How to become a CEO is the concern of many. People wish to know what is the job description of a CEO. In this article, you will find top 5, 10, 20 executive leadership skills of a CEO and be able to know about what does it take to be a CEO. Being the leading person, the CEO greatly determines the fate of an organization. He sets the goal, shows hope, direction and goal to the other workforce. A CEO also has some qualities which are the significant determinant of his success. Let’s check out traits that answer how to become a great CEO.
Being a CEO means that you are already good at the executive position you had in your company. Rich McBee, CEO of Mitel since 21, shares six lessons he learned about being a company leader and what it takes to be successful in a job. Becoming a great CEO (CEO) is one of the ultimate goals of business and career advancement. Choosing wisely can create a good foundation of knowledge and experience to help speed the process of becoming a CEO, while badly selecting can put a company at risk.
Being a CEO means that you are already good at the executive position you had in your company. Learn what matters. Learn to get three major priorities at any one time. Focus on stakeholder value. Tell the story. Have a deeper idea of the purpose. Be the target Set a higher goal. Self-reflective and action. Serve others.
How to Become a Great CEO
This article intends to develop the same attributes to the reader for a glaring success in the future. See how much you are close to any of the successful CEO of a leading organization.
#1: Know how to manage ego
Ego is a good thing when you can capitalize it. Alternatively, ego is harmful as long as you allow itemotiona to dominate over you. A CEO knows how to manage ego deliberately. Ego turns to be a strength when it is used positively.
How to manage ego:
Kill your pride
Nail the effort, not result
Ignore passion for purpose
Take positive revenge
Follow lifestyles of legendary leaders
#2: Have a touch of humility
Humility is the trait for CEO that make them humble. It is to prioritize interest of another person before your self interest. A person with this quality is to think other people’s interest before yourself.
It also means that you are not always right and you accept opinions from others, when they are better.
How to enhance humility
- Change perspective
- Grow mindfulness
- Respect others
- Concentrate on present
- Be grateful with you present state
- Focus on the outcome
- Seek feedback
- Accept opinions
- Curtail your ego and pride
#3: Extremely self-driven
A CEO mentality leader is always self driven. He is flexible about time. This kind of person can’t be refrained by time, that is he works up to the late night until the job is done. He has an internal self drive that lead him to end. This kind of leader inculcate hunger in soul for success that spur them to drive them to the extreme level.
Self drive is an internal force that render a person some sort of indomitable spirit to finish his job, without any external source of motivation. Self drive is s kind of inspiration that breeds motivation without any external direction.
How to grow self drive
- See big picture
- Visualize final outcome
- Concentrate to the goal only
- Ignore laziness, paralysis and lethargy
- Cultivate self motivation
- Be a doer
- Fix your course of action
- Take the lead
- Don’t wait for opportunities
- Be positive
#4: Care for people
As a social being, we are not born only to work for ourselves, our own success and achievements. We have social liabilities to work for others. In fact, working for others turns a person great. Look into the lives of great people, we pay gratitude to them because they contributed to our lives.
Care for other people is the primary motivation that drive a person working for others. A CEO with leadership qualities has this caring. She cares for other people, her other employees, clients and stakeholders.
A CEO never cares for his promotion, salary or reputation, instead she prioritize growth of other employees, value addition to the clients, and contribute to the stakeholders. He gives credits to other for contribution. She is affectionate, amicable and empathetic.
How to be caring for others
- Think yourself in the place of others
- Be helpful
- Show empathy
- Feel the meaning of life
- Visit orphanage, hospital
- Read about life of great personalities
- Know what the other people need
- Curb your ego
- Polite your tone, voice and body language
- Feel their happy faces
#5: Study human nature
All human are not equal. Different people has different traits, qualities, strengths, tastes and weaknesses. A great CEO can configure everyone around him. Reading human nature, and reacting according to their nature implicates great success.
