How to become a great CEO is the concern of many. People wish to know what is the job description of a CEO. In this article, you will find the top 5, 10, and 20 executive leadership skills of a CEO and be able to know about what it takes to be a CEO. Being the leading person, the CEO greatly determines the fate of an organization. In this article, I am going to talk about 29 Traits that Answer How to Become a Great CEO.
He sets the goal and 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, and learn how to be a great CEO.
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 for 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, the ego is harmful as long as you allow emotion to dominate you. A CEO knows how to manage ego deliberately. Ego turns out 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 the lifestyles of legendary leaders
2: Have a touch of humility
Humility is the trait of CEO that make them humble. It is to prioritize the interest of another person before your self-interest. A person with this quality is to think of other people’s interests 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 for your 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 the work up to late at night until the job is done.
He has an internal self-drive that leads him to an end. This kind of leader inculcates hunger in the soul for success that spurs them to drive them to the extreme level.
Self-drive is an internal force that renders 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 the big picture
- Visualize final outcome
- Concentrate on 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 social beings, we are not born only to work for ourselves, our own success, and our achievements. We have social liabilities to work for others on how to be a good CEO.
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 drives a person to work 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 prioritizes the growth of other employees, values addition to the clients, and contributes to the stakeholders.
He gives credit to others for contributions. She is affectionate, amicable, and empathetic.
How to be caring for others
- Think of yourself in the place of others
- Be helpful
- Show empathy
- Feel the meaning of life
- Visit orphanage, hospital
- Read about the 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 humans are not equal. Different people have different traits, qualities, strengths, tastes, and weaknesses on how to be a good CEO.
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 perfect organizational growth is the quality of a successful CEO. Studying human nature is his professional habit, as well as a personal interest.
How to successfully study human nature
- Read psychology
- Know about skills the person has
- See how the person communicates with others
- Test how the person behaves 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, disagreements,s, and contradictions in life. These are the inevitable parts of anyone’s life.
The issue is how we handle these to research how to be a good CEO. 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. In 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 the root cause
- Be neutral in judgment
- Listen to both parties
- Let them imagine the end results
- Show them the big picture
- Analyze is it in line with 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 time. It is his personality traits filled with emotional intelligence and soft skills. His reputation makes him a brand identity in his networking. He should be helpful, pious, and a solution maker.
Having a reputation helps to easily set a standard and command in the organization, and industry. He is supposed to be acceptable to all regardless of all tiers of employees.
Universal acceptability makes the CEO easily penetrable to everyone with his spellbound abilities, business acumen, foresight, and convincing qualities on how to be a good CEO.
How to grow a reputation
- Be amicable
- Grow up your helpfulness
- Do what you say
- Give credit
- Do more than expectation
- Make other’s 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 a democratic attitude when a CEO seeks opinions from others for a better decision on how to be a good CEO.
Questions and thoughtful answers make more effective and smoother interactions. Rapport and trust are strengthened.
It leads people towards discovery and innovation.
Asking a lot of good questions open up the 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 a relationship
- Show curiosity
- Wait for the right moment
- Ask the toughest questions first
- Ask casually
- Focus on group dynamics
- Ask more about related questions
- Be careful, question should not be felt like an interrogation
- Make it a conversation, so that the other person feels interested
- Ask the right question to the 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.
Be open and consistent about your underlying ideas and principles. Be sincere. Have a definite goal in mind. Understand yourself (and especially what you are not good at). Treating everyone decently does not imply treating them equally. Create productive and courteous groups.
Leaders who appreciate learning to encourage their employees to experiment and share their ideas, and they recognize the significance of variety and varied viewpoints, which can lead to solutions they might not have considered otherwise.
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 on how to be a good CEO. Create value for your customers, value for your team, and value for your shareholders.
12: Build strong alliances
We live in an 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 bodies, civil society experts, and stakeholders.
Building a network gives the CEO more opportunities and business growth. It is a way of openness to compare industries, products, and customer feedback and exercises how to become a great CEO.
Making strategic alliances helps to grow a competitive advantage by getting the authority to use customers, human resources, logistics, market, technology, expertise, and capital of the partners. It is a way to minimize costs and develop new technologies and innovative projects.
