5 ways CEOs can improve their chances for success

All CEOs want to lead their organizations to short-term success and long-term sustainability, but there are five key factors that determine a leader's success, according to a new study from the Boston Consulting group.

The Boston Consulting Group assessed the tenures of 450 CEOs in the U.S. and Canada who began their tenures between 2009 and 2011. Their analysis found that only 18 percent of these leaders ranked in the top tier of performance.

"In our study, the criteria for success were grouped under three broad headings: great company, great stock and great legacy. Great company relates to improved competitive position and business economics. And great stock relates to delivering strong total shareholder return," said Gerry Hansell, a senior partner at Boston Consulting Group and the study's lead author. "Great legacy is more subjective and relates to the company's future prospects. To meet all of these criteria is no easy task, but CEOs who draw on our five success factors consistently and harmoniously will certainly improve their chances."

Here are the five key factors the study's authors found for success:

1. A fact-based, clearly defined strategic narrative.

2. Interactions with stakeholders that respect but also reshape their expectations.

3. Incessant organizational mobilization that reinforces company values through extended communication with the leadership team.

4. A long-lasting positive imprint.

5. Competitively advantaged strategic moves that challenged but don't overwhelm the workforce.

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