How to Become a CEO Part 2

How to become a CEO – Become the Chief Executive Officer of your emotions!

How to become a CEO – Become the Chief Executive Officer of your emotions, by IntelligentHQ

Becoming a CEO requires a strong personal DNA. One needs to work with all the traits of leadership and specially learn how to manage correctly both emotions in the right balance with proper education, business, teams, strategy and goals setting. I will explore my ideas on the follow up of How to Become a CEO Part 1

To add to the last areas we have been discussing, becoming a CEO starts with understanding and being able to leverage true emotion, passion and making sure that you put your heart and soul into your everyday endeavours.

Every day, you need to make sure that you do a work that matters, a valuable work. Work that you gladly offer and go the extra mile of all other alternatives for commanding others, operations and especially yourself. To sum it becoming a Chief Executive Officer of your emotions.

All the big books of leadership highlight the strengths of character necessary for leaders. And from The Art of War from Sun Tzu, to Nicolas Machiavelli opus The Prince there is a layer of the importance of self leadership and emotional management, intelligence explicit.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”  Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Leadership is about decision-making, probably not so much about enemies but performance and aligning of strategies. This can only be achieved with a strong personal management and this is fundamentally a matter of working correctly first of all emotions.

Neurological research shows that the part of the brain that is concerned with emotions is where decisions are made. Emotions make decision possible. Each of us tag and manage our experiences and memories with emotions in order to be able to retrieve and use them at decisive moments later on.

Leadership is about being able to be persuasive and inspiring. Persuasion is emotional. Emotion is partly an unconscious act as we need to believe. Therefore, on the path to becoming a CEO, each leader needs to master and educate their unconscious emotional thought processes in order to be able to drive himself – and later, others.

So most of the time it’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it. Being or becoming a CEO comes with true leadership, one that manages to do things and excel in what you are passionate about.

Rule of success and true leadership: Become the CEO of your will and do.

Becoming a CEO involves taking ownership and doing. The rule of success for a leader is to make things happen. Achieving that can only be done with strong will. A leader don’t wait for things to happen or someone to do it for her or him! A chief executive has to be able to manage hers or his will first of all. That is the mark of a leader. But other areas of work need to be added to the task!

“Where the willingness is great, the difficulties cannot be great. ”  Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

So how to become a CEO? ask yourself some key questions:

  • Do you believe in yourself and that people are as happy as they work to be?
  • Are you persistent even in the face of disappointment?
  • Do you constantly improve your knowledge and skills?
  • Do you think BIG even when you are dealing with the small-minded?
  • Are you truly committed to being of service to others?
  • Are you willing to leave your comfort zones?
  • Are you a consummate professional and behave accordingly?
  • Do you accept constant change as a part of life, willingly and completely?
  • Do you make decisions quickly, wisely and then take immediate action?

This quote of of Steve Jobs enlightens the need to manage firstly our own will.

“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.” Steve Jobs, CEO, Apple

To become a CEO it is imperative to stay flexible.

Flexibility is critical for leadership. It’s not talked about too often these days, but raw ambition with an approach of a flexible capacity to change is a very useful (some might even say vital) trait for a business leader to focus. Any leader is someone ambitious. And a big part of being ambitious and aggressive about advancing a given career is being open to taking paths you weren’t expecting to take and dealing with constant change.

Leadership implies a capacity to shift direction, under pressure and sometimes in the worst moments. In these times of challenge the skills to be switching locations in order to secure an advancement or progress in a project, company or team. If you are prepared to jump at the chance to be a manager, or a Vice President in a given branch office somewhere far away, you’ll probably will at a certain point get the promotion, or career advance over others who have reservations about it.

How to become a CEO? 9 DNA questions IntelligentHQ

Become a CEO – Start Step by step.

Any big march starts with a first step. Don’t expect miracles, make them happen. A trait of true leaders is a capacity to leverage each step and be the best in each moment, aiming at the future. This only happens if each step is well done. Most of the top CEOs started their careers from the ground as managers and junior vice presidents for two or three related businesses and had to prove their way and capacities before becoming the head of a given company.

Become a CEO – Be Entrepreneurial.

CEOs and entrepreneurs share the same traits, and a person planning to become one can get a great start by becoming the other. With all the changes we are going through in business and technology, special with the advent of social media leadership implies personal branding and capacity to do things on your own to be entrepreneur.

So if you see an opportunity to go into business for yourself, to get into a startup and it seems like a better path to the executive level than your current one, don’t hesitate to make the change. All opportunities are good to progress your knowledge and skills. Make sure you learn as you will be as well CEO of that small operations and prepare yourself for bigger things. Cultivating a successful company, startup, SME from the ground up is an impressive distinction on any corporate resume. As corporations change faster than ever perhaps this startup can take over some big industry segment and become a global player. Just look at companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter. These corporations took over trillion dollars business worth all together and keep disrupting entire business models.

So, to succeed as a CEO you will have to lead with vision. but will have to have hands on approach. To be a truly great CEO, you must exercise control over your company by shaping the workplace environment to be one that has a distinct and palpable culture. An entrepreneur doer culture. In other words, a great leader creates a sense among his or her employees that they are a part of something truly special, something bigger and more significant than any one part of the whole. Your attitude and actions towards your workforce, your entrepreneur spirit can move a company towards great achievements if focus on a very clearly set the tempo at every level of the company.

How to Become a CEO – Focus on Team building

Building solid operational and united teams are the DNA of any successful venture. So focus on this. A CEO is nothing without a team. So work on creating a culture, a powerful set of values and manage for your workers the right conditions and tools. No one performs without clear setting of KPIs and clear directives.

Therefore be ready for demanding the world of your workers, but allow them to get the right briefing and work on the language you use and set of clear objectives, and if someone make mistakes assume as well what was your part that went wrong as you are as well responsible. Show them that the company believes in them enough to let them keep trying until they make it – as long as they are good enough at their jobs to make it in a big way when they do. Encourage productivity by encouraging risk-taking and personal judgment calls but also a sense of responsibility. You always have the last word as commander in chief but in the end you can only do it with a team.

So the critical questions for a CEO and the team building momentum definition are: Do you know what you want and do you focus on the right angles or the wrong things? Are you embracing, nurturing and living up to your goals and passions? Or are you sticking your project into a short term dollar bill? Things happen when there is direction and persistence. You have to focus on the storytelling, the passion(s) for what you do, and the follow up, making sure you have the right balance between the team spirit, building the story telling and keeping the product, sales and finances in order. Being inspiring and bold in strategy and execution.

How to Become a CEO – developing the CEO Within You

To finish I embed this excellent video on leadership from Harvard Business Review highlighting how to develop the CEO within you: