It usually takes 24 years to become CEO. Here's why Risk Takers get there faster

Leadership StrategiesLeadershipExecutive SearchC-Suite Succession
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10月 03, 2019
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Leadership StrategiesLeadershipExecutive SearchC-Suite Succession
Those that quickly rise to the title of CEO do so because they can manage risk and caution with disruption and pragmatism.

CNN Business

The CNN Business article, "It usually takes 24 years to become CEO. Here's why Risk Takers get there faster," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Anthony Abbatiello on top leaders' ability to span across tensions and balance their risk-taking. The article is excerpted below. 

Succeeding in business can often be directly tied to taking risks. 

And there are few bigger markers of success than ascending to the corner office. 

While executives overall take an average of 24 years to get from their first job to a CEO position, those who take big risks earlier in their careers typically nab the top spot in less time, according to the CEO Genome Project. The project -- which assessed 17,000 C-suite executives, including more than 2,000 CEOs over a decade -- found that it only took an average of 14 years for risk takers to become CEOs. 


Balancing risk with caution 

After years of counseling senior executives, Anthony Abbatiello has seen firsthand how taking smart risks in one's career can help fast-track candidates. But those risk takers who eventually succeed as CEOs are usually also skilled at exercising caution, he said. 

"We know great C-suite leaders have 'span.' When you're working at the top you actually have to span across tensions, such as risk-taking and caution, disruption and pragmatism. You need someone who is both. They have the agility to go in between," said Abbatiello, who is head of Russell Reynolds Associates' Leadership & Succession Practice. 

To read the full article, click here.