Furthermore, CEOs tend to be people who acknowledge their missteps and expect others to do the same. “It’s OK to have setbacks and failures in your life and career … That’s the stuff CEOs want to hear about. CEOs who’ve come back from situations like that have come to realize there are things they can’t control. CEOs really want to hear stories of failure, setback, adversity. That’s a given. The CEOs want to hear you’re being honest, but they also want to hear how you’ve dealt with it.