What makes a good CEO? Some will argue that good CEOs are born, not made—but what they lack in education, they make up in talent and dedication. Other people will argue that anyone can be successful as a CEO if they’re smart enough and willing to work hard enough. Of course, there’s no one right answer, but these qualities of great CEOs can help you decide whether or not you have what it takes to lead your own company into the future.
One of the most successful leaders in American history was Abraham Lincoln. He’s famous for being humble and never bragging about his success. And he shared some important lessons that are just as relevant today: Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing. As a leader, it’s crucial to set goals and work toward them daily—and understand how what you do can impact others around you. In fact, if you want to be an effective leader, there are three things you need to focus on: Be mindful of your actions.
You have a responsibility not only to yourself but also to those who look up to you. In business or life, people will notice what kind of person you are; they’ll take their cues from your actions and attitudes every day. Treat everyone with respect—from customers and clients all the way down to janitors and interns. It’s easy to get caught up in thinking that certain people aren’t worth your time or attention. But remember: Everyone has value and deserves to be treated well. Listen actively and learn something new every day. When you surround yourself with smart, driven people, you’re bound to pick up new ideas—but don’t stop there! Take time each day to listen closely so you can learn from others’ experiences and perspectives.
Building a Core Team
When starting out, most entrepreneurs focus on selling their services and products. But that’s only half of what it takes to run a successful business. In today’s rapidly changing business world, your company needs professionals who can help keep everything running smoothly in between sales meetings—and make sure your customers are getting exactly what they need. Hiring a core team is one of those essential steps that many new CEOs forget about or overlook.
If you aren’t certain what positions should be filled yet, take some time to think about all of your daily tasks and note down any areas where things might fall through if left unattended. Some examples include: handling email responses, updating social media channels, managing customer service issues and overseeing marketing campaigns.
Leading by Example
In today’s workplace, it’s not enough to simply manage up. Today’s employees and consumers are far more savvy than they were even 10 years ago. A quality leadership trait is establishing an environment where your team can thrive and feel empowered to do their best work.
This means that as a leader, you need to be engaged in every aspect of your business—not just when things go wrong. If you want to be perceived as a strong leader, then set clear expectations for yourself and others on how tasks should be completed (and don’t accept anything less). This will give everyone on your team something to strive for. And if someone isn’t meeting those expectations? Well, at least you know where improvements need to be made. Other qualities of a good leader include:
1) A commitment to quality customer service
2) Strong communication skills 3) Being able to delegate tasks
4) An ability to motivate employees
5) A strong work ethic
6) Openness to change and new ideas
7) A willingness to take risks.
A great leader doesn’t just happen overnight, but there are steps you can take now to become one in time. Read up on leadership traits and think about how they fit into your own career goals and personal values.
Knowing When to Pivot
A lot of startups begin with an idea and then keep working to build that idea into something big. Over time, though, new opportunities will come up—either because customers respond differently than expected or your vision for how your business should grow changes. When these shifts happen, you may find yourself wondering if it’s time to pivot, or change course in some way. In fact, pivoting is so common among startup companies that nearly half of them make at least one major pivot during their first year. If you’re thinking about pivoting your business, there are several things to consider before making any decisions. First, take a look at your company’s current situation. Do you need to adjust your strategy? Do you need to move away from old ideas and toward new ones? Next, think about what made you want to start your company in the first place. This can help guide your decision-making process as well as give you a sense of what direction might be best for moving forward.
In today’s business world, leaders can’t be so-called control freaks—they need to act as coaches and mentors instead. CEOs who used to work long hours and make all of their employees feel undervalued are making way for leaders who get more done in less time. And rather than maintaining traditional top-down structures, successful CEOs are now empowering their teams by sharing information, resources and setting clear expectations from day one. It’s no longer about micromanaging your team; it’s about developing them into high-performing workers. Here are three tips that will help any manager develop leadership skills:
The first step is to take a hard look at yourself and understand where you may be hindering progress. For example, maybe you aren’t delegating enough or perhaps you tend to micro-manage certain projects. Next, evaluate your current staff members by looking at each employee’s strengths and weaknesses. Finally, when it comes time to hire new employees, pay attention to their leadership skills and how they fit into your company culture. If you do these three things, you’ll be well on your way toward developing great leaders within your organization.
There’s always something that can be done to help your company grow. Don’t spend all of your time at work—take an hour or two to enjoy your life outside of work. Being present means taking care of yourself and having an awareness of what’s happening around you, whether that’s inside or outside of work. Take time off to travel, volunteer in your community or simply just breathe. It will not only help you recharge but it will also make you more effective as a leader. You’ll notice things about your employees when they return from vacation; they may seem happier and more productive than before they left! The trick is making sure your business isn’t dependent on you for everything. And remember: being present is different than multi-tasking (which we know doesn’t really exist).
By being present, you are able to focus on one thing at a time instead of doing multiple tasks simultaneously. The result is greater productivity, clearer thinking and improved quality of work – without losing any efficiency or effectiveness. To truly lead with presence requires trust in others, confidence in yourself and humility within your role.
Today’s CEOs are looking forward to what lies ahead for their companies and their industries. They want to keep up with industry trends, understand how new technology will affect their business and be prepared for what they don’t know. To do that, they need to have an open mind, an understanding of where things are headed and a willingness to adapt. These qualities are essential in today’s fast-paced world, but it doesn’t mean being so flexible that you bend out of shape. It means being able to lead in ways others can follow. And that requires knowing yourself—what works best for you, your team and your company. If there’s one thing leaders must remember: You don’t have to reinvent yourself or change who you are as a person or as a leader—just make sure you keep moving forward.
Keeping Things Organized
We’ve all heard that adage, If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. Organizing your ideas is one of those things worth doing—but keeping your notes organized when there are so many to take is a huge pain point for CEOs. Re-prioritize your to-do list and get yourself back on track by adopting some or all of these organizational strategies. The less time you spend organizing and prioritizing, the more time you have to do what matters most: execute.
Appreciating Diversity and Inclusion
Great leaders know how to value difference. Diversity and inclusion aren’t just buzzwords anymore – they represent different perspectives that lead to innovation and growth. Great leaders build communities of respect, where all employees feel valued for their contribution. This kind of leadership is critical in today’s business environment, where more companies are competing for top talent than ever before. Acknowledging diversity and inclusiveness as valuable qualities will help your company stand out from competitors who don’t have these values at heart.
The best CEOs use their platform to improve the world around them and make it better for everyone. Make sure your company is doing everything it can to give back, support local communities and do all it can to make life easier for everyone involved. It’s up to all of us who work at big companies to lead by example and show how we can change things for people in our community. This is what really defines someone as a leader – taking steps that help others.