CEO challenges from around the globe ranked

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Top 10 CEO challenges
CEOs marked these as their greatest concerns
Excellence in execution 38.4%
Sustained and steady top-line growth 36.8%
Consistent execution of strategy by top management 31.8%
Profit growth 28.4%
Finding qualified managerial talent 27.2%
Customer loyalty/retention 26.3%
Speed, flexibility, adaptability to change 25.4%
Corporate reputation 23.7%
Stimulating innovation/creativity & enabling entrepreneurship 18.7%
Speed to market 18.2%

What CEOs want is excellence, all the time, that’s all.

Consistency and excellence are listed among the greatest concerns for CEOs around the world, according to a global survey of chief executives by The Conference Board.

The organization surveyed 769 CEOs from 40 countries in its latest report: CEO Challenge 2007: Top 10 Challenges.

When choosing from 121 different challenges, chief executives chose excellence of execution as their top challenge and keeping consistent execution of strategy by top management as their third concern.

Sustained and steady top-line growth, which led the pack last year, now ranks second. Profit growth is fourth, and finding qualified managers was fifth.

“This year’s overall top challenge shows that CEOs from around the world are realizing that strong execution is a critical factor in driving profits and revenues,” says Jonathan Spector, president and CEO of The Conference Board. “These executives are also becoming increasingly aware of the crucial role that people play in growing their companies.”

Judging by this year’s U.S. Top 10, finding qualified managerial talent and top management succession have become the dominant people issues for U.S. CEOs, replacing last year’s top HR concern: healthcare costs.

The two concerns are closely intertwined because competition for talented managers will become even fiercer as many baby boomers depart the “top of the house” to move into “third-stage careers” and retirement.

The full report is available for purchase on The Conference Board’s Web site.