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CEO Leadership Report 2023

Part of DDI’s Global Leadership Forecast 2023 Series

In our CEO Leadership Report 2023, we examine how an organization’s leadership at every level affects the CEO’s ability to execute their strategy and successfully lead their organization. These findings should influence how CEOs and their CHROs approach their leadership strategy to prepare their people for an uncertain future ahead. 

By the Numbers

DDI’s CEO Leadership Report 2023 is part of our Global Leadership Forecast 2023 series, which surveyed 1,827 human resource professionals and 13,695 leaders from 1,556 organizations worldwide. This report focuses on the views shared by 529 CEOs in the survey compared to the views of their leadership and HR teams.


Isolated CEOs Put Their Organizations at Severe Risk

The biggest risk to CEO success is becoming isolated from their workforce. The more that they insulate themselves by focusing narrowly on what’s happening at the senior level, the less equipped their organizations are to face key challenges ahead.

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Weak Frontline Leaders Undermine CEO Confidence

CEO confidence in their ability to meet key business challenges highly depends on the quality of frontline leaders.

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Neglecting Mid-Level Leaders Hinders Leadership Stability

Mid-level leaders struggle to adapt to the challenges of their role, putting organizational leadership pipelines at risk.

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Inflexible Work Kills Senior Leader Credibility

As companies struggle to engage and retain employees, those embracing flexibility enjoy favorable perceptions that can help them win the war on talent.

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CEOs Pay a High Price for Ineffective Executive Teams

After pulling together to lead through the pandemic, fractured executive teams find they now lack the focus and skills to effectively drive strategy.

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Unexpected CEO Promotions Stress Test the Bench

Organizations with sophisticated approaches to CEO succession enjoy hidden benefits, even when the successor wasn’t expecting to take the top job.

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CEOs Suffer Blind Spots Without Talent Data

When organizations gather data about their leaders, leader perceptions align across the workforce.

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Where to Focus

How Top Companies Approach Leadership Succession

With talent concerns topping the list of business challenges, CEOs should double down on developing leaders at every level to lead their organization and ensure it thrives.

View Best Practices

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About the Authors

Stephanie Neal, M.A.

Stephanie Neal, M.A.

Director of DDI’s Center for Analytics and Behavioral Research (CABER), and general manager of the Global Leadership Forecast

Bruce Watt, Ph.D.

Bruce Watt, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President of DDI's International Operations

Rosey Rhyne, M.A.

Rosey Rhyne, M.A.

Senior Research Manager of DDI’s Center for Analytics and Behavioral Research (CABER)

Mindy Yeh, M.A.

Mindy Yeh, M.A.

Senior Vice President of DDI's Asia operations

Matthew J. Paese, Ph. D.

Matthew J. Paese, Ph. D.

Senior Vice President of DDI's Executive Services