“To me, business isn’t about wearing suits or pleasing stockholders. It’s about being true to yourself, your ideas and focusing on the essentials.” – Sir Richard Branson
A CEO is essentially the leader of any organization and plays a prime link between the inside which is constituted of employees and the outside, i.e. the customers, market, society, technology and the economy at large. Being a CEO is noticeably more than the financial benefit. It includes adept skills, usually more than those that meet the eye. A CEO isn’t just about calling the shots in a company, it’s about leadership, optimism, consideration, innovation, reliability and much more. This blog brings you the 5 quintessential lessons which can help you imbibe the right skills, perspective and approach to become a successful future CEO.
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Always perceived as a penalizing treatment, discipline is the core of any profession and any field. Discipline isn’t just something related to one getting up early and following a certain routine. It’s about developing self-control which is an extremely essential quality for a successful future CEO. Discipline helps you build a structure and not keep running into blank walls. Talent without discipline is like a train or vehicle without a destination; you will end up destroying it. Leaders shouldn’t be susceptible to instant gratifications and should be able to make decisions by developing control and farsightedness. Among the market and professional lunacy, a person is much likely to give in Freudian slips and make mistakes if they don’t have a good composure. Developing discipline takes time but with realistic and sincere efforts, this skill can be mastered. Resist, overcome and achieve.
Balance Between Work and Personal Life
“You leave home to seek your fortune and, when you get it, you go home and share it with your family.” – Anita Baker
These are some insightful words to live by for being strong as a future CEO. As a CEO, maintaining a good balance between your work and personal life is essential. Your family can help you anchor this balance and stability between work and life. Running or starting a company is difficult and also invests a lot of time and It is important for a person to manage the time and not break the foundation. Every leader needs to nurture their feelings of acceptability, security, safety and belongingness which can be found in your family abundantly. The people who have raised you, possess deep knowledge and wisdom for you to seek. Hence, keep them involved in your decisions. The world has seen various family businesses that have built empires of their own. A very well known example is that of the Walton family- founders of Walmart which is an American multinational retail company. The Waltons’ collective fortune have made them the richest family in the world.
A company with a lack of transparency is likely to lose employees as well as customers. An important virtue of transparent people is honesty which is required for a person to become a respectable future CEO. Substantial Transparency is essential for not only business leaders, but amongst employees and other members of the company. The leader should be open about the company’s reports, position, metrics, acknowledge issues and resolve it explicitly. A transparent environment also promotes flexibility and enhances creativity. According to research by Edelman 2018 Trust Barometer: Institutional Investors report, 76% of investors claim that ethics and standards lead their trust in where to invest. Creating such an open environment will involve uncomfortable and gnarly conversations but the outcome will always be ethically correct and beneficial for the company as a whole. Trust needs to be earned by the leader by being authentic and factual.
“Your reputation is more important than your paycheck, and your integrity is worth more than your career.” – Ryan Freitas, Co-Founder of About.me
Learning is not a one-time event or a periodic luxury. Great leaders in great companies recognize that the ability to constantly learn, innovate, and improve is vital to their success.” – Amy Edmondson
As evidently said in the quote above, constant learning helps you adopt and adapt to newer updates and situations easily. A person who believes that they are all-learned, lock the room for the endless knowledge and wisdom this world has to give them. If we retrospect about all the events that have taken place in our history, we’ll know that people have given this world so many new structures, theories and technologies to learn and utilize. An efficient future CEO knows that constant learning can help his company be updated in this unfolding world. Learning new skills, experimenting with new ideas, educating oneself about the various cultures, developing expertise in every field helps you overcome many problems and also builds the global reputation of the company. Conducting seminars or programs for the employees to learn new ways and use novel technologies can help the company expand and grow effectively.
Another important aspect for a future CEO is to love what they do. Many people just try to put up with their work for financial profit. As important it is to earn good money, working itself becomes an incentive if you are passionate about whichever field you are working in. Intrinsic motivation is an important aspect of business psychology which tells you that the extra reward doesn’t matter if you are satisfied with your job. A future CEO needs to be passionate about their work which helps them instil such qualities in their employees. The leader will know how to get work done if the goal of the company is clear in their minds. They will do anything and everything to reach there because of the fervour that runs behind their work. People might not find something they love to do instantly, but you can always plan out your things and work on something you like.
“I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” – Steve Jobs
List of the Youngest CEOs
It is important that aspiring CEOs work and hone their skills. Many young CEOs have been created who were passionate about their interests. They practised, made errors, and executed their dream. Young aspirants must take lessons and should never be afraid to take the first step. It might seem difficult initially but works eventually. Here are the youngest CEOs who defied the odds and became billionaires in the teenage or early 20s.
- Mark Zuckerberg (Co-founder of Facebook)
- Dustin Moskovitz (Co-founder of Facebook)
- Evan Spiegel (Co-founder of Snapchat)
- Bobby Murphy (Co-founder of Snapchat)
- Fraser Doherty (Founder of SuperJam, Envelope Coffee, and Co-founder of Beer52)
- Ashley Qualls (Entrepreneur)
Top Entrepreneurship Programs
Having a degree in business is preferred and recommended for students who wish to become future CEOs. Here are the top Entrepreneurship Programs offered by world-renowned universities.
- MIT Entrepreneurship (MBA in Entrepreneurship & Innovation)
- Harvard Business Schoo (MBA)
- The University of California Berkeley (MS in Entrepreneurship and Innovation)
- University of Michigan Ross School of Business (MBA)
- Wharton School of Business (MBA)
- Kellogg School of Management (MBA)
- Texas A&M University Mays Business Schoo (Master of Science in Entrepreneurial Leadership)
- The University of California, Davis Graduate School of Management (MBA)
- University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business (MBA)
Be passionate, work on yourself, polish your skills and enter graduate school for an advanced degree in your favourite field or a business management degree. An MBA is a common graduate degree held by CEOs.
You can pursue a degree in your field of interest. However, a business degree for becoming a CEO is recommended. Students can pursue a major in business administration.
Eric Yuan Zoom Video Communications San Jose was named the best CEO in 2020.
Hillary Yip, at 15 years old, is the youngest CEO in the world. (2021)
Yes, CAs are most eligible to become CEOs.
Hence, we hope that these insightful lessons help you in inculcating the key qualities and attributes of a future CEO. Apart from these, hard work, sincerity and empathy are some quintessential qualities which take years to master. The process is tough but the result is surely worth it! If you are planning to pursue an entrepreneurship course or a business degree, our Leverage Edu experts are just a click away from helping you find the best course and university as well as guiding you throughout the admissions process! Sign up for a free session with us today!