The Strengths That Make Up a Successful CEO

Let’s get one thing clear: there’s no such thing as a perfect CEO. While you may operate your business confidently and successfully, everyone has flaws. Those that lack communication skills may make up for it in their passion. Those that are great relationship-builders may struggle with big-picture thinking.

Below are a number of traits that successful CEOs often excel in, as well as thoughts on how to strengthen each of them.

Relationship-Driven

A successful CEO is one that’s driven to build professional relationships. In order to sustain a business’s successes, there needs to be a strong understanding of relationship building and management. A CEO can be brilliant connoisseur of financial basics and principles and still fail as a business owner.

Be a person first and a CEO second. Your employees are looking for someone who can be communicated with openly and honestly; by putting your CEO-status behind your natural personality, you’ll naturally build trust and positive relationships with the people around you. This also goes for customers – being human will attract customers far more than being robotic or scripted.

Tips for Cultivating this Strength

Reach out to your employees, even when it’s not something totally related to work. Take employees out for lunch and have normal, human conversations. You’ll get to learn more about your team, while also opening up and shedding off the CEO intimidation factor that so many employees try and avoid.

Delegation

A necessity for any leader is the ability to delegate projects and tasks to the right people in an efficient and helpful manner. Leaders that lack the ability to delegate effectively often become stressed quickly and in over their heads.

If this is more of a weakness for you than a strength, you’re in luck; delegating is a skill that can be learned, practiced, and improved upon.

Tips for Cultivating this Strength

The first step to becoming a better delegator is to learn to let go of taking over unnecessary projects and tasks. Whether you think you’re the best person for the job or you’re over-dedicated to a particular task, you’ll need to become comfortable with trusting those around you to help. Once you begin to build that trust and let go of some hefty responsibilities, you’ll be well on your way to delegating for the improved productivity and efficiency of your business.

Big-Picture Thinking

While you may get caught up in a lot of small tasks as a CEO, your job is really to focus on thinking about the long-term and big-picture. In addition to being passionate about your company, you’ll need to be visionary. What do you want to achieve? What are your long-term goals for the future of your business? Empowering yourself to step back and look at where your employees and your business are headed is a necessary endeavor for any CEO.

Tips for Cultivating this Strength

To hone in on a visionary and futuristic mindset, give yourself the time and space necessary. If you don’t force yourself to think about the big picture, you may get so caught up in the moment that you never have the time to. Push yourself to think about the future of your company, and always be ready with new ideas, new ways of thinking, and the goals to keep striving onward. You’re the leader – inspire those around you to step up and work alongside you.

Decisiveness

As the key decision-maker, this strength is a must. Don’t be the person who over-contemplates and over-thinks simple situations or decisions. As the person who everyone in the office likely looks up to for inspiration and confidence, being indecisive can bring people to doubt your abilities as a leader. In addition, being indecisive can bring your business to be inefficient when it’s not necessary.

Tips for Cultivating this Strength

Learn to take risks, especially when you’re only given partial information. Don’t expect that everything you’re going to be given will be 100% clear, or that the answer is going to be obvious. Rely on what you already know, your own instincts, and what has and hasn’t worked in the past to inform your decision.

Passion

Moreso than anyone else in the business, the CEO needs to have a love for what they’re doing and what their company is about. If the passion isn’t there, it’s very hard to get it back. Your employees depend on you at the very least to love your business and what it stands for. For CEOs, this is one of the most influential and powerful strengths to hone in on, as it inspires everyone in the company.

Tips for Cultivating this Strength

Reach out to your employees – learn about how their job has impacted their lives. Talk to your customers – how are their lives easier since they’ve purchased or used your products or services? These stories may help reignite the passion that was once at the cornerstone of your business. Remember why you’re there, how you (and your business) make a difference, and the real reason for why you rose to the top.

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