess. Sometimes lightening the mood can be the best medicine.

For more information on Leadership, please refer to the following articles:

Top 10 Qualities That Make A Great Leader, Forbes, Tanya Prive, December 19th, 2012,

What Makes a Leader?, Harvard Business Review, Daniel Goleman, January 1st, 2004

The 9 Traits That Define Great Leadership, Inc., Peter Economy, January 24th, 2014

For more information about the Corvinus Global Business blogger, go to

Blog 33



A hozzászólások a vonatkozó jogszabályok  értelmében felhasználói tartalomnak minősülnek, értük a szolgáltatás technikai  üzemeltetője semmilyen felelősséget nem vállal, azokat nem ellenőrzi. Kifogás esetén forduljon a blog szerkesztőjéhez. Részletek a  Felhasználási feltételekben és az adatvédelmi tájékoztatóban.