An organization is a mixture of many people with many minds. Balancing everyone to make the best combination for a perfect organizational growth is a quality of a successful CEO. Studying human nature is his professional habit, as well as personal interest.
How to successfully study a human nature
- Read psychology
- Know about skills the person have
- See how the person communicates with others
- Test how the person behave in different situations
- Know how anyone reacts under pressure
- Go through the person’s level of knowledge
- Analyze how the person thinks, what she believes, how she responds, and what are her philosophies of life
- Check out how the person’s critical reasoning and analytical abilities are
- Realize the personality traits
- Observe the person’s emotional intelligence
#6: Comfortable handling contradictions
There will be conflicts, disagreement and contradictions in life. These are the inevitable parts of anyone’s life. The issue is that, how we handle these. In fact, innovation and good ideas come out of conflicts and contradictions, among the team members. From that point of view, contradictions are productive.
A successful CEO can handle contradictions very comfortably. If fact, he encourages positive conflicts among his team. However, the bad conflicts mar team bonding and waste time and energy. A good leader can handle all positive and negative conflicts strategically and diplomatically, until a positive end.
Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill
How to handle contradictions
- Find out root cause
- Be neutral in judgement
- Listen to both parties
- Let them imagine the end results
- Show them big picture
- Analyze is it in line of the team goal
- Find out common points they agree
- Time is the best healer
- Pick up the positive issues
- Pick up their weak points
#7: Serve others
As a CEO, your job is to serve others more than you serve them. Stop thinking about what people need from you and ask what they need from you.
Determine what your customers need, what your team needs, and what your shareholders need. Then help them do it.
#8: Have a reputation
A CEO is expected to build a reputation over the time. It is his personality traits fill with emotional intelligence and soft skills. His reputation makes him a brand identity among his networking. He should be helpful, pious and solution maker.
Having reputation helps to easily set a standard and command in the organization, and industry. He supposed to be acceptable to all regardless to all tier of employees. An universal acceptability makes the CEO easily penetrable to everyone with his spell bound abilities, business acumen, foresight and convincing qualities.
How to grow reputation
- Be amicable
- Grow up your helpfulness
- Do what you say
- Give credit
- Do more than expectation
- Make others life better
- Be positive
- Show integrity
- Be humble
- Show positive body language
- Grow up your consistency
#9: Great at asking questions
Asking questions is a good way to come to a solution collaboratively. It also means the democratic attitude when a CEO seeks opinions from others for a better decision. Questions and thoughtful answers makes more effective and smoother interactions. Rapport and trust are strengthened.
It leads people towards discovery and innovation.
By asking a lot of good questions open up learning process and improves interpersonal relationship. It is told that, a person can be identified by his asking questions, not by answering.
Questions give us information. The more we throw questions, the better answers we get. The more information and experience we have, the more options we have to solve problems. Questions make us open. We feel wiser. It also gives us a feeling of joy. Good questions are the qualification of a great CEO.
How to ask great questions
- Be a good listener
- Build up relationship
- Show curiosity
- Wait for the right moment
- Ask toughest questions first
- Ask casually
- Focus on group dynamics
- Ask more about related questions
- Be careful, question should not be felt like interrogation
- Make it a conversation, so that the other person feels interested
- Ask the right question to a right person
Read More: 10 life lessons people learn too late
#10: Learn what matters
Learn to get three major priorities at any one time. Of course, you will always have a backlog of small things. But do not fall prey to your to-do list. Develop Amnesia daily – Ask yourself which one is the most important every day.How to become a great CEO (source)
#11: Focus on stakeholder value
It is easy to be deeply immersed in the deepest emotions you are doing and lose sight of what you are about to do as CEO: drive stakeholder value. Create value for your customers, value for your team and value for your shareholders.
#12: Build strong alliances
We live in the era of collaboration. By sharing, networking and collaborating, we in fact enhance our opportunities for success. A CEO with leadership qualities builds strong networking with the industry people, clients, government body, civil society experts and stakeholders.
