Lee Myung-Bak`s CEO-style leadership made him an unpopular president. This article explores how his leadership style developed and was reinforced throughout his professional career. It examines his professional experiences, identifies key traits of his leadership, and analyzes how they were projected in his policy initiatives. Lee`s leadership traits, developed in the private sector, made his term as mayor of Seoul successful and helped him win the presidency. But these same successes undermined his presidency. Because they led him to cling to his leadership style without modification, he failed to cope with the different environment surrounding the presidency.