If you’re ambitious, then you’ve probably thought about becoming a c-suite executive someday, or maybe even a CEO. Chief Executive Officers have a huge amount of responsibility but they thrive on the challenge and usually earn high salaries.
For people who enjoy a fast-paced job that’s never boring, a job as a CEO can be ideal. However, it’s the top job at almost any company and you’re not going to get there overnight unless you start your own company. Here are some of the skills you’ll need to go for the top job.
How to Become a C-Suite Executive
Executives are the highest-level employees, meaning that a combination of skill, experience, and dedication is required to land and excel in these jobs. However, the path to becoming a CEO isn’t always linear. You might be able to impress someone quickly and move up, or it might take many years of strategic moves.
It’s important to realize that even if you do move up the corporate ladder quickly, you need to have certain skills to succeed as a c-suite executive. Even if you start your own business and become an executive that way, you need to have good business sense, adaptability, and the willingness to learn new skills.
Education & Career Path
Starting with your education is key for becoming a CEO. You will need to start with a bachelor’s degree and move on to an MBA program if you want to get hired as a CEO someday. These programs will not only give you the business skills you need but will also give you incredible networking opportunities.
Once you’ve graduated, you will need to start gaining experience. You don’t have to stay at the same company for your whole career—you can build skills and jump to different companies as your career progresses. Eventually, you can gain the experience you need to get into the c-suite.
International Business Experience
We live in a global economy and knowing how to work well with companies in different countries is a huge bonus for those who want to become a CEO one day. If you can, it’s a good idea to get some international business experience or education.
Applying for jobs in another country can be intimidating, but it will make you much more competitive overall. You might also get an opportunity to learn another language!
The Personality Traits of a CEO
In addition to experience and business skills, CEOs need to have certain personality traits. Successful CEOs are innovative and willing to take calculated risks. They are also great communicators and listeners, are willing to coach their employees and possess a high level of emotional intelligence.
Although CEOs are often portrayed as authoritarian or self-serving, the reality is that these types of people don’t make good leaders. They might land CEO jobs due to confidence and charisma, but a lack of self-awareness, empathy, and humility will eventually land them in trouble. They don’t learn from their mistakes and eventually crash and burn.
It’s important to realize that you can work on these personality traits. If you need to brush up on your communication, start now. You can always improve your skills, whether they’re interpersonal or technical.
Networking, Mindset, and Skill Building
If you’re serious about becoming a CEO, then the best time to start on that path is right now. You will need a combination of skills, plus the right mindset and network to land the top executive job in the future. Some of the most important skills include:
- Financial management
- Market knowledge
- Attention to detail
These are just a few of the skills CEOs must build. While you will be delegating the majority of day-to-day tasks as an executive, you need to understand how everything works.
Networking and mindset are also key pieces of the puzzle. You have to have the right attitude and enough perseverance to eventually land an executive role. Knowing the right people will help you get in front of the right people so you can land the job of your dreams.