It is popularly said that “leaders are born, not made”. While one can debate this belief, a general observation of successful CEOs around the world reveals some telling signs of a great leader that can be indicators if a person is meant to be CEO or not.
Any ambitious person whether at the beginning of their career or a senior-level position often finds themselves wondering when, and if, they will become CEO of their company.
Even if you are a non-technical founder, having a startup of your own may be the easiest way of going about it.
Promising entrepreneur skills aside, to be a successful leader, a person intrinsically needs to possess certain qualities that are found only in those who are meant to be CEO.
If you have ever found yourself wondering what those signs are, we have listed down seven characteristics that can help answer if you are meant to be CEO.
7 Signs That You Are Meant To Be CEO
1. You Take Ownership For Your Actions
“People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives”.
These words were famously spoken by Theodore Roosevelt and they perfectly sum up the crucial difference between a person meant to be CEO and one that only wishes to be one.
If you are not afraid of getting your hands dirty when the time so requires and able to take ownership of the failures of your projects, you are a leader and not merely a boss.
One of the main qualities of a person meant to be CEO is being accountable for their actions and decisions, and not looking for someone else to blame.
A CEO is someone who can be entrusted with work and knows how to lead others into accomplishing goals but does not hide behind someone else or make excuses when things go wrong.
A great example here would be Apple’s late ace, Steve Jobs. He led Apple with a vision to change the world and he took full responsibility for his professional failures with the first versions of the Macintosh.
2. You Are Not Afraid Of Taking Risks
Taking risks does not imply jumping to decisions at the drop of a hat and putting yourself, others and the company in jeopardy.
A CEO is someone who analyses and charts out a path, taking calculated risks when necessary, rather than taking the safe road.
A person who falters at every stage cannot gain the trust of their team members, and someone who is meant to be CEO is sure of the steps they’re taking and gives their team confidence to see things through.
Such a person can be trusted with strategizing and planning the future of the company in the short and long-term.
3. You Communicate Effectively
Merely possessing a gift of the gab can only take you so far; although you may certainly be a favorite at entertaining your team.
Effective communication is defined by a person’s ability to put across their thoughts with clarity and affirmation, in a language well understood by their audiences.
CEOs are often required to take strategic decisions on behalf of the Company, and delegate work to those most suited to complete a job.
This often requires communication skills that only come with years of experience, immense confidence in your decisions, and being attentive to how others around you communicate.
Additionally, people who are meant to be CEOs are good storytellers, who can sell their dream to others and get them to participate in accomplishing it.
4. You Love Challenging Yourself
Whether it is taking up new tasks, learning a new skill, or solving an existing problem, a person meant to be CEO loves to challenge themselves.
Not only that, they love to consistently learn from difficult tasks which help them train their minds and gain a holistic experience.
One does not become a CEO by doing the same things every day and remaining stagnant in life.
To boost leadership skills and establish a position of trust within your peers, you need to take on challenges throughout your career that can help you gain meaningful experience.
Being involved in various activities at your workplace which requires leadership skills or choosing to study further to enhance your professional skills are a few of the things you may choose to do.
5. You Have High EQ
Being aggressive in your decision-making skills and chasing deadlines are important to attain success as a leader.
However, what distinguishes a person meant to be CEO from other leaders is the possession of a high level of Emotional Quotient (EQ).
A large part of being a CEO is taking thoughtful decisions, which comes from emotional intelligence. It also helps build stronger relationships with those you work with and those who work for you, also helping in being an effective communicator.
6. You Think Ahead
Successful CEOs are pioneers, leading the company with their vision and foresight by uncovering challenges that the company might face.
They are thought leaders and don’t jump onto the latest trends on a whim, but chart out their path with strategic thinking and analysis.
A person meant to be CEO is one who can make decisions for the greater good of the team without getting their ambition in the way.
Although once convinced about their vision, they ensure that everyone can envision the same dream and collectively work towards it.
7. You Are Able To Accomplish All That You Set Out To Do
CEOs rise through the ranks through years of hard work and toil, through effectively accomplishing tasks and most importantly taking them head-on and seeing them through.
There is no scope for half-finished or abandoned projects in the life of a person meant to be CEO.
This is a quality that can be attained through effective time management and ensuring productivity in daily life with the smallest of tasks undertaken.
This does not mean that a CEO does not know when to quit – especially if it hampers their growth or that of the company that they are leading.
Essentially, if you are a person who practices what you preach and are determined, empathetic, and decisive in your day-to-day actions, you are potentially a person who is meant to be CEO.
Additionally, even if you were a born leader, it takes constant and long-term efforts to hone skills that make others take notice and recognize you as the leader that you are born to be.