Want to Be a CEO? Act Like One.

Posted November 17, 2011 by

The Big CheeseDid you know that chief executive officers and other company leaders are more likely to part their hair to the right, bring their lunch from home, drive a SUV, wear navy blue and are right-handed? A new survey on “Emulating the Big Cheese” provides fun insights about the habits and characteristics of those who work in the corner office. The study was conducted from August 16, 2011 to September 8, 2011 and included more than 550 hiring managers in senior leadership positions (CEO, chief financial officer, chief operating officer, senior vice president, etc).

Typical office attire

A majority of those in senior management said they wear business casual attire to the office, and some even noted jeans or shorts as typical workplace wear. Business suit was the least popular choice.

  • Business casual – 63 percent
  • Jeans or shorts – 18 percent
  • Business suit – 14 percent

Navy blue, black and brown fared as the most popular colors executives typically wear, while pink and red came in last at 1 percent or less.

  • Navy blue – 36 percent
  • Black – 26 percent
  • Brown – 8 percent
  • Grey – 8 percent

Comparing genders, female executives have a much higher tendency to wear black. Fifty-one percent of women in senior leadership positions typically wear black to work compared to 18 percent of men. Men in senior leadership positions are more likely to wear navy blue – 41 percent compared to 21 percent of women.

Car of choice

When it comes to driving to work, the big honchos like to drive the big cars. Senior leaders surveyed are more likely to drive SUVs to work.

  • SUV – 27 percent
  • Mid-sized sedan – 22 percent
  • Luxury sedan – 15 percent
  • Pickup truck – 9 percent
  • Sports car/convertible – 8 percent
  • Minivan – 5 percent

Drinks on company turf

When asked what they drink at happy hours or company parties, nearly one-third of respondents said they don’t drink alcoholic beverages at company events. Among those who do partake in the festivities, wine and beer lead as the drink of choice, followed by mixed drinks. Twenty percent said they stay away from company happy hours completely.

  • Don’t drink at company events – 32 percent
  • Wine – 26 percent
  • Beer – 22 percent
  • Mixed drinks – 18 percent
  • Martini – 5 percent
  • Shots – 3 percent

Wine is the preferred drink among female executives (31 percent) while male executives prefer either beer or wine (25 percent each).

Typical lunch

When asked about their typical workday lunch habits, most senior leaders reported they brownbag their lunch. Twenty-three percent said they normally don’t have lunch at all.

  • Bring lunch from home – 41 percent
  • Eat at a sit down restaurant – 19 percent
  • Grab fast food – 17 percent

More than half (57 percent) of women typically bring their lunch from home compared to 36 percent of men. Men were more likely to order fast food – 19 percent compared to 10 percent of women.

Hair partitions

When asked how they part their hair, three-in-ten senior management leaders reported they part their hair on the right.

  • To the right – 31 percent
  • To the left – 27 percent
  • Down the middle – 9 percent
  • Shaved or bald – 7 percent
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