Striving for CEO level – 6 Essential Changes You Need to Make

Striving for CEO level – 6 Essential Changes You Need to Make

In business, there is no one more important than the Chief Executive Officer. Do you aspire to reach such heights? With the unrivalled pay of the CEO, many people do, but with the lucrative pay pack comes many responsibilities.

Becoming a CEO is the culmination of years of hard work and the honing of countless skills. While it is a long journey to rise through the ranks, here are six tips that will help you eventually attain the status of CEO.

1. Develop well-rounded knowledge

A company is like a machine with parts that seamlessly work together. The CEO tends to this machine and makes sure it is working efficiently and effortlessly. Each part doesn’t have to be the best on the market, but as long as the parts are working together, the machine will achieve its purpose.

In real terms, the CEO oversees the production of the company’s divisions. The CEO doesn’t need to know a lot about Human Resources or Accounting, but does need to be able to step back and see the big picture. To ensure that, the CEO needs to know what each divisions’ goal is, as well as what it takes to make them run. It takes years of management experience in an industry to pick up on the countless things needed to perform these tasks. Anyone wanting to achieve that rank has to keep their mind open and use every experience as an opportunity to learn.

2. Aggressively pursue your ambition

Moving up the ranks of a company takes a lot of work and determination. While a long period of time without a promotion can be disheartening, it is important to remember the goal. Managers like when their employees are driven and can go do tasks on their own. When a worker has confidence and believes they should be promoted, he or she usually finds that it isn’t too long until it happens.

Unfortunately, it can be damaging to take this mindset too far. Another aspect of management is to keep everyone satisfied and the work environment healthy. If a person has too much confidence, it can easily be seen as cockiness and a better-than-you attitude, which very few people like. That, as well as making it obvious you’re only using employees to jump through the ranks, puts a target on a person’s back. For obvious reasons, it would be much harder to get the support of coworkers in a situation like that.

3. Find a mentor

Everyone has a role model in his or her life. As a child, many people follow in the footsteps of athletes or celebrities, hoping to be like them one day. Many find that their careers take them away from their childish dreams. Mentorship is like that except for adults. Every high-level manager cut his own path to the top by learning many things along the way. They made mistakes and found themselves in horrible positions that they were unsure how to get out of. A person can skip many steps in the trial-and-error process of moving up the corporate ladder by getting a mentor.

Search your company for someone who could be a mentor, although be sure that you do not actually work for that person. Many companies even have a system in place where they provide mentors to certain employees that have potential, essentially putting them on a fast track to management.

If you are seeking a mentor, but don’t know where to find one, why not get in touch with one of our leadership expert mentors on our sister site

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4. Have vision

A CEO has the ability to see the future. Of course, this isn’t meant in a supernatural sense, but a CEO is always looking ahead to the next way to improve the company. It is important to be able to look at lower-level workers and see which people are capable of doing more and leading others. The cream should rise to the top in a company and blindly letting someone who can change the company sit at the same job for years hurts everyone in the long run. Vision can also be applied to thing like clients and projects. Knowing which things will make the company money or cost too much in the long-run is an important skill of upper-level management. A CEO will never be successful without and it is good to get into a habit of looking for trends that lead to success early in your career so you can spot them later.

5. Learn to delegate appropriately

It is definitely tough for a CEO to delegate tasks to employees because of that natural want to control everything. It is scary to let others do things that could hurt the company if they’re not done right. The truth is that one person can’t do everything in a company. If hiring and promoting has been performed correctly, there shouldn’t be a reason to fear. People have trained their whole lives to do the tasks asked of them. Make workers feel appreciated by trusting them with tasks. If they fail, it isn’t the end of the world. Show them what they did wrong and they’ll get it next time. Ruling without trust creates workers who feel unappreciated and that can suck the life and creativity out of a company. A CEO knows when to lean back in the chair and know that other qualified people are getting the job done. You can practice this at every level within the organisation. Provided you have tasks you can delegate, hone your skills by doing so and critiquing the way you are doing it, giving feedback and praise. Ask for feedback as well. It will all be invaluable experiences.

6. Leadership Development

Both for yourself and your company, this is arguably one of the most important skills to help a company run smoothly. A leader at the top of the company that has everybody on board is more effective than a leader who is not liked. Focus on your own leadership development throughout the years of being a manager and as you progress. Leadership is ultimately the factor that will dictate if the board sees you suitable or not.

Emphasising it within your organisation will only help the cogs run more smoothly as well. You don’t have time to micro-manage every aspect of the company, so trusting you have the right leaders in the correct positions is essential for productivity, efficiency and engagement.

The path to the CEO desk is a long one that is full of endless learning and persistence. Words can only scratch the surface of the true work it will, but these five tips certainly put you in the right mindset to start that uphill climb.

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About the author

Jamie McDermott

Involved in Business Development and Technologies at Career Intelligence. Based in the Fleet Street, London office since the start of 2014.

One Comment

  1. vijaya
    December 9, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Too good