Managers Say CEOs Need Improvement

SAN FRANCISCO CEOs have an inflated view of their abilities and their openness to innovation, according to a new study by CNet. The online survey of more than 1,500 senior managers and executives asked the managers to rate their CEOs and then asked CEOs to rate themselves.

Nearly 75 percent of CEOs said that innovative ideas “always” or “often” percolated up through the organization, but only about a third of employees agreed, according to the survey, released in late October. In fact, nearly one-fourth of the managers said they thought good ideas “never” or “rarely” made their way to the corner office.

The “CEO Study” by CNet provides a report card of CEO attributes including ethics, leadership, communication and passion for the business. Employees gave their CEOs high grades for having passion for their companies, intelligence and ethics, but graded the top bosses with a C+ for their ability to inspire and a B- for their leadership skills, per the survey.

Thirty-six percent of managers called their CEOs visionary, while 14 percent said their chiefs were aloof.

“Communication, charisma and accessibility are where CEOs receive the lowest marks, which is not surprising given the dislike of CEOs’ communication and leadership styles,” according to the report.

In contrast, the CEOs give themselves an A- in accessibility, per the survey. They give themselves a B or better for all other attributes.

Overall, the survey shows that fewer than half the senior managers are strongly satisfied with the job their CEO is doing, with the rest being partially satisfied or dissatisfied.

When the respondents were asked what they would most like to talk to their CEO about, the top answers are: “company strategy and long term-vision” and “dysfunctional management.”