Influential CEOs are the driving force behind their respected organizations. When we think of the title "CEO", for most it conjures images of a powerful leader who is fearless, intelligent, resolute, resilient, capable of taking calculated risks, a confident decision maker, a smooth talker, and an individual who lives and breathes the company’s identity and vision. However, becoming a truly influential leader is far more difficult to attain than it is to describe. So how is it achieved? Experience, connections, luck and timing can all play a role in someone becoming a CEO, but only key characteristics can define true leadership.
Here is a list of actionable traits every CEO must have to succeed in leading their employees in the world of business.
Successful CEOs are always open to learning. They welcome new updates, research and opportunities continually coming their way. CEOs who focus on continuous learning are receptive to other people’s ideas, and despite their seniority, are individuals who continue to nurture and grow skill set and knowledge base. As the speed of technological advancement increases and global markets continue to fluctuate, the ability of a CEO to adapt and learn is paramount. A CEO must be able to position the business for success whilst remaining positive and receptive to ever changing environments.
People are creatures of habit and as the saying goes, “if it ain't broke…" However even if standard methods are generating the required results, finding new solutions and thinking outside the box usually allows for the discovery of more effective and creative means to achieve business goals. A CEO who is capable of thinking creatively is capable of making his company stand out to customers through innovation and productivity.
It’s hard to effectively manage employees if you are unable to manage yourself. As a CEO, you are the head of the organization and looked upon to make the hard decisions. This is never easy and means a CEO is often put under stressful conditions. Exceptional leaders do not only manage those around them to ensure the company flourishes, but also able to self-manage and maintain control at all times. A successful CEO is the one who knows exactly how to prioritize his goals, takes responsibility for time management, and ensures lucrative turnouts.
Risk Taking and Resilience
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk at all” - like many successful leaders before him, Mark Zuckerberg has taken plenty of risks in his rise to becoming the leader in social media. Being a CEO unfortunately doesn’t come with a manual. Risk is required and is the name of the game. In the world of business, risk can lead to the ultimate rewards. A leader needs to be willing to charter the waters and calculate risk, overcoming the fear of failing. The top leaders look towards the future, set ambitious goals and rely on their intuition.
A CEO’s intensity and passion for growth and development makes them charismatic and persuasive people. A CEO must be able to communicate what they need, when they need it by and how things should be done in a precise way so that no one falls short. However, any CEO can do that. A leader is consistently transparent and balanced in their communication, he’s negotiable, succinct, and understanding. Making the emotional connection is critical in effective leadership so it is important to be approachable and involve people from all levels in decisions and company updates so there is a sense of community among employees.
Medy Navani, CEO, and Founder of Design Haus Medy.