How to build a strong alliance
- Conduct market research
- Know your prospective partners’ business
- Harness your competitive advantage
- Offer win-win return
- Develop a joint objective, mission, and 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 a 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, and 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 her drive, as a part of her skill development.
Weaknesses can be turned into strengths by overcoming them in 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 improves self-confidence exercises on how to become a great CEO.
How to overcome weaknesses
- Know your weakness
- Prepare yourself
- Focus little wins
- Take mentorship from a trusted person
- Leverage the strengths you have
- Prioritize the importance of your weaknesses
- Develop required skills
- Help others with the 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 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.
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 it in a stipulated time frame. A person who evaluates his time we’ll,
The CEO doesn’t waste a single moment, because no one knows what time will click in his life. Time equals money to business organizations.
Moreover, the dynamic CEO knows what job is suitable for which moment. He waits for the opportune moment for clicking the idea. Timing is related to self-discipline. A person who cares for his time can perform his best.
How to make the 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 an energetic leader who drives the organization to grow and goals. He is the captain who navigates the company to the bank of visible success on how to be a good CEO.
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 work as the growth catalyst in the organization by mitigating the gaps to learn how to become a great CEO. The CEO drives the key input, output, and activities by relating financial and operational frameworks.
He has the capabilities to handle from the salespeople to the website traffic, from the number of stores to the number 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 to exercise how to become a great CEO.
How to turn yourself into 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 to exercise how to become a great CEO.
He is very good at marching his employees according to the company vision. He is a motivational leader who can ignite his employees’ passion for 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, and takes liability for the development of his subordinates in order to learn how to be a good CEO of a company.
He shoulders the responsibilities and mistakes committed by his team. He also celebrates success with his troops.
The dynamic CEO properly delegates jobs among the teammates. He assigns jobs as per the skills and expertise of his troops.
He develops many other leaders through his mentoring, coaching, counseling, and training. The CEO is the spellbinder who has the 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
The dynamic CEO is the daydreamer who makes his dream come true and exercises how to become a great CEO. Being a daydreamer, the CEO thinks out of the box and breaks the rule for the growth of the organization. He makes the daydream a reality.
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam told, that dreams are not those which come while we are sleeping, but dreams are those when you don’t sleep before fulfilling them. That is, a dream is not that which you see while sleeping it is something that does not let you sleep to learn how to become a good CEO.
Dream big, it will enable you to achieve at least some. Your dream keeps you hopeful, alive, and focused on your goal. It is an inspiring motivation for anyone. Daydream gives the CEO an objective in life. Daydreams are the change maker.
How to dream big
- Feel your dream
- Believe your dream
- Keep your courage
- Set an action plan with subtasks
- 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 the box and encourages his team with the same philosophy on how to become a great CEO.
A person thinking out of the box inculcates a new perspective on any issue. It is an unconventional way of thinking. A CEO with this philosophy is an innovative and different thinker.
To be successful, there is no other way to think differently. It means approaching problems in new, innovative ways.
When a person thinks in a conventional way like others, he can’t be unique or innovative. Who is more innovative than others can achieve success more frequently, and more probably.
How to think out of the box
- Welcome ideas
- Research on other industries
- Read a new novel
- Converse with yourself
- Write a poem on your problem
- Work backward
- 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 a 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 for his plan, action, and failure. He never blames others for the team’s mistakes and gives credit for the achievements. The CEO celebrates his achievements with the team in a sharing fashion.
The CEO has ins and out knowledge and defense of 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 accepts what he doesn’t know.
There is nothing to hide. Rather a dynamic CEO addresses his misconceptions, 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 overreact
- Ask feedback
- Note down
- Analyze the impact
- Set an 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 keeps any decisions pending. It is the outcome of his acumen, confidence, and vision.
She is knowledgeable and takes decisions according to her experience and prediction. In fact, making a 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 the quick and right decision.
This decision can be about anything like self-development, company goals, product innovation, and employee development, among many others.
