If you asked a random sample of workers whether they want the top job how many would say yes?
Probably quite a few.
CEOs, after all, earn a lot of money.
They also influence and shape their organisation, and they’re working at the forefront of what they do.
If a CEO is really good, if they’re really innovative, they can leave a long-lasting legacy and change the fortunes of their company.
But being a CEO is not for everyone.
By this, I don’t mean that you need to have an IQ of more than 160 (although that can’t hurt), but that it’s an extremely specialised job that requires very rare skills.
So here is a brief list of the bare basics of what you’ll need.
How many of the following ring true for you?
It will be very hard to become a top CEO if you’re a person who struggles to find energy.
CEOs often have energy to burn, which is a good thing too because the job demands so much from them.
If you’re someone who can’t sit still, thrives on a challenge, and is always looking for the next mountain to climb then this will come in very handy as a CEO.
We’ve written a lot in the past about resilience being important for success.
In fact, as we’ve said before, it’s even more important than being highly intelligent.
CEOs have resilience in their DNA.
There’s not a day that goes by when they don’t have to draw from their inner well of resilience to push on because of the daily challenges they’re facing.
If you’re easily thrown by problems or you shrink from a challenge, then you’ll struggle to make it as a top CEO.
While you need to care what the board and various stakeholders think, a good CEO isn’t worried about offending a few people in order to make the company better.
There’ll be decisions you need to make that won’t be popular in the short-term — or maybe ever — and you need to be able to look past this and do what’s right.
A thick skin is vital.
Without it, you won’t last very long.
What separates a good CEO from a great one? Passion.
If you truly believe in what you’re doing, if the values of the company match your own, then you’re in a very good place.
That passion will shine through in everything you do and the company will be better as a result.
A passionate CEO is infectious and that enthusiasm flows on to the staff.
It’s not spoken about a lot, but CEOs are innovators at their core.
They need to keep the company growing and in order to do that they need a strong entrepreneurial streak.
To be innovative, you need to be curious about almost everything.
The top CEOs ask questions about why things work the way they do and then they ask themselves if there’s a better way.
This is essential for company growth.
We hear a lot of talk about "disruption models" in businesses these days, but all good CEOS are disruptors.
They’re constantly pulling things apart and asking if there’s a better way of doing something.
How many of the above key traits do you think you have?
It doesn’t matter if you only have a couple because these are skills that can be honed.
Very few top CEOs have all of these skills naturally, but all of them are able to identify what they’re lacking and work on it.
And so can you.