What does it take to be a great CEO? There is no single formula for becoming a great CEO, but there are certain qualities that all successful CEOs share. Here are some of the most important ones according to CEOs:
Leaders are often said to be born, not made. However, while some people may have a natural aptitude for leadership, it is also possible to develop leadership skills through training and experience. So what exactly are leadership skills, and why do CEOs need them?
Leadership skills can be broadly defined as motivating, inspiring, and guiding others towards a common goal. A CEO needs these skills to provide direction for their company and ensure that everyone is working towards achieving its objectives. In addition, a CEO must be able to make tough decisions, handle conflict and build relationships with key stakeholders to succeed, says Ibrahim Issaoui.
While leadership skills are essential for any CEO, Ibrahim Issaoui, CEO of the DRC-based Socimex Group for over 20 years, stresses they are vital for those who lead large organizations because they need to manage a complex web of interests, both inside and outside their company. For example, they need to be able to negotiate with government officials, convince investors to inject capital into their business, and deal with media scrutiny. In short, a successful CEO must be an effective leader to navigate the challenges of running a large company.
A CEO must have a strong business understanding to be successful. They must be able to understand and make decisions based on the current and future state of the company. They must also be able to understand the financial impact of their decisions. Furthermore, they must be able to motivate and lead their team to achieve success. A CEO with strong business acumen can make informed decisions to help the company grow and succeed. Without this critical skill, a CEO will not be able to lead their company effectively.
Being a CEO is not only about making big decisions. It’s also about effectively communicating those decisions to a wide range of people, from shareholders to employees, which requires a robust set of communication skills. First and foremost, a CEO needs to be an excellent verbal communicator. A CEO needs to be able to articulate their vision for the company and inspire others to buy into that vision. They also need to be effective listeners and take in input from various stakeholders and use it to make informed decisions. As CEOs often have to draft speeches, presentations, and other materials, written communication skills are also important. In today’s business world, public speaking skills are also highly valued, as CEOs often have to give interviews and make appearances at industry events. Lastly, interpersonal skills are important for CEOs because they need to be able to build relationships with key stakeholders. Strong relationships can help a CEO get buy-in for their vision and make it more likely that people will support them when tough decisions need to be made.
Integrity and ethics are essential for any CEO. Integrity ensures that a CEO is honest and truthful in all aspects of their job, while ethics dictate that a CEO acts morally correctly. Both integrity and ethics are essential because they help build trust between a CEO and their employees, shareholders, and the public. A CEO who is seen as dishonest or unethical is likely to lose the trust of their stakeholders, which can damage their reputation and result in financial losses. Furthermore, integrity and ethics help ensure that a CEO makes decisions in the best interest of the company and its employees. When faced with tough choices, a CEO with strong integrity and ethical values will be more likely to make the right decision, even if it is not the easiest one. In today’s business world, where trust is increasingly difficult to come by, integrity and ethics are essential qualities for any successful CEO.