Building network gives the CEO more opportunities and business growth. It is a way of openness to compare industries, products and customer feedback. Making strategic alliance helps growing a competitive advantage by getting authority to use customers, human resources, logistics, market, technology, expertise, and capital of the partners. It is a way to minimize cost, and developing new technologies and innovative projects.
How to build strong alliance
- Conduct market research
- Know your prospective partners business
- Harness your competitive advantage
- Offer win win return
- Develop joint objective, mission, vision
- Set mutual benefits
- Analyze what attracts your partner
- Pickup diverse, direct and credible alliance
- Make sure how strengths and weaknesses will be complimentary
- Develop a community
- Go for a long term relationship
- Forecast positive future by thinking ahead
All Birds find shelter during a rain.
But Eagle avoids rain by flying above
Problems are common, but attitude
makes the difference!!!
— APJ Abdul Kalam
13: Tell the story
The best possible way to throw your message across is through storytelling. People love to hear interesting stories. Make sure to avoid geek talk, buzzwords, and heavy corporate jargon. Keep it human, light and humorous. Your team, your customers, your shareholders need to focus on you. People relate to stories, not buzzwords.
#14: Know their weaknesses
As the leading person of the organization, a CEO knows her weaknesses very well. She has command and control over her weaknesses. She knows her weaknesses well because of improvising these wherever needed. Moreover, she gradually overcomes her limitation and weaknesses with herself drive, as a part of her skill development.
Weaknesses can be turned as strengths by overcoming on due time. When the CEO identifies her weaknesses, she can address these attentively, and carefully. Bypassing or hiding weaknesses is a bad way of professionalism. Facing weaknesses with courage, interest and motivation improve self confidence.
How to overcome weaknesses
- Know your weakness
- Prepare yourself
- Focus little wins
- Take mentorship from a trusted person
- Leverage strengths you have
- Prioritize importance of your weaknesses
- Develop required skills
- Help others with same weakness
#15: Be the doorman
Do not confuse delegates with gatekeeping. You have to be the ultimate gatekeeper in your organization – you are the person who sets and sets the standards. People will push you to compromise your standards in the interest of speed or greater independence. Don’t cheat and stay true to yourself.
#16: Set high goals. Don’t start small
Your team members will often tell you “to start small” – if you are a small startup, you are small! Start big and set big bold goals. If you set the goalpost low, you’ll be fine. Expand workers beyond their limits. In some cases the workers may feel unsatisfied because that you expect high but in the end they will be grateful to you for it. There are no more rewards that help your employees achieve what they deemed ineligible.How to become a great CEO (source)
#17: Understand timing
When time is lost everything is lost. A dynamic CEO pays value to his time. As a leader, he also pays attention to time from others. The bygone time never comes back. Whatever we do, we have to do in s stipulated time frame. A person who evaluate his time we’ll,
The CEO doesn’t waste a single moment, because no one knows what time will click in his life. Time equal to money to the business organizations.
Moreover, the dynamic CEO knows what job is suitable for which moment. He waits for the opportune moments for clicking the idea. Timing is related to the self discipline. A person who cares for his time can perform his best.
How to make best use of time
- Make checklist
- Prioritize and balance your important tasks
- Make a schedule calendar, and keep track
- Do a task once
- Stay focused
- Avoid distractions
- Stay on the goal anyhow
- Avoid procrastination
- Take a break to regain your productivity
- Be an early riser
- Sleep well
- Learn to say no
#18: Very strong drivers
A dynamic CEO is the energetic leader who drives the organization to the growth and goals. He is the captain who navigates the company to the bank of visible success. The CEO is not only a driver who drives, he is also the stimulator who synergizes productivity, innovation, creativity and win win finishing among and between team members.
A driver links up the broken parts that works as the growth catalyst in the organization by mitigating the gaps. The CEO drives the key input, output and activities by relating financial and operational frameworks.
