What Makes Great Business Leaders?

Edwin A. Locke and John A. Allison

in The Oxford Handbook of Leadership

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780195398793
Published online December 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

What Makes Great Business Leaders?


This chapter reviews the leaders of profit-making organizations, specifically considering a broad range of characteristics linked with being a successful chief executive officer (CEO) in a profit-making organization. These characteristics are divided into skills, traits, and values. The chapter then describes how John Allison made BB&T into one of the largest banking and insurance agency system(s) in America. One needs a variety of traits and skills in order to be a great CEO. These must be directed through daily thinking and effort to produce results. The ten primary values at BB&T—reality, reason, independent thinking, productivity, honesty, integrity, justice, pride, self-esteem, and teamwork/mutual supportiveness—are consistent with one another and are integrated. The full support of the team is important in the successful execution of a principled set of values. Furthermore, having the right values is the most significant foundation for business success and personal happiness.

Keywords: leaders; profit-making organizations; chief executive officer; John Allison; BB&T; self-esteem; independent thinking; productivity; pride; integrity

Article.  9475 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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