All businesses need someone at the top. Someone to take the reins in times of crisis, dictate company policy, outlook and ambition. It is these people who can call themselves the chief executive officers, for they are the individuals capable of actually running a business.
As it transpires, there are many personal qualities that potential CEOs have to have and working in tandem with their professional virtues, these qualities are integral to whether one is going to be successful spearheading a company. It isn’t easy being king or queen.
Firstly, a CEO must be circumspect. This basically translates as a form of caution, a cool deliberative stance on matters where one sees all sides of a potential problem or argument. CEO’s should not play favourites with their staff neither should they rush into decisions without fully vetting them with their board or against some kind of trial procedure. Balancing their ambition against a calculative and calm head can be difficult. It is important to remember not to get swept up in your ideas; not until they’ve been properly scrutinised first at least.
To demonstrate just how difficult it is being at the top, when asked about what makes a successful CEO, online portal hr.org’s number one piece of advice was about being decisive. So not only do you have to practice caution but also have to be decisive with your actions. This can seem like something of a paradox but for the business-minded amongst us, you should take to this like a duck to water.
I guess you could think of it as something of a process. Analysis of options, the subsequent ranking of those options and then plan formulation based on whatever you have chosen as your best route. Of course, there’s a lot more to it than that but once you have locked in your coordinates as it were, you need the resolve to see a course of action through to the end.
An article by The Telegraph in October 2013 listed ‘vision’ as one of their top qualities in a CEO. There have been many great leaders over the years and what links them all is their clarity in objective. They all had something they wanted to achieve and you could summarise it fairly well. You have to be able to communicate with your employees and make it clear what their roles are and how each of them plays a part in your organisation. I suppose, in a sense, being CEO makes your most important responsibility seeing the bigger picture.
I reckon the best advice for CEOs would come straight from the horse’s mouth, no? A recent Q&A with Mark Zuckerberg CEO of Facebook in Rome in May of this year had the young billionaire list three things that all great CEO’s need to have. The first was persistence; because nothing ever happens overnight. The second was vision (as previously mentioned) but the third I found most interesting. Zuckerberg said that in order to build a great company and be a successful chief executive officer one needed like-minded people.
Of course being the boss isn’t easy, but you can really alleviate pressure by surrounding yourself with competent individuals who share your dream, I believe it is this that, Mark Zuckerberg was alluding to. Traditionally it’s lonely at the top, but it doesn’t have to be.