Many young professionals aspire to become a chief executive officer of a large company. In addition to being a highly esteemed position, the role of a CEO often comes along with a sizeable salary. Not surprisingly, this post also involves a great deal of responsibility. Thus, the road to becoming a CEO is usually not an easy one.
Consider what it takes to be named CEO and whether this job may be right for you.
What Does a CEO Do?
Because every business functions a bit differently, the duties of a CEO vary from company to company. For instance, CEO Patrick James Trico may have different responsibilities than a CEO for a small startup company. Overall, CEOs act as the top figure in a leadership hierarchy that governs a business’s operations. This means they are in charge of making decisions that influence a company’s trajectory in a significant way. These decisions may involve areas such as a business’s use of technology, operational strategy or financial approach.
In addition to their decision-making roles, CEOs often must handle the structure of the leadership team they work with. This may mean hiring new staff members, providing additional training for current staff members and even creating new positions where additional help is needed. Finally, CEOs often represent their company in front of the public. This may require interacting with the media or communicating with shareholders.
What Traits Are Important in a Successful CEO?
While many CEOs spend years gaining the education and work experience they need to succeed in their post, there are some inherent characteristics that make this job much easier. For example, CEOs are often people who are able to envision the big-picture when it comes to their business’s future. This enables them to see more than individual details in order to make decisions that are holistically beneficial. In addition, CEOs should be able to work well under pressure so that they can make quick decisions when necessary and remain strong in the face of criticism.
Another important trait for CEOs to have is the ability to communicate effectively. This may mean that a person enjoys talking with others and has enough charisma to encourage others to back up their decisions and follow their instructions. Likewise, CEOs must be able to handle public relations situations, in which they must speak in front of an audience and communicate clearly.
How Much Education Is Required?
Although there are a number of famous CEOs who do not have college degrees, getting an education at the undergraduate and graduate level often improves one’s chances of attaining this post. Because CEOs must be knowledgeable about many aspects of a business’s operations, earning a bachelor’s in a topic such as business, finance or economics is often a good move. Alternatively, you may choose to major in something related to management since the role of a CEO requires leadership skills.
Obtaining a Master of Business Administration is also a smart step. MBA programs usually encompass a wide range of subjects related to business. This is especially beneficial for an aspiring CEO because this position requires you to be involved in so many areas of a company’s operations. These programs also enable you to get to know other people in the business world, establishing a network that may benefit you in your career journey. If you are considering earning an MBA, be sure to look into all of your options. You can choose from full-time, part-time and even online programs in order to accommodate your schedule.
What Sort of Work Experience Should Future CEOs Pursue?
There is no specific career path that one should follow in order to become a CEO. In general, people who rise to this position work a variety of different jobs and gradually assume more and more leadership responsibilities. Sometimes the journey from an entry-level position to a senior-level management role to a post as a CEO can take more than 20 years.
For young professionals, it is wise to gain as much experience as possible. This means that you may not want to remain in the same position for too long, as you want to expand your skillset. You may be able to achieve this while working for a single company, or you may have to consider applying for positions elsewhere. It may even be worthwhile to keep an eye open for an opportunity to work for an up-and-coming business, as this will demonstrate that you know what it takes to help build a business from the ground up.
Becoming a CEO requires a lot of dedication. You must be willing to work your hardest in lower-level positions in order to rise step by step to greater assignments. On top of that, the best CEOs have certain personality traits, such as extroversion and boldness, that help them succeed. If you feel this career path is right for you, consider what your next best step is and take it as soon as possible.