How to become a CEO Part 1

How to become a CEO – Continuous journey!

How To become a CEO IntelligentHQ

Being a CEO – a Chief Executive Officer – is a continuos journey. With big power comes higher layers of responsibility. But as the old proverb says: A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. And a CEO needs to be the chain of any organisation.

Thomas Reid’s Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man, 1786, developed some of these points in a particular sharp thinking where he included this line:

“In every chain of reasoning, the evidence of the last conclusion can be no greater than that of the weakest link of the chain, whatever may be the strength of the rest.”

To monetize a given business it all start with the monetisation of passion! But to materialise such a goal it all starts with clear leadership and focus. Leadership is leading a group of people or an organisation. It needs control, and other synonymous words: guidance, direction, control, management, superintendence, supervision. Probably a good CEO starts by being the leader of its own will.

Everyday each of us need to become leaders of ourselves. Leaders of our will, thoughts. Starting by the way we look at things and the way we make things happen. You and me need to be the CEO of our will. We need to put passion in everything we do and mostly materialise that emotional drive in acts – action. Making sure we remember often the biggest dreams and write it down what to do to achieve it.

Part of this work of leadership for a CEO needs to be done through hard work, persistence and making sure each challenge is an opportunity to excel in what we are better and to prove we can go ahead and do better.

Where there is no vision, the people perish. —Proverbs 29:18

Start by being the CEO of your Will!

If you think for a while what is a CEO, a chief executive officer? The corporate executive from big corporations and managing huge budgets sometimes bigger than some small middle size countries. A CEO is the person over-viewing the operations of a company, mostly global organisations. This person, independent of his power reports to a board of directors has the executive mandate to appoint other managers (including a president). And is the commander in chief. But this power is made of is capacity to lead and manage people and end results.

The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is a genetic factor to leadership. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true.Leaders are made rather than born. —Warren Bennis

So if you associate this definition to yourself it can be powerful. You are in charge of your life, your will. Your life is your company and remember that only you can manage every part of your life, both your personal, professional and social goals and also your feelings and emotions. So start by being the CEO of your will.

So using the metaphor of a CEO for each one of us will make us manage our life better and be more responsible and aware of everything we can achieve if we can take the responsibility and mandate for it.

Managing corporate strategies is above all a work with true emotion and passion. Making sure you have your heart and soul in everything you do but also in the meantime being able to oversee other people, teams and focus on the right balance between strategy and execution.

Remember becoming a CEO doesn’t happen overnight it is a journey. CEOs work their way, step by step and have to prove their capacities almost everyday. As they move through the ranks and rise to the top of management their organisations they do it based on a DNA made of a combination of hard work, perseverance, and traits – emotional intelligence – and qualities that make him or her a top-notch successful business leader.

How to become a CEO starts by education – Educate yourself!

College CEOs small infographic by

If you want to be a CEO, if you have the necessary will and passion you have to learn and focus on your education. Becoming a CEO requires knowledge and you need to perform well in your education path. As the above info-graphic displays there are no equal patterns as different CEOs have different education backgrounds.

Ideally, most of CEOs have top level education and to start you should complete both an undergraduate and a graduate degree as a departing point. Part of the process of becoming a CEO is the capacity to manage complex operations, numbers, calculations. Therefore the necessity to focus on high studies defining an area relevant to the industry, niche to enter.

However it requires a 360 degree eye for multiple themes and topics. It needs a commitment to a general eagle view being flexible bout different areas and start the path with the right approach. In a world moved by innovation being a leader implies a capacity to exercise different skills and being always educating yourself. Most of the industries change due to technology advances and different approaches in management, CSR (Corporate Social responsibility) requirements and the society shifts. So be ready for disruption and change and learn.

Some or many of the top CEOs start by completing an undergraduate degree first, after they work for several years as an employee in a corporation learning about it. as much as possible. After they rise through the ranks, and some of them then return to a top level business education program such as a Master of a particular MBA program to earn a graduate degree.

The larger the company or corporation CEO position the biggest proves and CVs it is necessary. Therefore if you’re hoping to one day rise to the top of, the more important your personal brand building and also your education process. Most of these positions and roles require to certification from the best business schools and universities.

Therefore the path that you create with your education is critical. So the education organisation that you attend (and graduate from), the name and brand of the school cachet attached to its name will open more or less doors.However don’t forget above all is your personal brand and credibility that will make you become a CEO, a true leader.

Obviously, many top CEOs never even graduated college, or attached the top business schools or universities. But by the numbers, and statistics you will have a  best chance if you have a prestigious name on your degree, CV or education certification. In a time of social media and digital advanced programmes consider your social media footprint and digital personal brand, as its clout and rankings such as Klout will have further importance for leadership and management.

The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humour, but without folly. Jim Rohn

The second part of this article will develop further some of these ideas: How to Become a CEO Part 2