A Guest Post by John Marquez
Did you know? Companies run by billionaires are twice more likely to be successful than any businesses run by non-billionaires in the market.
It’s not just mere intelligence that sets them apart. Nor is it pure luck.
Maybe it’s a hefty inheritance for some – but there are plenty of self-made billionaires out there as well.
The truth is, CEOs share fundamental principles, ideals, and skills that allow them to excel in their respective niches.
Prominent CEOs like Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk, in particular, mastered key soft skills alongside hard skills.
And eventually, those very same skills propped them up to be revolutionary leaders of world-renowned companies.
Let’s take an in-depth look at the skills shared among today’s top-performing, modern CEOs.
1) A Strategic and Nonconforming Mindset
A CEO is not only an independent and strategic thinker, but they never fall short of taking action.
Studies reported that ultra-wealthy CEOs score low on agreeableness and high on the conscientiousness scale of the OCEAN test. They are nonconformists – unafraid to hold beliefs that deviate from the consensus of the crowd.
As the study showed, CEOs have a hungry and driven mindset and take action on the onset. Their go-getter attitude is paramount to their success.
They’re also relentless — willing to bend a few rules to achieve what’s needed.
Aside from that, the CEO’s mind is also fixated far into the future. They plan 5, 10, even 15 years down the line, taking all possibilities into account and evaluating the potential risks involved in taking certain angles over others.
A proper mindset is important for these leaders since it dictates the direction and culture of their organization. That mindset continues to run deeper than other colleagues at the macro-level, balancing what is ambitious and what is attainable.
This kind of calculated thinking trickles down the organizational hierarchy and oils the gears that keep a business running smoothly. Couple that with learnable technical skills, the business as a whole can achieve success rapidly.
2) A Mastery of Their Niche
You don’t have to be an expert at multiple domains to have your own successful CEO story.
Aiming to be an expert at everything not only spreads you too thin, it’s also an inefficient way to do business.
Zuckerburg is a knowledgeable programmer, and so was Bill Gates. Elon Musk himself is an extraordinary engineer.
But they don’t handle the accounting, or marketing, or administrative duties of their companies.
Even the skills they mastered when starting out, like programming, are now handled by their subordinates instead.
Instead of dealing with the technical aspects of a business, CEOs manage and supervise the talent that does the work.
CEOs understand that they can’t be an expert at everything outside their realm – and they’re at peace with that.
Of course, they have to be excellent at soft skills that can help them run their company more effectively.
An example of a trait that CEOs must possess is good critical thinking skills, which is important for them to continuously strategize the business’s direction.
Another one is time management skills, which is vital since they tend to wear multiple hats as the leader and representative of their business.
Instead of bandaging their weak spots, CEOs focus on excelling at what they need to know and do. That’s what continues to make them money, after all.
3) Calculating Risk-Takers
CEOs are not strangers to making big decisions.
Elon Musk sold PayPal and took that capital to create SpaceX — not knowing whether or not it would succeed.
It eventually did, and the company’s net worth now lies in the billions.
CEOs don’t flee at the first instance of hardship, either. They tackle challenges headfirst and use the resources they have at their disposal to pave their own path to success.
Their resilience is what separates them from the rest of the crowd.
If a difficult problem is at hand, a CEO would be the first to plan and execute a plan to improve the situation. A CEO’s brain is constantly solving problems and planning strategies, which is a desirable trait for any organization leader.
Gaining complete control of life’s many curveballs is one of a CEO’s many traits that propel them to action.
As a famous quote reads, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” And the modern CEO exemplifies this to the T.
4) Excellent Team Communicators
No successful CEO can ever taste the pinnacle of success without a dedicated team of talent supporting their back.
It’s true. A talented team of people who share your vision can go leaps and bounds towards your business’s success.
The CEO’s job isn’t to persistently and laboriously micromanage their team to ensure only quality output is delivered to customers.
Instead, they focus on instilling company values in the workforce and having proper training regiments laid out. They also need to make sure that supervisors are readily present to keep the business from imploding.
But that’s not all. A hallmark of a good CEO is not just their ability to lead a team. They must also be a beacon of inspiration and a solid mentor figure, too.
Needless to say, modern CEOs have excellent communication skills. They understand the importance of engaging productive and creative team members, galvanizing them to only deliver the best results.
And lastly, good CEOs understand the value of a two-way communication.
They can also play their leadership role well by actively listening.
By practicing empathy throughout interactions and lending an ear to employees, they can use their insights to cultivate company culture.
In summary, you can find these common skills in the modern CEOs of today:
- Action-Driven Mindset
- Mastery Over Their Niche
- Calculating Risk-Takers
- Collaborative With Their Team
With discipline, hard work, and a little bit of luck, the road to becoming a CEO is definitely possible. All you have to do is take that first step.