Being a CEO is a tough gig because its primary function changes as your business experiences growth. Initially, you do everything. Eventually, you delegate everything. Your role needs to be flexible and your skills need to be adaptable. There are definitely some skill sets that offer more value than others and that will help you achieve the most success in your business.
Have one, hold one. Do not waver. This is at the top of the list because it is the one that I feel is the most important. Without your vision, your business is just another concept or idea. Your vision is what brings it to life. Not just for yourself, but for your team. Vision is what sets in motion the trajectory of what, where, how, and why. Because a vision is something intangible, that is in your mind, the tendency can be to delegate it to a less important aspect of your role as a CEO. But, that creation you have in your mind is what assembles the company vision, and acts as a beacon or marker to your team, no matter how big you get.
Crafting a tangible thing from a mere thought or idea is really a magical process when you think about it. It is that very magic that will be the glue and the longevity of your business. Success is rarely measured on logic, skills, or even talent. It is measured by stamina, ability to learn, and overall strength of commitment to an idea. Vision is paramount.
To be a successful CEO you need to be able to run the marathon, not the sprint. Next in line from vision is endurance. Failure is our top teacher and the most successful business owners in the world only got that way by failing. Winning all the time is not only an unrealistic pipe dream, it is not feasible. If you always win, you never learn. Once you stop learning, you stop growing.
If you can recognize and acknowledge that this role will not set you up for instant success, you will have a chance at eventual and expected success. The sprinter puts out all of their energy, all at once, and burns out quickly. The marathon runner knows that they need to pace themselves and reserve their energy to be able to get through the long haul. View your failures as powerful lessons, learn from them, and have gratitude for them. Experience and respect for the role that you play are earned through your ability to weather the inevitable storms and to keep moving forward regardless.
CEO’s need to be able to bend like the reed in the wind. Martial Arts is an apt comparison because your training requires the same focus, dedication, persistence, and flexibility. You need to learn how to pivot and maintain balance at all times, how to use an attacker’s energy against them, and how to maintain your own inner peace. These skills take a lifetime of honing and practice. Your role requires you to be ready to take on any challenge and every opportunity.
‘Martial arts are a vehicle for developing your human potential.’
If you don’t have integrity, you will be found out eventually. The word “integrity” comes from the Latin “integritas,” meaning wholeness and soundness. A good leader needs integrity if she wants to lead effectively. Even if you have very limited skills, integrity puts you in a league of your own and far ahead of most others. It is an essential skill to earn the respect of your team and your clients. You will fail yourself first if you cannot keep yourself in alignment and in your truth every day and then, you will fail others.
Integrity is not the easy way out and most of us know this intuitively. It illustrates a braveness of character and self-value which then translates to compassion, transparency, and respect to those who work with you. People will not follow someone who they cannot trust. It is the backbone or the foundation of any solid structure. It doesn’t matter how strong your vision is, or how committed you are. If you cannot be integral, it will all crumble and fall at your feet eventually as the truth of a person is always revealed with time. REAL success is achieved only when integrity is intact and healthy.
PASSION OVER LOGIC
Passion has a purpose and brings people together. Leaders have the distinct opportunity to bring people together and create something that is bigger than they are. When people unite and connect under a passion they are aligned in their purpose. Nothing is more powerful than a group of people, all facing the same direction, with the same goals and directives. Emotion ALWAYS wins over logic.
When you touch the emotional chord of another person, and they resonate with the message you are communicating, they will in turn become an amplifier of that message. Identify your passion, make it clear and see who is called to join you. That passion will unite and align a team for good.Situation CEO: Passion has a purpose and brings people together. Choose it over logic, every day. #CEO #SituationCEO Click To Tweet
What makes a good leader? Be a leader who aims to make more leaders, not followers. There could be a whole article written just on that topic. Essentially, the best leaders are comfortable being followers. Good leaders don’t ‘need’ to lead. They choose to and they have a natural ability for it. It’s not an ego game for them. It’s not about controlling others. They never divide, they bring people together. In order to be able to do that, a leader needs to know themselves first. They need to know their own purpose and what drives them, be willing to ‘get down and dirty’ for their cause, and understand that they are only as strong as their team, so everyone on that team is incredibly valuable.
The leaders who lead for power, ego, or other toxic reasons don’t last. They don’t last because they are not in integrity and they are eventually ‘found out’ – Strong leadership requires self-confidence, compassion, integrity, and an ability to get out and push the cart with everyone else when the load gets too heavy. You are the example, the insight, and the vision. Leadership is a responsibility that requires a steadfastness of personal character as well as a commitment to something bigger than themselves – their vision. A good leader also pools the wisdom of other leaders around the world. Reading leadership books that inspire leaders and share information on improving a companies bottom line is a powerful way to increase your knowledge.A good leader is one who makes more leaders, not more followers. #leadership Click To Tweet
You need a solid belief in yourself and the people/team that you work with. If you do not believe, you will not have the power to overcome the almost certain adversity that you will face. Belief is a shield that armors you with unfaltering faith and commitment to your goals. It gives you the energy and the strength to face down the difficult times and people and stay intact. Believe wholeheartedly in your purpose, your team, your vision, and your work. That kind of confidence can move mountains and certainly delivers success.
If you are able to work with these skills and keep yourself real, your business goals are achievable. A CEO requires more soft skills than any other position in the Company, and they are essential for your success. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking them because they cannot be learned in any school. These skills come with the school of life and it is up to you if you choose to pay attention in class or not. If you do, you can be assured that the future of your business is very bright indeed.A CEO requires more soft skills than any other position in the Company, and they are essential for your success. #CEO #Business Click To Tweet
Kaare Long – CEO a Cue Creative