Skill sets for an IRO

Asked at the NIRI annual conference this week what key skills a leading CEO looks for in an IR professional, Chairman Jerre Stead of IHS Inc. (who has led no less than seven public companies) cited behavioral skill sets over technical competencies.

“Three come to mind immediately:

“First and most important is knowing how to listen. That’s an art that I think half the world has lost, or more. Knowing how to listen is a critical skill set….

“Two, being able to work, often with complex and complicated issues, in a parallel path. We keep a lot of balls up … being able to do those on a continuous basis.

“And then, three, being able to draw the demands of the different questions and issues we have, get the right resources inside the company, and make our team feel good that they’re providing those. So that’s a team-building skill set.

“But if there was only one, it would be listen.”

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