Becoming a CEO does not occur immediately. Thanks to a combination of hard work, perseverance, and traits and attributes that make them a top-notch business leader, CEOs work their way through the ranks and grow to the top. Nonetheless, once you reach your aim of becoming CEO, your job is far from being done — you have to keep improving all the time to keep your perch at the top!
Leading Surely as CEO
1. Confidently embrace your place, and take over. A company’s CEO is not necessarily the founder or even the owner, either, and they are not the same thing as a businessman. Rather, the CEO’s job is to manage the business — by monitoring financial decisions, managing imbalances, and keeping things on track each and every year for greater profitability.
- A great CEO is a mixture of a person with creativity (like an entrepreneur), willing to take chances and dream big; and a hands-on guy, eagle-eyed in money and human resources matters, always able to dig in the details until everything is fine.
2. Provide a clear vision of the company which defines a specific culture. You must exert power over the business to be a genuinely great CEO by influencing the workplace atmosphere to be one with a distinct and tangible culture. In other words, a great leader lets their workers believe they are part of something very different, something larger and more important than any part of the whole.
- Develop a concise and specific list of values that define your corporate culture. These values should be memorized and internalized by everyone in the company, and used in their daily work.
- You could set out 5-10 core principles, for example. However, rather than making them generic like “Treat people with respect,” be more specific: “Present our financial services to each customer in such a way that they feel heard and valued.”
3. Be bold in tackling obstacles, without fear of failure. CEOs are the ones who try, struggle, change, and try again. People who are not cut to be CEOs use fear of failure as an excuse for not trying. Being a managing director is a relentless challenge, with high risks and high rewards. If your “feet to the flames” isn’t working, consider other choices.
- And if your “Widget 2.0” falls flat with customers, go ahead confidently when learning from your errors in designing “Widget 3.0.” Believe this time you ‘re going to succeed, and understand that you’re going to be replaced if you keep falling short.
- If you’re a student who someday dreams of becoming CEO, ask yourself how you’ve handled the challenges so far. Are you the one who needs the ball when the clock runs out? Do you do the best job you can at school when the stakes are highest? Would you get over the failures?
4. Lead the firm on a new path when you know it’s required. It is your role, as CEO, to run the whole company. While you delegate many of the daily tasks to your superiors, you are the one with the view of the bird’s eye, who can see the entire company pattern as it breathes and changes over time. If corrections are needed for the course, do not hesitate to act.
- For example, you may need to close a factory or move operations which will obviously affect a lot of people. You should be compassionate but at the same time understand that you have to do what is best for the business as a whole.
- From your unique perspective, use what you can see and know to communicate your plans and explain your decisions clearly, plainly, and openly to your workers. When they know what the company vision is, they are going to have a much easier time to help you achieve that dream.
Interacting With the Employees
1. To stay linked to the business, speak to, and listen to the staff. As CEO, you can’t sit in your cushy office, letting your assistants manage anything except the most important decisions. Alternatively, a successful CEO is right in the center of things: visiting every department, assisting with every job they are required to assist, talking to staff, and listening to their input.
- Allow the feedback of everyone — ask the staff what they need, welcome ideas for change and development, and make it clear that you are taking employees to heart. Always keep it clear however that you are the ultimate authority.
- Provide anonymous feedback avenues — such as webforms or the old-fashioned suggestion box — but also give employees the opportunity to come in and talk with you directly.
2. Gain confidence and respect so that people will follow you. A CEO can not be a good leader if they don’t want other people to succeed. Employees want someone they can trust to lead the way and support. Hold your values, be true to your word, and treat other people the way you want to be treated.
- For instance, if you insist that inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated, then follow through and refuse to tolerate it. If you want to care about what other people think when they have something to say, listen to them.
3. Set the staff high expectations but accept mistakes. Show them that the organization trusts in them enough to encourage them to keep trying before they do it – as long as they are good enough to do it when they do it in a big way. Foster innovation by promoting calls for risk-taking and professional judgment. If something is a poor fit for business, you always have the last word.
- To be successful as CEO, you need to be able to trust your employees to do their work. Make sure that you have the right people in the right roles, then give them the space to sustain the company’s greater good.
- Those who learn from errors and change are in the right jobs; those who don’t need to be reassigned or replaced.
4. Grow a thick skin but don’t forget criticism. As CEO, you ‘re going to be a natural target of criticism from people within and outside of your company. Employees, members of the board, shareholders, critics, and rivals will all voice concerns and criticisms at you. To be effective, you must be able to brush off the sting of criticism without missing any kernels of truth inside it.
- For instance, if somebody criticizes you for being too inflexible, can you put aside any self-doubts about your ability to lead? And, at the same time, are you self-conscious and self-confident enough to reassess your strategies when necessary?
Staying Motivated and Up-To-Speed
1. Delegate tasks, without distancing oneself from daily operations. As CEO you need to trust your lieutenants and staff without your direct guidance to fulfill your dream. At the same time, you need to stay up-to-date with your company’s activities. Whatever company you ‘re in, technology, markets, customers, and competitors will rapidly change — make sure you (and your company) don’t fall behind the curve.
- Delegate tasks and authority as needed, but don’t lose sight of how things happen. Stay aware and active so you can step in and make changes or improvements when appropriate.
- For example, designing the company’s website is not your job as CEO but you should remain sufficiently aware of consumer preferences and your competition to guide changes and improvements.
2. Draw your way up the ladder from the work experience. Most CEOs attain their position in the same industry, or even in the same company, after many years – sometimes decades. Upon hitting the top, don’t forget about your roots. Using all about your company that you know to run it as effectively as possible.
- Use your experience, for example, to recognize differences between written policy and practical ground rules; use connections that can give you insight into places you are no longer closely connected to; and anticipate lower-level employee attitudes and beliefs about the business.
3. Show curiosity, and challenge standard procedures. A successful CEO also wants to learn why things are the way they are, and how they can be made better. If you ever hear the expression “that’s how things are done around here,” your reaction should always be “Why? “Whatever situation you find yourself in, ask questions, get answers, and ask more questions — feed your curiosity.
- Keep your curiosity about people too. Ask them what their goals are, what they need, what makes them excited or upset, and so forth. A strong CEO has to outstand in “reading” men.
4. Continue to innovate and develop, and continue to gain your place. Above all, the job is the company’s future until you are a CEO. You have to be able to think a few steps (or years) ahead, see around the next corner, and guess what the future holds. Never forget that there are plenty of qualified replacements ready to take over your role if you become complacent.
- Keep up-to-date with trends and still think about the role your company has in the company world at large. How do you stay hill king? How can you knock the other guy out of the top spot, if you’re not?