He has the capabilities to handle from the sales people to the website traffic, from the number of stores to the amount of products sold, and from the units of production to the number of difficult customers. He holds the entire team with proper integrity, direction, motivation and future growth as the nucleus.
How to turn yourself as the business driver
- Focus revenue growth
- Take strategic planning
- Increase productions
- Make the salespeople effective
- Enhance website traffic
- Minimize manufacturing cost
- Increase efficiency rate
- Contribute to employee retention
- Increase long term customers
- Generate innovative, implementable ideas
#19: Very good at rallying the troops
The CEO is a dynamic leader who has many followers. He is very good at marching his employees according to the company vision. He is a motivational leader who can ignite his employees’ passion to the work they do.
The CEO is a good team player who is able to strengthen team building. He leads the team from the front, take liability for the development of his subordinates. He shoulders responsibilities and mistakes committed by his team. Also, celebrates success with his troops.
The dynamic CEO properly delegates jobs among the team mates. He assigns jobs as per skills and expertise of his troops. He develops many other leaders by his mentoring, coaching, counseling and training. The CEO is the spellbinder who has charismatic power to balance the team with synergistic abilities.
How to be good at leading a team
- Be democratic
- Ask feedback
- Give credit
- Show empathy
- Help team
- Counsel individually
- Know individual strengths and weaknesses
- Celebrate success
#20: Day dreamer
The dynamic CEO is the day dreamer who makes his dream come true. Being a daydreamer, the CEO thinks out of box, and breaks the rule for the growth of organization. He makes the daydream a reality.
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam told, dreams are not those which comes while we are sleeping, but dreams are those when you don’t sleep before fulfilling them. That is, dream is not that which you see while sleeping it is something that does not let you sleep.
Dream big, it will enable you to achieve at least some. Your dream keeps you hopeful, alive and focused on your goal. It is a inspiring motivation for anyone. Daydream gives a CEO an objective in life. Daydreams are the change maker.
How to dream big
- Feel your dream
- Believe your dream
- Keep your courage
- Set action plan with sub tasks
- Make a timeline
- Monitor progress
- Avoid distractions
- Get right support
- Be motivated
- Accept failures and mistakes
- Celebrate success
#21: Think outside the box
All of the success in life takes place out of the comfort zone. A successful CEO always thinks out of box, and encourages his team with the same philosophy. A person with thinking out of box inculcates a new perspective of any issue. It is an unconventional way of thinking. A CEO with this philosophy is innovative and different thinkers.
To be successful, there is no other way to think differently. It means approaching problems in new, innovative ways. When a person thinks of a conventional way like others, he can’t be the unique or innovative. Who is more innovative than others can achieve success more frequently, and with more probably.
How to think out of box
- Welcome ideas
- Research on other industries
- Read a new novel
- Converse with yourself
- Write poem on your problem
- Work backwards
- Change perspective
- Encourage randomness
- Teach other
#22: Self-reflective and action
Do not confuse confidence with self-reflection. Great CEOs are extremely self-reflective and claim themselves. Don’t doubt yourself in front of your team. When you go home and look in the mirror, doubt yourself. Decide what your team needs from you. If you don’t take action every day, you will be stuck.
#23: Develop thicker skin
Being the CEO of a business – especially if you’re a founder – is a sensitive roller coaster. You will have very few moments. Don’t let the sensitive pressure break you. People will read better than you think and if you smell weaknesses and weaknesses, you will have less energy.
#24: Know what they do and don’t know
A dynamic CEO knows what he is doing. He takes responsibility to his plan, action and failure. He never blames other for the team mistakes, and gives credits for the achievements. The CEO celebrates his achievements with the team in a sharing fashion.
The CEO have ins and out knowledge and defense on his action and strategies. He never does anything out of confusion and plan. He understands what is a risk and what is a blind rash. All his actions head towards the vision of the organization.
