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15 Skills All CEOs Master

14 September 2021

Not Everyone Has What It Takes to Be a CEO. Here Are Some Skills All CEOs Must Master.

Everyone wants the corner office with the great view, but not everyone has the same skills to get there. Becoming CEO is more than just “what you know,” and “who you know,” The qualities that make a great CEO are actually a compilation of a lot of things top-level executives master on their own.

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Alright future executives – here are 15 skills you should master to be a successful and respected CEO.

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No one enjoys reading a long, boring article. So switch over to the interesting video version of this text:

With that done, let’s move forward with the article.

1

Diplomacy

They don’t teach you this stuff in college. Right, so what is diplomacy, exactly? Diplomacy is the “art of dealing with people in a sensitive and tactful way.”

As CEO, this is a skill that will serve you well for your entire career. By being diplomatic, your staff will be assured of your ability to diffuse situations with the utmost tact and fairness, and they won’t feel like you’re playing favourites or have a particular loyalty to certain staff members.

As former US Ambassador to the UN, Richard Holbrooke said, “Diplomacy is like jazz: endless variations on a theme.” As CEO, your approach to diplomacy will also constantly be changing, so it’s a skill you’ll need to keep on top of.

2

Vision and Follow Through

It’s all very well to have vision, isn’t it Aluxers? Real talk, though: how many incredible ideas have you had, but just not been able to follow through with them? Probably quite a few…

That’s the difference between CEO material and well… non-CEO material. It’s the vision coupled with follow through. And let’s not forget to add a dash of risk too, because following through on a vision always comes with a side of riskiness. 

3

Passion for Their Job and It’s People

It’s no secret, CEOs make a lot of money. We chatted extensively about it in our video, How CEOs Make 351x More Money. In the video we answer integral questions like why pay them so much, and are they worth it?

And while we’ve all worked for horrendous CEOs, working for a CEO who is passionate about their work, their company and its people is an incredible experience – and that’s a skill that all successful CEOs should have.

Thanks for your wonderful feedback on that video, Aluxers. Like Vishal Gangwani mentioned, “Amazing editing and storytelling…” we’ve been upping our game and we’re so glad you noticed.

4

Brevity

It’s a word that just flows off the tongue and it means: writing or speaking in a short, concise, clear manner.

Aluxers, have you ever sat in a boardroom meeting where the CEO literally just serves up some word-salad? Almost as if they just love hearing themselves talk, but don’t actually say… anything?

Forbes published an article titled, Half Of All Meetings Are A Waste Of Time. A skilled CEO would not call meetings that would waste their employees time, and leverage their brevity when communicating with staff.

5

Decisiveness

Canadian motivational speaker, Brian Tracey once said, “Decisiveness is a characteristic of high-performing men and women. Almost any decision is better than no decision at all.”

Nobody can become CEO if they can’t make decisions.

If you’re someone who – when asked – can’t decide where you’d like to go to dinner, what to watch on Netflix, or can’t make decisive plans with friends, then it’s something you can work on.

And to do that, we’ve designed the perfect course which will allow you to teach yourself – anything. It’s called Learning Mastery and it went live on Sunday. Learning how to effectively learn is hands-down the most valuable skill you can build within yourself. Head to alux.com/learn to enroll today!

6

Accountability

When Dave Calhoun became CEO of Boeing in January 2020, he was quick to blame all the company’s problems on the former CEO, Dennis Muilenburg – who was fired by the board.

As suggested by rightattitudes.com “A true leader doesn’t pass the blame for failure, but graciously accepts responsibility for the problems he inherited.  

According to CEO World, A CEO not being accountable doesn’t just look bad, it leads to further breakdown, like:

–          Giving away your power

–          Creating a toxic environment

–          Employee disengagement

–          Reduced productivity…. And last but certainly not least…

–          You’re perceived as being an incapable leader.

