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The Best Chief Executive Officers in the World Have These Three Traits

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Being a great CEO is a tall task which generally takes years of good times and hardships to master.

Many will hold the title but few will ever become truly elite.

The truth is, you don’t need to be elite to be successful in the position.

To be successful as a CEO, let’s look at three specific traits which can be spread across any business.

  1. They are Problem Solvers with a general knowledge on a lot of subjects.
  2. They have at least one or more superpowers.
  3. They know what they don’t know.

Let’s take a deeper look at each of these traits and try to mentally apply them to your role in your business.

CEOs are Problem Solvers with a general knowledge on a lot of subjects.

As the CEO, you will most likely be in charge of other people with different skills than your own.

For example, you may have a Marketing Manager, a Website Manager, a Product Manager, and a Shipping Manager.

Each of those people probably had some previous experience in their field as a stipulation of getting a job at your company.

As the CEO, it is massively helpful if you know “just enough” about their position and the required work flow to understand their challenges and where their efforts should be focused.

When we say “just enough”, in layman terms, that means: you know enough about it that they can’t misrepresent reality.

Some folks can make things harder than they need to be.

Some do things a certain way because that is the way it’s always been done.

Some will scale a problem instead of finding a better solutions.

Having a generalized knowledge of all of these areas will help you detect issues, foresee future problems and find areas of opportunity to streamline processes or potentially expand operations.

CEOs have at least one or more superpowers.

Superpowers typically happen naturally. Some can be learned over time, but most are rooted in the fabric of your personality.

For example, some people thrive in the spotlight. They can walk on stage in front of 1000 people and give an incredible performance on the first try.

Other people would rather stay behind the scenes and never even do a podcast or a group Zoom call.

There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, some of the best CEOs in the world are very guarded with their time and super selective about public appearances.

However, that particular skill of public speaking can be learned over time.

The same is true for sales. Anyone can learn the fundamentals of telling a story, or giving a presentation, or overcoming objections.

Some people can do all of those things without a lot of effort or practice, for others, they need a couple of years before they can do them with confidence.

The great CEOs typically have one or more skills that come to them almost second nature. Like they were born to do it.

They may be a good speaker from day one.

They may be great at numbers or finance with an uncanny ability to keep figures in their head and recall them on a moment’s notice.

They could be great copywriters with the ability to connect with people through books, or picking the perfect tagline for a product, or maybe persuade investors to come onboard with a world class pitch deck.

Maybe they are great visionaries that seem to possess the ability to see into the future and predict what people will want to buy in 5 years from now.

The list of super powers is long and subjective. The combination of multiple super powers is even harder to pin down, but if we take a look at all of the greats, it’s clear, they all have a combination of skills which led them to success.

One thing that seems to fit with all of them is their endless drive to learn along the way. Constantly trying to hone their craft and expand into new areas.

How to they do that?

CEOs know what they don’t know.

This is probably one of the hardest pieces of this puzzle. It takes internal reflection and a healthy dose of honesty with yourself.

Most CEOs believe they are good at their job. However, if we take a quick look at the stats from Lending Tree, we can see more businesses fail than succeed.

A vast majority of those failures were based squarely on the shoulders of poor leadership.

Of course, there are other contributing factors, but many of those are simply excuses. Given the right person with the right skills, most of those businesses could have successfully navigated to success.

The way forward is not always apparent at first glance. As with raising kids, many say growing a business “takes a village”.

One way to expand your knowledge and your vantage point of any business is to surround yourself with other leaders in the industry.

Their insights and observations of your business or its assets can be incredibly valuable to you and how you look at the struggles or shortfalls.

Elite CEOs are very aware of their areas of competence, and they know where the edge of their knowledge ends.

Most new Chief Executive Officers are required to learn while on the job, and many need to do it while trying to earn a living and provide for a family at the same time.

This financial burden can add additional pressure which leads to emotional choices instead of solid business decisions.

Here are some other things They Didn’t Tell You About Being A CEO.

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