how to become a great CEO
Let's check out traits that answer how to become a great CEO. Find top executive leadership skills of a CEO

20 traits that answer how to become a great CEO

(Last Updated On: March 26, 2019)

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.

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.

Related: 11 Habits to help dominate by 2020 as a leader

#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:
Be open
Nurture forgiveness
Change perspective
Kill your pride
Nail the effort, not result
Culture gratitude
Ignore passion for purpose
Control yourself
Take positive revenge
Follow lifestyles of legendary leaders

Related: Importance of passion and career to come together

#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

  1. Change perspective
  2. Listen
  3. Grow mindfulness
  4. Respect others
  5. Concentrate on present
  6. Be grateful with you present state
  7. Focus on the outcome
  8. Seek feedback
  9. Accept opinions
  10. 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

  1. See big picture
  2. Visualize final outcome
  3. Concentrate to the goal only
  4. Ignore laziness, paralysis and lethargy
  5. Cultivate self motivation
  6. Be a doer
  7. Fix your course of action
  8. Take the lead
  9. Don’t wait for opportunities
  10. 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

  1. Think yourself in the place of others
  2. Be helpful
  3. Show empathy
  4. Feel the meaning of life
  5. Visit orphanage, hospital
  6. Read about life of great personalities
  7. Know what the other people need
  8. Curb your ego
  9. Polite your tone, voice and body language
  10. 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

  1. Read psychology
  2. Know about skills the person have
  3. See how the person communicates with others
  4. Test how the person behave in different situations
  5. Know how anyone reacts under pressure
  6. Go through the person’s level of knowledge
  7. Analyze how the person thinks, what she believes, how she responds, and what are her philosophies of life
  8. Check out how the person’s critical reasoning and analytical abilities are
  9. Realize the personality traits
  10. Observe the person’s emotional intelligence

Related: Enhance your Emotional Intelligence in workplace

#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

  1. Find out root cause
  2. Be neutral in judgement
  3. Listen to both parties
  4. Let them imagine the end results
  5. Show them big picture
  6. Analyze is it in line of the team goal
  7. Find out common points they agree
  8. Time is the best healer
  9. Pick up the positive issues
  10. Pick up their weak points

#7: 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

  1. Meditate
  2. Welcome ideas
  3. Research on other industries
  4. Read a new novel
  5. Converse with yourself
  6. Write poem on your problem
  7. Work backwards
  8. Change perspective
  9. Encourage randomness
  10. Teach other
  11. Draw

#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

  1. Be amicable
  2. Grow up your helpfulness
  3. Do what you say
  4. Give credit
  5. Do more than expectation
  6. Make others life better
  7. Be positive
  8. Show integrity
  9. Be humble
  10. Show positive body language
  11. 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

  1. Be a good listener
  2. Build up relationship
  3. Show curiosity
  4. Wait for the right moment
  5. Ask toughest questions first
  6. Ask casually
  7. Focus on group dynamics
  8. Ask more about related questions
  9. Be careful, question should not be felt like interrogation
  10. Make it a conversation, so that the other person feels interested
  11. Ask the right question to a right person

Read More: 10 life lessons people learn too late

#10: 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

  1. Ask to right person
  2. Determine good reasons for the feedback
  3. Ask relevant questions
  4. Determine suitable open or close ended questions
  5. Make it a conversation
  6. Make it rewarding in any form
  7. Develop form
  8. Value the respondent by thanks or tribute
  9. Make the feedback questions shorter
  10. Don’t make it an interrogation

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

#11: 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

  1. Develop self esteem
  2. Keep your promises
  3. Set the goal
  4. Make discipline
  5. Put time, effort, energy and resources
  6. Increase expectation
  7. Show big picture
  8. Be consistent
  9. Develop team bonding
  10. Compare the improvement

#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

  1. Conduct market research
  2. Know your prospective partners business
  3. Harness your competitive advantage
  4. Offer win win return
  5. Develop joint objective, mission, vision
  6. Set mutual benefits
  7. Analyze what attracts your partner
  8. Pickup diverse, direct and credible alliance
  9. Make sure how strengths and weaknesses will be complimentary
  10. Develop a community
  11. Go for a long term relationship
  12. Forecast positive future by thinking ahead

All Birds find shelter during a rain.
But Eagle avoids rain by flying above
the Clouds.

Problems are common, but attitude
makes the difference!!!
— APJ Abdul Kalam

#13: 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.

Related: A second language acquisition process with zero knowledge

Benefits of learning different languages

  1. Enhance career scopes
  2. Build cross cultural networking
  3. Develop brain power
  4. Increase a new skill
  5. Improve the first language
  6. Increase decision making ability
    Keep mind sharp
  7. Boost up multitasking ability
  8. Increase memory
  9. Build confidence

Related: Learn your favorite language fast and with fun

#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

  1. Know your weakness
  2. Prepare yourself
  3. Focus little wins
  4. Take mentorship from a trusted person
  5. Leverage strengths you have
  6. Prioritize importance of your weaknesses
  7. Develop required skills
  8. Exercise
  9. Celebrate
  10. Help others with same weakness

#15: 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.

Related: How could you convert your failure to success?

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

  1. Ask yourself
  2. Compare with a superior
  3. Don’t over react
  4. Ask feedback
  5. Note down
  6. Analyze impact
  7. Prioritize
  8. Set action plan
  9. Set your goal
  10. Be up to date
  11. Read and research

#16: 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

  1. Think
  2. Consider outcome
  3. Ask feedback
  4. Compare options
  5. Consider factors like: use of resources, cost, time frame
  6. Practice as a habit and culture
  7. Take risks
  8. Consider the decision is on the goal or not
  9. Think differently
  10. Change perspective

It Is Very Easy To Defeat Someone, But It Is Very Hard To Win Someone
–Abdul Kalam A. P. J.

#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

  1. Make checklist
  2. Prioritize and balance your important tasks
  3. Make a schedule calendar, and keep track
  4. Do a task once
  5. Stay focused
  6. Avoid distractions
  7. Stay on the goal anyhow
  8. Avoid procrastination
  9. Take a break to regain your productivity
  10. Be an early riser
  11. Sleep well
  12. 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

  1. Focus revenue growth
  2. Take strategic planning
  3. Increase productions
  4. Make the salespeople effective
  5. Enhance website traffic
  6. Minimize manufacturing cost
  7. Increase efficiency rate
  8. Contribute to employee retention
  9. Increase long term customers
  10. 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

  1. Be democratic
  2. Ask feedback
  3. Give credit
  4. Show empathy
  5. Help team
  6. Counsel individually
  7. Know individual strengths and weaknesses
  8. Converse
  9. Collaborate
  10. 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

  1. Feel your dream
  2. Believe your dream
  3. Keep your courage
  4. Set action plan with sub tasks
  5. Make a timeline
  6. Monitor progress
  7. Avoid distractions
  8. Enjoy
  9. Get right support
  10. Be motivated
  11. Accept failures and mistakes
  12. Start
  13. Celebrate success

Related: 5 reasons why people do not perform at their best

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Ahemed Shamim Ansary

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