Class 1: Introduction—Getting Ready for School

  • Stanislav Shekshnia
  • Kirill Kravchenko
  • Elin Williams


Before school starts, we’d like to define some common ground. The CEO is the most senior executive in the company. He or she oversees the business and makes key decisions within the framework of authority given to him or her by the board of directors. So what makes a good CEO? Our experts agree that a good CEO has a sufficient (five to seven years) track record of delivering superior operational and financial performance (beating industry competition and delivering returns to shareholders), creates a solid foundation for the business’s growth in the long run, prepares a successor and leaves a positive legacy that outlasts his or her tenure. The 20 experts agree that this all adds up to a very challenging task, but from their experience they know that it’s not impossible.

They also agree among themselves and with many academics that there can be no such thing as a standard curriculum with a final professional exam in a “CEO School.” So don’t expect our CEO School to be a simple “how to” guide or a step-by-step recipe for success. Rather, it is a well-curated collection of expert insights supported by research findings to apply to your own experiences and leadership development strategies. After all, the job of CEO is a job like no other. So our CEO School was always going to be a school like no other.


CEO Good CEOs CEO development CEO performance CEO succession 

Some Further Reading

  1. Bass B. M. (1985). Leadership and performance beyond expectations. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  2. Beer M., Eisenstat R. A., Foote N., Fredberg T., Norrgren F. (2011). Higher ambition: How great leaders create economic and social value. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bennis W. G., & Nanus B. (1985). Leaders: Strategies for taking charge. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  4. Cameron K., Lavine M. (2006). Making the Impossible Possible. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.Google Scholar
  5. Chester B. (1968). The functions of the Executive. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
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  19. Tappin S., Cave A. (2010). The New Secrets of CEOs: 200 Global Chief Executives on Leading.Google Scholar
  20. The Best Performing CEOs in the World (2016). Harvard Business Review, November 2016.Google Scholar
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  22. Wasserman N., Anand B., Nohria N. (2010). When Does Leadership Matter? A Contingent Opportunities View of CEO Leadership. In: R. Khurana, N. Nohria (Eds.) Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  23. Weber M (1964). The Theory of Social and Economic Organization. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanislav Shekshnia
    • 1
  • Kirill Kravchenko
    • 2
  • Elin Williams
    • 3
  1. 1.INSEADFontainebleauFrance
  2. 2.Gubkin Oil and Gas UniversityMoscowRussia
  3. 3.OxfordUK

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