I often speak to groups about how to work successfully with leaders, especially how to influence senior executives.

I love this topic because it’s such a challenge: How do you successfully make the case to leaders, who are wickedly smart, incredibly impatient, unbelievably pressured and suffering from a unique strain of attention-deficit disorder?

One important step is to think about who executives are, what they need and what keeps them up at night. For this morning’s session, my colleague Caroline Hey looked at a number of studies to help me create a fun quiz that we call “How well do you know your CEO?”

Ready to test your knowledge? (Answers are below.) Here we go . . .

1. The most common first name for CEOs in the U.S. is:
A. Bob
B. Pat
C. Howard

2. The most popular undergraduate degree for CEOs is:
A. Accounting
B. Business Administration
C. Engineering

3. The #1 issue keeping CEOs up at night is:
A. Access to talent
B. Low consumer demand
C. High commodity prices

4. Senior executives are most concerned about the cost of
A. Materials
B. Shared services
C. Labor

Answers: 1. C., 2. C, 3. B. and 4. C

How did you do? More importantly, how well do you know your CEO? The more insights you have, the more successfully you will be able to communicate.

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