“A good CEO has a sound business knowledge, is a people’s person, is ambitious and receptive to new ideas,” says Michael Warrington, Chief Executive Officer at AX Group – a conglomerate operating in the construction, development, healthcare and hospitality industries.
Elucidating on the virtues of a great leader, Michael adds that a CEO should also have “a good understanding of finance and the business in which he operates, is able to see the big picture and identify new business opportunities.”
And he should certainly know what he’s talking about. Boasting a varied career that started in banking, Michael was involved in setting up four banks, and restructuring a fifth, helping to take it from losing €8 million a year to making €1 million in profit. He became AX Group’s Finance Director in February 2000 and was appointed CEO in 2016.
Revealing the biggest lesson he’s learnt since becoming a CEO, Michael puts it simply: people management is one of the key factors for business success. Apart from this, he notes, “prudence and proper financial management are essential for a business to succeed in challenging circumstances and it is important that a business has the inner strength to withstand unforeseen events.”
Finally, he says, it is the role of the CEO to always expect the unexpected.
“A good CEO should know how to handle unforeseen events and situations, to deal with such issues calmly and to lead the organisation both in good and bad times,” he advises.
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