How to take decisions effectively
- Consider the outcome
- Ask feedback
- Compare options
- Consider factors like: use of resources, cost, time frame
- Practice as a habit and culture
- Take risks
- Consider whether 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 of making good decisions. By asking for feedback, a CEO improves his thoughts and action. It is a good way to be democratic. Useful feedback gives helpful information, or criticism on an early decision, action, or thought.
Customer feedback, participant’s 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 the 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
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 works for boosting the standard of the organization, as well as the personal goal. It is a kind of quality assurance demonstrated in the form of the standard.
Standard can be personal, as well as organizational. Both are correlated. When you enhance the self standard, naturally, the organizational standard is also increased. Standard can be low and high, considering the level of quality.
How to increase the 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 languages has manifold opportunities in professional and personal life. In the era of globalization, command over multiple languages opens up relationships, benefits, and success.
A CEO may need to have a video call, or write an email, converse with a person from another language in a remote workstation and learn how to become a great CEO. Minimizing the language barrier is very useful at the 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
30: Technology Savvy
Businesses may communicate with their consumers through technology such as e-mail, blogs, social media, and forums. CEOs may take advantage of this real-time connection by soliciting input from clients and incorporating it into their firms as soon as possible.
Being tech-savvy boosts your productivity and efficiency since you can accomplish more in less time. Instead of taking time out of your hectic schedule to travel to a meeting with someone, you may use teleconferencing or even text messaging if there is someone you can’t reach.
Inventiveness – Technology is designed to make people’s life simpler. Be Seen in a Different Light – People cast judgment on a wide range of topics. Save time and effort – The world has been taken over by automation.
Technology-aware individuals possess the necessary abilities and intuitive understanding to properly operate current equipment. It usually entails first learning technical principles and then knowing how to apply them in various situations.
A tech-savvy applicant will be eager to try out features on their own and will know who to contact if they are unable to resolve their problem. They’ll also recognize when it’s time to escalate a problem.
Set a good example of great leadership. To be a great CEO, you must be able to identify your leadership style so that others may emulate it. People will look for leadership elsewhere if you don’t provide it for your organization, diminishing your influence and reputation.
The allure of the corner office is alluring, but the task is enormous. CEOs are expected to do it all, so learning a diverse set of business and personal abilities is critical. Leading From Within is a core trait of a CEO. At the center of any successful organization, team, and culture lies the heart of a great leader.
As a CEO, it is your responsibility to serve people more than they serve you. Ask them what they need from you instead of focusing on what you need from them. Determine what your clients, your staff, and your shareholders require. Then assist them in making it happen.
Being the CEO of a company – especially if you are the founder – is a roller coaster of emotions. You will experience some really low points. Don’t allow the emotional strain to get to you. People can read you better than you believe, and if they detect vulnerability or weakness in you, you lose power.
Diversify your approach. Surround yourself with a varied team for the best chance of success. Seek for people with a diverse range of skills and abilities—people who will contribute their best ideas, not merely agree with your every word. Your team will appreciate one another for who they are if you value diversity and apply it.
Organize your relationships. Most CEOs are taught to cultivate positive connections with their own employees, but the most successful executives understand the importance of managing relationships at all levels and directions. Learning to be influential in all interactions and directing them like an orchestra is an important element of a CEO’s work.
Your coworkers will frequently advise you to “start small.” If you begin tiny, you will remain small! Set huge, ambitious goals to begin with. You’ll be decent at best if you set the bar low. Staff should be pushed to their limits. They may protest that you expect too much of them, but they will appreciate it in the end. There is no greater satisfaction than assisting your colleagues in achieving something they previously believed was impossible.
Confidence should not be confused with self-reflection. Great CEOs are self-aware and expect a lot from themselves. In front of your team, don’t question yourself. When you get home and look in the mirror, doubt yourself. Determine what your team requires of you. You will remain stationary if you do not take action every day.
Define your persona. Developing a strong fundamental character and sense of integrity is the greatest method to make oneself stand out. Great leaders are appreciated for the character traits they exhibit and live by.
Overdeliver on promises made. Accept responsibility and ownership for the ship’s navigation, and lead to the best of your abilities at all times. Make every choice in the company’s best interests, and do the right thing rather than the easy thing.
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