What Makes a Great CEO You Wonder?
Do you want proof that quality company leadership is critical to an organization’s success? After all, what makes a great CEO? There is no need to look further than the old saying of “People don’t quit their jobs. They quit their leaders.” To that end, being an efficient CEO involves a lot more than just “having a vision” or “barking orders.” It’s not about commanding anyone to follow your lead. It’s about showing, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that your lead is worth following in the first place. People won’t work hard, put in long hours and dedicate themselves to your dream because you told them to – they have to want it for themselves, too.
What Impacts Your Business?
This simple idea of leadership generates a massive ripple effect that impacts an organization in nearly every area and in every way that you can imagine. In fact, recent research done by TINYpulse even shows that strong management quality and transparency leads to 30% better employee retention across the board. However, at the same time, all of this demands the question – what makes a great CEO in the first place? Is the chasm between a good CEO and a great CEO is truly as deep as it appears? What qualities do you need to work on to guarantee that you end up being that great CEO?
The answer to that particular question requires you to keep a few key things in mind.
The Three “Ps” of a Great CEO
Make a list of all the core qualities that set great CEOs apart from the rest of their contemporaries. What would be on that list for a great CEO? Personality, perseverance and perspective would undoubtedly be right at the top. As an entrepreneur, you must have a clear vision for your business. Plot the course to set out on where success is the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The three “Ps” will absolutely impact your ability to get from one end of that journey to the other.
What Should Be the Personality of a Great CEO?
In terms of personality, this quality is essential because you need to get buy-in from your employees and other key stakeholders. If you don’t, you can kiss your business goodbye before it’s even truly had a chance to start. Essentially, you have a vision that you believe in wholeheartedly – your personality will get other people to believe in it, too.
According to the Harvard Business Review, this means being able to balance keen insight into your stakeholders’ priorities with an absolutely unrelenting focus on delivering business results day in and day out. Essentially, you need to be able to deeply understand who needs to be onboard, what those people’s needs and motivations truly are AND what you can do to get them on board by aligning those motivations around the ultimate goal of value creation.
Madeline Bell, CEO of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, says that when it comes time to make any big business decision she first begins by making a list of all the key people who NEED to be on board to guarantee success. She says that she identifies “the detractors and their concerns, and then I think about how I can take the energy that they might put into resistance and channel it into something positive. I make it clear to people that they’re important to the process and they’ll be part of a win.” Without the right focused personality by your side, this will be an uphill battle on the best of days.
It Takes Perserverance to be a Great CEO
Another aspect of what makes a great CEO is perserverance. On the subject of perseverance, one of the major factors that goes into creating a great CEO involves two things. First, the ability to embrace appropriate risks. The second, is the desire to act and capitalize on opportunities when they present themselves. To put it simply, this means that the CEO is usually less cautious. The CEO is more likely to snap into action than other senior executives simply because they must be – that’s literally part of their job.
At the same time, this doesn’t mean that a great CEO somehow manages to hit a home run every time they step up to the plate. Far from it. What makes a great CEO is being willing to take risks means being willing to fail. That means the CEO accepts responsibility and finds valuable learning opportunities inside every strike out scenario. Risk for the sake of it is not what compells people to follow. Instead, it’s being willing to take a big risk and still fail. All while, at the same time, finding a way to come out stronger on the other side.
A Great CEO Needs Perspective!
But out of the three Ps, perhaps the most important one is also the final one: perspective. Being a great CEO and a great entrepreneur are two very, very different things and should always be treated as such. As a great entrepreneur, you have a vision and a clear path for success. It means that you’re going to start that business you’ve always dreamed of come hell or high water. You’re going to lay every brick on the road to success yourself if you have to because you simply can’t help yourself. In a lot of ways, it’s the reason why you get up in the morning – you CAN do it all yourself because you MUST do it all yourself so you WILL do it all yourself if you have to. The first step towards becoming a great CEO involves the realization that this is no longer the case.
A CEO Can’t Do It Alone!
This, in turn, is where perspective will come in handy. When it comes to what makes a great ceo, the realization that you can no longer do it all yourself needs to strike home. Mainly because your company has grown into something far larger than you could have ever hoped for. This means that you’ll need to do more than just get comfortable with the idea of delegating responsibility. It means coming to terms with the idea that you are no longer the single master of your own destiny. You’re simply one of many voices that are trying to accomplish the same thing, albeit one of the most important ones.
Do You Have the Courage to be a CEO?
To be a great CEO, you need the courage to not only hire the right people. You have to do whatever you can to help them succeed. This means going out of your way to NOT surround yourself with sycophants and “yes” men and women. It means hiring people who will challenge you. Who will argue with you. Who will tell you to your face that you’re making a huge mistake and then back that statement up with a laundry list of reasons why.
The simple fact that you’re willing to open yourself up to this type of situation means that you’ve taken one of the biggest steps forward in terms of becoming the CEO you always hoped you could be. There’s a reason why, according to research conducted by Glassdoor, CEOs who are also their company’s founder often generate better results than externally hired or internally promoted CEOs – nobody would choose to fight (and potentially lose) these battles if they had even a remotely viable alternative option. But for you, there isn’t another option at all. You just can’t help yourself! That’s what makes a great CEO. You don’t want to be a good CEO – you want to be a GREAT CEO. Rest assured, this is a very exciting position to be in – both for you professionally and for the company that you’ve already worked so hard to build.
Do You Want to Become a Great CEO?
Now that you know what makes a great CEO, do you have the right corporate accounting firm in place? I welcome you to call Worthtax and ask for me, Alex Franch, BS|EA at 781.849.7200 or email us at email@example.com. Or, if you prefer, you can book an appointment online here.
I would love to hear your comments below about your business experience or about the new tax law. Do you think you will make money or lose it in the future and why?
Alex Franch, BS EA
Alex is a Tax Specialist and Partner at Joseph Cahill & Associates / WorthTax. He has a diverse background including a Bachelor of Science from Boston College in Mathematics and extensive military service. Alex is an Enrolled Agent and has a decade of tax preparation experience. He is passionate about serving businesses with tax and financial planning strategies.
Mr. Franch is licensed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). He holds a Series 6, 63, 65, and 7, and by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Division of Insurance.
Alex Franch is a registered representative of, and offers securities and investment advisory services through, Commonwealth Financial Network. He is a registered broker-dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC.
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