5 Critical Traits of a Successful Chief Executive Officer

By: Jon Dulin

October 9, 2018

5 Critical Traits of a Successful Chief Executive Officer

If you want to run a company, regardless of its size, and be successful, there are certain traits that you need to have. After all, not just anyone can become the chief executive officer of a company.

Having certain traits will increase the likelihood of you making smart decisions and finding the right people not only for your team, but also your organization as a whole. And when you combine these, you end up with a business that thrives.

It’s important to remember that not everyone is meant for a management position. Even if you so badly want the job, as Steve Adcock from ThinkSaveRetire experienced, that doesn’t mean you’re fit to be in a high-level position. Many times you’ll find managers that “are only there for the money.” Instead, a good manager is there because he or she wants to see the business thrive.

So what are these traits of a successful chief executive officer? Keep reading to find out!

5 Critical Traits Of A Successful Chief Executive Officer

#1. Communication

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that communication is the most important trait of a successful chief executive officer.

As a leader of a company, you need to effectively communicate with your peers, your team, your employees, even stockholders and the media.

And if you don’t have strong communication skills, being a good leader is going to be tough. You will quickly find you are saying the wrong thing at the wrong time or even not saying anything when something needs to be said.

#2. Risk Taker

As the leader of a company, you are going to need to take risks, some big and even at times unpopular risks. But an effective CEO will be able to take calculated risks on an ongoing basis.

This doesn’t mean every risk will pay off or won’t be criticized by others. No one is able to be an effective risk taker and not fail.

But as a strong leader, you cannot let the unknown influence your risk taking and decision making. You need to have a process for making decisions and move forward when you feel that it is the right move for the business.

#3. Accepting Failure

As I just mentioned, not all risks are going to pan out for a successful CEO. Because of this, you need to be able to accept failure and learn from it.

What went wrong? Was there something you didn’t think of? Or maybe something happened that you weren’t expecting?

As long as you can accept failure and regroup to try again, you will be successful as the company leader over the long term. But you have to learn from each and every mistake you make, otherwise you are bound to repeat it.

#4. Listening

Do you hear people when they talk to you? I don’t mean can you hear the words they are speaking but rather can you hear what they are saying? Many people don’t listen effectively. Sadly, many of the people who think they are excellent listeners are not.

Too many times we are busy thinking of related stories in our mind or other things when someone is talking. If this is you, you need to stop and actually hear what they are saying.

By hearing what people are saying, you can more easily connect with them and help them solve their problems. Even if you can’t solve their problems, they will be grateful that they were heard and understood.

So make it a point to learn to listen effectively so that you can be a successful chief executive officer.

#5. Optimism

Seeing the world and situations as a glass half full will take you far in life. This is especially true for CEO’s as well. You won’t be a leader for very long if you think everyone is out to get you or there is no hope.

If you subscribe to this type of thinking, you won’t be motivated to grow your business and have it thrive, let alone deal with the day to day tasks of running a business.

When you have an optimistic outlook, it opens your eyes to more possibilities and more growth, both personally and professionally. And this growth will have a tremendous impact on the business as a whole.

Final Thoughts

There are the most critical traits of a chief executive officer. Notice that education is not on this list. While having a solid education doesn’t hurt, it isn’t a requirement to leading a business.

That is good news for anyone reading this, but there is even more good news. While not everyone is born with the traits listed above, many of the traits can be worked on and improved upon.

This means that even if you aren’t CEO material today, you can work to groom yourself and you can work to improve yourself to become the leader of an organization.

It won’t happen overnight, but if you work hard at it, you can greatly increase your chances of becoming the chief executive officer of an organization one day.

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About the Author:

Jon writes for Money Smart Guides, a personal finance blog that helps readers get out of debt and start investing for their future. He has been investing since he was 16 and has learned a lot through the years. He uses these investment lessons to help him be a more successful investor today. Also check out his contributions to Compounding Pennies and ETF Trends.

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