4 Pillars of How to Think Like a CEO

We have all seen CEOs walk the halls of the workplace and thought to ourselves, “man, that person has this all figured out! Smart, confident and at the pinnacle of their career”.

Successful CEO

While you may catch yourself fantasizing about being in their position, you may not understand the behaviors and thinking patterns that led to that person’s success. Even the lowest level employees can start themselves on a path that will eventually lead to them thinking and behaving like a CEO. The result being that adopting these behaviors early on and perfecting them may wind up with you having their office down the road!

We will begin by examining a few of the behaviors that make executives successful CEOs and then discuss ways for employees at every level to adopt these behaviors into their everyday business. The effect of these behaviors will be noticed by not only your boss, but your boss’ boss and so on. According to Forbes, there are several characteristics that are attributed to CEOs (and anyone who aspires to having a successful career), we will take a look at a few of them and how you can apply them to your daily life.


A CEO is passionate about their work. They wake up in the morning ready to get to it, excited for the opportunity. Being captain of the ship is a stressful job with a lot of pressure. CEOs make decisions every day that affect each person in their employment; but they are eager to do so. Their day starts early, as soon as they wake up when they begin running through the tasks needed to be completed for the day. Arriving to work early, to lead by example and begin their day with vigor and purpose.

Every day, we should come into work with a clear idea of what goals we want to accomplish, tasks we want to complete; forging through these duties as if we were accomplishing even the most mundane task with an eye to the future.

Visionary CEO


A CEO must look to the future, and see not only where their business is, but where it is going. They must be innovators and disrupters in their industry to grow their company and develop new ideas. Complacency is not a word that a successful CEO can stomach for themselves, nor tolerate from their subordinates. They must always be looking to the future for new ideas, better solutions and cost cutting measures. A CEO is always focused on Strategic Leadership, ensuring their plans and innovation carries to every member of the organization

All of us must complete mundane tasks each day. However, it is how we approach these tasks that define our success. Do you know why this task is important? Is there a better, more efficient way to complete this job? Is this something that has been done for years that may be obsolete with new technology? Don’t settle for doing something the same way because “that’s the way its always been done”. Understand the reasons behind your tasks and try to improve your current position or department through innovation and thinking about the future.


Any good leader must learn to make difficult choices with the information they have at hand and stick to them. As they grow as individuals and leaders, they quickly learn to take a variety of opinions into account when determining the best course of action to take. A great CEO has assembled a great team. He or she knows that he is not making decisions in a vacuum and has brought in the brightest advisors available to help them make the best decision possible.

Encourage engagement and advice from teammates or co-workers when needing to make a decision at work. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but many of us try to solve every problem that crosses our desks by ourselves. A fresh perspective may lead to a new innovative process that benefits not just you, but the whole company. Asking for multiple opinions also means that you may prevent errors later on. Someone else may be able to look at a problem slightly different than you are able to at the time, leading to a better decision overall.

Busy CEO


To be a good CEO, you must be willing and able to ask questions, learn new facts and get comfortable learning skills that may not come easily to you. There has to be a level of curiosity inherent in your daily activities that shows you never want to stop learning. It is this commitment to the unknown that a good CEO is able to break the old paradigms of their organization or the business community as a whole. No one remembers the leaders who did not bring about radical improvement, only the one’s who changed people’s lives for the better.

Take some time out of your day to learn something new: talk to a co-worker, learn a new skill within the company, just ask questions of someone from a different department. Most people enjoy answering a general question here and there about their jobs and their daily routine. In the end, you will learn more about your organization, processes and procedures. You may even be able to make some suggestions that will help the company down the road!

A CEO has to be many different things and wear a lot of hats. They must know the inner workings of their company and surroundings; as well as manage and supervise employees. Due to this, they never stop learning, driving change and improving themselves and their standing within the company. We can learn a lot when we take a few tips from the top executive within our organization. It will lead not only to success in our careers, but also more knowledge and a positive outlook has the potential to lead to success in every aspect of our lives. Even if you never plan on being a CEO, it can only serve you well to think like one as you go about your job!


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