Do Lawyers Make Good CEOs?

I haven't been able to find any hard numbers on the educational background of CEOs. For larger companies it seems that they are usually sales and marketing people, finance/accounting people that moved over from CFO, or sometimes lawyers. My business partner has a law background, and it got me wondering about whether or not lawyers make good CEOs. After further reflection, I think it really depends on what kind of CEO a company needs. If a company has or needs a hands-on management CEO, a lawyer may not be the best choice. Lawyers often play strange semantic games that can cause trouble if they are in management positions. But on the flip side, if a CEO is primarily responsible for being visible, setting strategic direction, and networking with clients then a lawyer may be just who you want. Those same semantic games can come in very handy when dealing with clients. My partner has the ability to say something that is absolutely meaningless, yet come across like he is knowledgeable. He has saved our asses a few times when dealing with customer questions we weren't prepared to answer. That is an invaluable skill.

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