The holy grail of executive search is identifying and hiring exceptional leaders. This recent study by McKinsey & Co assesses the early moves of CEOs with outstanding track records and identifies some valuable lessons for leadership transitions. 

Exceptional CEOs are:

1. Twice as likely to have been hired from outside the company

2. More likely to conduct a strategic review early in their tenure

3. Less likely to undertake organisation redesign or management reshuffles in the first 2 years of office.