CEOs often have to keep a number of plates spinning at the same time, meaning that being skilled in many different disciplines is essential. If you're looking to develop your own expertise for a career path as a CEO, you need to ensure you are doing so in the right areas.
So what makes a brilliant CEO and how can you be the next one?
1. Innovate don't repeat
More than ever before, CEOs need to be at the heart of developing brand new ideas that will push the business to new frontiers. Whether this is removing outdated processes or revolutionizing your product offering, it's something that brilliant leaders need to excel at.
2. Become a great storyteller
Emotion-led marketing has been so successful because people love a good story. Instead of basing your pitches around figures and buzzwords, focus on the story you're trying to tell and go from there. Of course, data is important but it should be used to authenticate your story rather than being at the heart of your pitch.
3. Value the stakeholders
Balancing all the needs and perspectives of the business's stakeholders can be a delicate process. It's easy to get sucked into focusing on your day-to-day tasks and sidelining the importance of stakeholders but they are a valuable asset and resource for CEOs. You need to not just appreciate this but devise ways to drive more value for them from the business too.
4. Obey the quarterly report
Goals are a key part of being a CEO and your quarterly report holds you - and everyone else - accountable to them. It monitors your progress and helps you identify areas where changes need to be made. Don't neglect your reports in busy months to ensure the business is meeting its obligations to its employees, values, and customers.
5. Don't overlook culture
Company culture is often the most important element of your business but far too many leaders overlook it until it's too late. Don't make that mistake. Your company culture is what motivates, drives, and keeps your employees. It's what dictates their behavior and decisions and understanding it is key for CEOs.
6. Say no
Brilliant leaders aren't always the most liked and it needs to be that way. As CEO you're responsible for defining the standards for your company and what is considered acceptable. Don't be afraid to push back on employees or stakeholders who are trying to cut corners or adopt different approaches to make their own lives easier.
7. Curate a leadership team
Any brilliant CEO needs a just-as-brilliant team behind them. But you need people that you can really rely on who bring genuine value to the company, rather than those who want the prestige or power of a top-level position. Actively work on building a group of leaders in your business. What skills do you have plenty of? Where are your skills gaps? Who really pushes the business? Answering these questions will help you find the right balance of skills and avoid just promoting people for the sake of it.