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CEO: The Person Behind the Role

By Alejandro Paz - Robert Walters
Country Manager


By Alejandro Paz | Country Manager - Thu, 03/09/2023 - 14:00

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Leadership has been challenged and organizations are still adapting to the new world of work. A figure that is key in any company to promote change and achieve objectives is the CEO. However, it is sometimes a lonely role. 


Gender diversity 

Globally: 77% Men / 23% Women


  • Brazil: 78% Men / 22% Women  
  • Chile: 83% Men / 17% Women
  • Mexico: 81% Men/ 19% Women


  • Brazil:  

41% undergraduate

32% master 

21% MBA 

Most common background: 

Business Management 




  • Chile:  

45% undergraduate 

23% master 

24% MBA 

Most common background: 

Business Management 





  • Mexico:  

47% undergraduate

26% masters 

21% MBA 

Most common background: 

Business Management 



What are the most sought -afterbenefits among CEOs? 

Brazil Chile Mexico Spain
Compensation and benefits Challenging roles Work-life balance  Open management
Work-life balance Company purpose Compensation and benefits Compensation and benefits
Challenging roles Work-life balance Company purpose  Challenging roles

Source: Global Salary Survey, Robert Walters


If CEOs could have a super-power, what would they prefer? 







Automatic Learning

Time control

Vision of the future


What are the main skills of a CEO?

From the perspective of CEOs the most important skill is:

• Listen - Be close to employees and listen to them to have a

 holistic view of what is happening throughout the organization.

• Emotional intelligence - Self-awareness is key in these roles. Emotional intelligence and behaviors permeate throughout the organization.

• Prioritize - With busy schedules, trips, meetings and the search for a personal and professional balance, the prioritization and confidence in the team to be able to delegate tasks is essential to move forward and be able to focus on the critical areas of the organization and make decisions.

• Passion - Infecting the team with the passion and purpose of your daily work is key for motivation, keeping commitments, attracting and retaining talent.


How do CEOs stay updated about the latest trends?

CEOs need to identify with the purpose and meaning of the organization, know their impact as leaders, and correspond with their associates.

In a digitized world where information is in the palm of our hands, CEOs need to be aware of what is happening in their environment to mitigate impact, take advantage of opportunities and achieve organizational goals.

The main media that CEOs use to stay up to date are:

• Macroeconomic, local and stock market news in media and social 

• Sector events

• Cultural events

• Meetings with world leaders

• Meetings with clients

• Management forums

• Chambers of Commerce

• Mentoring

• Podcasts


The CEO of the Future

What is the vision of the CEO of the future?

1. Different industries require different skills:  Seventy-five percent of CEOs were promoted from top positions like CFO and COO; however, thanks to the digital transformation, leaders of technology and commercial areas are being placed in these positions.

If it is a company focused on technology and technology is the core business function, it's an easier transition, but for a manufacturing company they can look to someone more commercial. There is an increasing number of companies in other sectors that see technology as the main driver of their business, providing new opportunities for techie leaders with CEO aspirations.

2. CEOs must take a more active role and lead the global challenges: According to an EY study, 57% of executive directors agree with the general proposal that CEOs of large companies should assume a more active role in global challenges.

3. Tech Savvy: In an environment that is dynamically evolving at all scales, both at the operational level and in research and development, CEOs require maintaining innovation, and having a general understanding of technology that allows the development of products and solutions across  levels.

4. Lead by example: Values, ​​such as the integrity and honesty, of the CEO will continue to be a priority. Leading by example means being consistent with their speeches. This coherence must be constant and expressed in concrete actions every day.

5. Closer, empathetic and human leaders: People want to feel connected to other people who truly understand their individual circumstances, needs and concerns. The closest ties are usually formed when people allow themselves to be vulnerable. Transparent leaders share personal stories from their own experience, observations and life to share key lessons about what worked, bugs and best practices and have greater approval among team members.

In this series, we want to share tips, advice and experiences from a personal perspective from top CEOs of the region: https://www.robertwaltersgroup.com/news/expert-insight/podcasts/ceo-the-person-behind-the-role.html

Photo by:   Alejandro Paz

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