What is a CEO? Is it a title, a designation or a way of life?
It is likely that at some point or another in our careers, we all aspire to become a CEO. We may covet the title of Chief Executive Officer but does it, in fact, reflect the quality of our work or professional success? If we aim for the top spot in our companies, why is it that most of us stay confined to 9-5 jobs, performing only what is within our defined or not-so-defined parameters waiting to be directed or led?
In our personal lives, many of us tend to behave and perform much differently than we do at work. Outside of the office, we naturally assume the role of “CEO,” continuously striving to create value for ourselves and our families. No one instructs us to take charge in this manner, but we understand that assuming responsibility, authority and ownership over our personal domains leads to a better life for ourselves and loved ones. Similarly, exerting a CEO-like attitude in all aspects of work puts you on the road to success.
So, what is a CEO exactly? And what do they do? Contrary to popular belief, CEOs are not all-powerful and magically competent. As the head of a company, a good CEO continuously creates value for customers, employees, investors and communities all within legal boundaries. For every decision that is made in an enterprise – large or small – the buck stops with the CEO. How can acting like a CEO regardless of current station in life help put us on track to becoming one?
Always aim for the bigger target. Most of us spend a tremendous amount of time and energy managing crises and transactions, improving efficiency and increasing revenues, but hardly any of our time is dedicated to thinking outside the box. Don’t be afraid to think big, beyond your four walls, and take risks. From a sales perspective, we know that the larger the client, the better. Place your aspirations to achieve something “big” on the top of your list, honing your skills through creative and disruptive thinking.
BE A ROLE MODEL
You may not be a CEO or even a manager, but you never know who may be taking cues from your behavior. Taking the initiative to do something great, creative or disruptive is the way leaders and role models are created. Great CEOs set examples by leading from the front; they avoid delegating heavyweight jobs to subordinates, opting instead to dive headfirst into the difficult tasks themselves. Pick up the torch when it’s passed, lead from the front and don’t shy away from the heavy lifting.
STAY THE COURSE
To show determination is to assert self-confidence and communicate passion and energy. Effective CEOs execute and perform with confidence and determination despite hardship and setbacks, leading more often than not to success.
“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” – Colin Powell
INVEST IN YOURSELF
Without growing your knowledge base, your career is surely to stall. Always strive to continue learning and adding to your skillset. Good CEOs know that self-development is primordial to success. Investing in clothes, luxury goods and entertainment instead of in oneself is hardly a feat. Make learning, enhancing your knowledge, and expanding your professional talents a top priority. Don’t be afraid to take risks and to learn from mistakes. Failure is only a temporary setback on the road to victory.
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