Being a human being, the CEO also has some ignorance, weaknesses and threats. He lavishly accept what he doesn’t know. There is nothing to hide. Rather a dynamic CEO addresses his mis-conceptions, lack of knowledge and shortage of skills properly, so that he can regain these lacks over time with his individual effort and drive.
How to improve knowledge
- Ask yourself
- Compare with a superior
- Don’t over react
- Ask feedback
- Note down
- Analyze impact
- Set action plan
- Set your goal
- Be up to date
- Read and research
#25: Very decisive
A dynamic CEO is always decisive about his opinions. She never keep any decision pending. It is the outcome of his acumen, confidence and vision. She is knowledgeable and takes decision according to her experience and prediction. In fact, taking decision is a great quality where a CEO considers the following factors:
- Quick decision
- Right decision
One of the distinguishing factors between a leader and his subordinate is the decision making ability, right and quick. A person with analytical abilities and critical reasoning are more frequent to take quick and right decision. This decision can be about anything like, self development, company goal, product innovation and employee development, among many others.
How to take decision effectively
- Consider outcome
- Ask feedback
- Compare options
- Consider factors like: use of resources, cost, time frame
- Practice as a habit and culture
- Take risks
- Consider the decision is on the goal or not
- Think differently
- Change perspective
It Is Very Easy To Defeat Someone, But It Is Very Hard To Win Someone
–Abdul Kalam A. P. J.
#26: Seek feedback
Asking for feedback is a useful way to making good decisions. By asking feedback, a CEO improves his thoughts and action. It is a good way to be democratic. Useful feedback gives helpful information, or criticism on a early decision, action or thought.
Customer feedback, participants feedback, or, employee feedback are some common examples of feedback that make sure opinions, criticism or suggestions in the related areas. Feedback in fact is a way of active listening the CEO encounters for the betterment of the organization.
Feedback is a way of self improvement. Thus, it is a motivating factor for the leader. By receiving feedback, performance can be improved. It is a way of continuous learning.
How to seek feedback properly
- Ask to right person
- Determine good reasons for the feedback
- Ask relevant questions
- Determine suitable open or close ended questions
- Make it a conversation
- Make it rewarding in any form
- Develop form
- Value the respondent by thanks or tribute
- Make the feedback questions shorter
- Don’t make it an interrogation
How to become a great CEO (source)
Don’t take rest after your first victory because if you fail in second, more lips are waiting to say that your first victory was just luck.
–A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
#27: Always raise standards
Standard is a symbol of quality. A CEO with leadership qualities work for boosting up the standard of the organizational, as well as the personal goal. It is a kind of quality assurance demonstrated in the form of the standard.
Standard can be of personal, as well as organizational. Both are correlated. When you enhance self standard, naturally, organizational standard is also increased. Standard can be of low and high, considering the level of qualities.
How to increase standard
- Develop self esteem
- Keep your promises
- Set the goal
- Make discipline
- Put time, effort, energy and resources
- Increase expectation
- Show big picture
- Be consistent
- Develop team bonding
- Compare the improvement
#28: Have a deeper idea of the purpose
Ask yourself: If your business disappears tomorrow, does it really matter? To whom And why? Make a difference in the world. Make a culture of strong sense of purpose that is enjoyable: letting people live their dream of being their own boss and living the dream of building their business from the ground up.
#29: Speak different languages
Knowing different language has manifold opportunities in professional and personal life. In the era of globalization, command over multiple languages open up relationship, benefits and success.
A CEO may need to have video call, or write email, or converse with a person from other language in remote workstation. Minimizing language barrier is very useful in present time. A smart CEO can speak in different languages for many reasons.
Benefits of learning different languages
- Enhance career scopes
- Build cross cultural networking
- Develop brain power
- Increase a new skill
- Improve the first language
- Increase decision making ability
Keep mind sharp
- Boost up multitasking ability
- Increase memory
- Build confidence