7

Controlled Emotion

When the pawpaw hits the fan, or times are stressful, you can’t have a CEO dramatically shoving laptops and paperwork all over the floor, declaring it’s “F*ck this S*it O Clock…”

Nope, you need a level-headed, calm individual who isn’t going to explode and lose their cool.

Healthline.com has some solid, achievable advice for this – they say, when it comes to emotions, best to “… aim for regulation, not repression.”

8

Transparency

Angel Gurría – former OECD secretary general said, “Integrity, transparency and the fight against corruption have to be part of the culture. They have to be taught as fundamental values.”  

And Aluxers, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

It’s a skill that every successful CEO must master, because transparency is what will earn you  trust, respect and loyalty.

If you aren’t looking to be a CEO but want to learn some useful skills, check out 15 Basic Money Skills Everyone Should Know.

9

Optimism

We’re not born a pessimist or an optimist – our friends and family actually play a significant role in our perceptions over the years.

If you’re looking to lead a company, here’s some good news… optimism is a skill that can be learned.

10

Be the Calm in the Storm

Being CEO means you’re responsible for everything that happens within the company – which is helluh stressful. As we said in our video, How CEO’s Make 351x More Money “the CEO is the most important person driving a company’s success.”

While they keep everything together – including themselves -their staff will be pushed to hit milestones, make deadlines, or close sales… and it’s up to the CEO to be the reassuring, motivational calm in the storm.

So, what is one way to be “the calm in the storm”? Let’s find out.

11

Be a Role Model

Aluxers, you’ve probably had that CEO who shows up late, leaves early, has boozy lunches and takes advantage of their position of power.

That’s just not CEO material.

Be a role model to your employees.

We’re not saying you have to start work at 4am like Apple’s Tim Cook, or be sending work emails at 11pm like GM CEO Mary Barra, but you do need to be dedicated and work hard, to inspire and lead by example.

12

The Willingness to Transform – Themselves and the Company

Richard Branson said, “Every success story is a tale of constant adaptation, revision and change.”

This not only applies to the growth of a company, but to the CEO as well.

And while it’s impressive to get a business off the ground, keeping it competitive and profitable is no easy feat..

According to CEO Today Magazine, the importance of growing a business is… “that your company is constantly facing the threat of competition, and by staying small, you are essentially offering opportunities for others to take the lion’s share of your markets.”

13

Approachability

Some may call it an “open door policy,” but that’s not quite what we’re talking about.

Actually, as admirable as it may sound,  Forbes believes the open-door policy doesn’t actually work. It cites a few reasons, but the main concern was that staff didn’t share their thoughts because they’re worried their ideas won’t be well-received.

Being approachable means you’re not ego-driven, looking down on your staff – instead, you’re there in the thick of things, being an activenot aloof – member of the team.

14

Inclusion

Regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, age or political affiliation – inclusion in the workplace means that everyone is included.

Every person matters. Everyone should come to work without the fear of being excluded, bullied or ostracized.

Every person adds value and it’s up to the CEO to make sure that inclusion is a priority.

Like Chief Talent Officer at ServiceNow, Pat Wadors quoted, “When we listen and celebrate what is both common and different, we become wiser, more inclusive, and better as an organization.”

15

Ability to Take Calculated Risks

Ask any successful CEO if they got there by following all the rules, and the general consensus is a big, fat “no.”

Let’s use Tim Cook again, and if you’d like to learn from this remarkable man, be sure to watch our video – 15 Leadership Lessons from Tim Cook.

He did a Q & A at Duke University where he was asked by a student, “when should we listen to our professors and when is it ok not to?” Cook’s response:

“I think you should rarely follow the rules.   I think you should write the rules.   I think if you do follow things in a formulaic manner, you will wind up at best being the same as everybody else.”

A lil gold nugget, right there.

And with that, we hope that you found some solid grounding to start acquiring the skills to make an excellent CEO. If you have – show us – by leaving us with a like, subscribe and hit the bell icon so you never miss an upload!

Question:

What skill do you think CEO’s need to be a successful and respected CEO?