Looking for your next C-suite exec? Consider your general counsel

A new study from executive leadership firm Heidrick & Struggles tested for eight leadership qualities among C-suite level executives and general counsels to find general counsels scored higher on two of the most prevalent qualities, according to Law.com.

The firm sent leadership assessments to CEOs and other C-suite level executives along with general counsels and other legal professionals testing for the signature leadership profiles of harmonizer, forecaster, pilot, collaborator, energizer, provider, producer and composer. The assessment's results were presented as a degree to which the style is present, on average.

CEOs and other C-suite leaders scored highest on the harmonizer and forecaster profiles, while general counsels and other legal professionals outpaced those executives on harmonizer and producer styles. Harmonizers maintain high standards for work and prioritize reliability and efficiency, with 55.4 percent of general counsels demonstrating this trait and only 48.6 percent of CEOs and 50.7 percent of other C-suite leaders demonstrating this.

For the producer profile, which is result-oriented and values hard work and pragmatism, general counsels scored 54.1 percent while CEOs scored 49.8 percent and others in C-level positions had 49.9 percent.

While legal professionals outpaced executives in these two categories, it is important to note that these are just two measures of a leader. Based on other data in this assessment, its authors found that general counsels were often more overly-cautious than other leaders.

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