The one trait evident in every successful CEO

By Garry White, Charles Stanley Wealth Managers

I spent five years as the share tipster at the Daily Telegraph before I joined Charles Stanley, editing its long-running Questor column.
Published in Norfolk Director Magazine, Winter 2021|22
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Financial Planning & Investments: Charles Stanley

I met numerous chief executives of UK listed companies from FTSE 100 giants to Aim-listed tiddlers – as they attempted to convince me that their companies were the ones that Daily Telegraph readers needed to back.

All of them had different stories to tell, and their businesses were so unalike, but they all had one thing in common, they were all completely passionate about what they were doing.

Passion is described as a strong feeling or emotion. As such, it’s difficult to quantify – but when you see it, it’s pretty obvious. Passionate people really believe in what they are doing – and will not give up until they meet their goals.

Passion is the driving force

Of course, work ethic, expertise, a skill for communication and leadership abilities are vital, but having a strong desire to excel and a belief in what they were doing was utterly essential. Passion allowed leaders to enjoy what they were doing – and provided the motivation to deal with the more monotonous tasks that are part of every job. Passion was the driving force that allowed them to keep pushing themselves towards their business goals.

Passion is also an inspiration for those around you – it can drive them to succeed too. People want to be passionate about what they do, and they want to be surrounded by people who are also passionate about what they do. It provides a level of fulfilment to most people as genuine enthusiasm is contagious.

Creating your own passion

Passionate leaders lead with heart and soul – it’s a case of ‘attitude first’. I have never seen anyone be inspired by a leader who is not passionate. When employees understand how important their role is in relation to the direction and purpose of the organisation, it allows them to generate their own passion for what they do. They also tend to be more resilient and can shift gears when this is needed by the organisation to meet a near-term goal.

Of course, passion cannot guarantee success. But, as a trait clearly evident in every single successful business leader I have met, it is an intelligent emotion that can greatly increase and boost your chances of achieving your goals in life.

There are passionate Charles Stanley teams across the UK, including an office in Norwich, working with private clients, Trusts, Charities and Companies, all at different stages of their journeys, with diverse planning and investment requirements. We’re passionate about helping our local communities better understand and take control of their financial situation.

Charles Stanley & Co. Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns. The value of investments, and any income derived from them, can fall as well as rise. Investors may get back less than originally invested.

Garry White is Chief Investment Commentator at Charles Stanley Wealth Managers.
To discuss your investments and the options available to you, arrange your free consultation with our Investment Managers Mark Hinds and Aimee Hogg: 
T: 01603 856 932
E:  or visit

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