While some of the qualities of being a great leader come naturally to some CEOs, this isn’t always the case. Many of these skills are teachable and may not be so obvious. All great CEOs know that they have to be honest about what qualities they possess, and those they do not, while also having a willingness to improve the areas that will benefit themselves and the company the most.
It can be easy to assume that CEOs know everything they need in order to run a successful business, and that might be partly true. How else would they get the job? CEOs that are committed to growing their leadership qualities and spending time to fill the gaps in their knowledge are going to give their companies a competitive edge.
Curiosity and Passion
Curiosity is vital to continued growth as the business industry is ever-changing with new technology and issues arising daily. The only way to stay on top of these changes is to be open to learning about them and how they can be useful to the company.
CEOs must also have a passion for the company and what it wants to achieve. This ties into having a clear sense of purpose in their role accomplishing the goals set up. They must be able to clearly and concisely communicate these to their employees, stakeholders, and customers. If this isn’t clear, go back to try to understand why the company was created and reconnect with the story.
CEOs should be walking the walk as well as talking the talk. Actions speak far louder than words to everyone. A CEO should be able to model the vision for the company with actions, setting a standard that others can look up to. Having the strength and courage to do this will inevitably lead people to look to the CEO for guidance on how to best represent the core beliefs of the company.
Taking Risks and Vision
Risk is an important part of being a great leader. Whether that’s a mindset for embracing obstacles or making a calculated decision for the company, taking risks is important. CEOs who are successful in leading change within a company are able to take risks in a way that sets them apart from others in the company. CEOs see obstacles, or risks, as opportunities for growth and change, not just for themselves but for the entire company.
Vision is also a key component. After all, it’s the vision of the CEO that dictates the future of the company. Without a clearly defined vision, CEOS are nothing more than a seasoned manager or celebrated facilitator. The best CEOs find ways to constantly explore and nurture their vision, encouraging feedback from their team to refine and develop it. Communicating this vision clearly is essential as well, so all team members know what their role in achieving this goal to be.
Being a great leader as a CEO is a careful balancing act of being confident and clear on what needs to happen, while also listening to the feedback of the employees, customers, and stakeholders.