Quick thought

The Atlantic, CEO Characteristics, and Its Impact

In this month’s issue of The Atlantic, one of their sidebar articles focused on the latest studies on the characteristics of corporate CEOs.  Among the things that caught my eye, as well as some sports-related comments:

  • There’s a 1 in 2 chance that a CEO will have an MBA.  We know about the rise of MBA and statistically-inclined Ivy League grads in Major League Baseball and soccer front offices, but what about coaches?  Would a professional sports coach/manager benefit from having an MBA? It certainly seems like some coaches could benefit from basic business practices, especially in soccer where many of them also buy and sell player contracts.
  • Many people assume that a CEO that wins an award is set for a run of success, but as a recruiter I know once said, your career is likely a series of ups and downs. Often people leave on the downside because they think they can ride success forever, when in reality they should leave when their success in a position is on the upswing. It also seems like the same effect happens in the pros, especially the NBA.
  • Contrary to popular belief, CEOs who see their paychecks increase don’t necessarily see better performance but actually see the CEO taking bigger risks.  This is important to remember in an era of rising coaching salaries and increased athletic department budgets in college.
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