Does Your Child’s Name Predict Leadership Success?

Popular baby names 2011BabyCenter, a parenting website, just announced the most popular baby names of 2011. Almost immediately, I recalled a story released by LinkedIn earlier this year highlighting the most common names for CEOs.

For fun, I thought I’d take a look at each organization’s results. Does a name predict future professional success? 

The study
LinkedIn analyzed titles in its database and captured the most frequent names for male and female CEOs.

Below are the five top leadership names represented in the executive profiles found on the professional social network.

LinkedIn Info CEO Names

Future leaders?
Interestingly, none of the top CEO monikers are represented in the names today’s parents favor for their little ones.

In a trend toward musicality, the top five baby names for girls this year all end in “a.” They are Sophia, Emma, Isabella, Olivia and Ava. The five most popular boy’s names for 2011 are Aiden, Jackson, Mason, Liam and Jacob.

Do these names spell future CEO exclusion for the infants?  Hardly.

Naming trends
LinkedIn’s names reflect popular choices when today’s CEOs were born. Considering the median age of a S&P 500 CEO is about 55, the LinkedIn names likely say more about names in vogue half a century ago than leadership potential.

So today’s CEO Peter may well be CEO Liam in 2061. And 2011‘s CEO Deborah could just as easily be CEO Sophia 50 years from now.

Further, when you study the names’ meanings, you might agree that today’s top choices are nice selections for parents wanting meaningful and promising names for their kids. According to BabyCenter, Liam means “universal protector” and Sophia stands for “wisdom.”

Who wouldn’t want a wise protector in the top power spot?

Now it’s your turn. Do you see a correlation between a child’s name and future success?

You might also enjoy Advice on Leading and Succeeding the CEO-Way.

About creativeconsiderations

Christine Sullivan is a communications strategist with expertise in communications planning, writing and content development, and executive communications. She can be reached at
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2 Responses to Does Your Child’s Name Predict Leadership Success?

  1. Liam says:

    Very good article. I am a little disappointed Liam is a top 5 boy’s name this year. I’ve always enjoyed having a fairly uncommon name in the States, and Liam seems to be getting more popular yearly.

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