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Leadership Traits of Successful CEOs

9 Leadership Strategies and Traits of Successful CEOs

There are a few leadership traits that are common to successful CEOs. Some of which we try to discuss here. Here are a few leadership concepts that are common to high-flying CEOs. Five successful executives shared with us how they are adjusting their strategies to fuel the success of their businesses this year 2020. Here’s what they had to say:

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Ability to recover from failures quickly

“Every time you take on a challenge or make a decision, there’s are chances you may come up short, and there is nothing wrong with that. What is not alright is to let that mistake or temporary failure define you or your organization. In fact, moving on from mistakes – and quickly too – is critical to success this year.”

Reverse the hierarchical pyramid

The very best leaders understand that they actually work for their organization and employees as opposed to the other way around. This key tenant of servant leadership suggests that reversing the roles allows businesses to develop a culture based on service and support that ultimately makes a tremendous lasting impact on an organization’s business success.

This year, CEOs and other leaders must recognize that although they may be high on the chain of command, they should not be giving off the impression that they are ‘above’ everyone else in their organization. Recognizing that your organization is foundationally based on a team of people with unique sets of skills and backgrounds that are coming together for the greater good and a common goal of the organization is key to the success of your organization.

As a CEO, when you serve your people and recognize each employee’s value-add, this can help foster an open and supportive community, which builds the corporate culture needed for the success of your organization.

See also: Essential leadership skills for the next generation of leaders


Take a Stand on Social Issue

This year, all organizations are being asked to embrace a higher standard of ethics and equality. Customers, vendors, and employees all want this, and companies that live up to these standards are rewarded.

As a CEO, how do you make sure your company is living up to changing social norms?  First, conduct an audit of your policies, then ask for feedback from all your stakeholders and employees — both internal and external — to see if your company is truly in alignment with changing social norms.

Provide guidance and direction

More than ever, leaders are being asked to be an example in times of challenges and trials. These examples will inspire a team to push through and achieve outstanding results regardless of challenges.

As the leader, you are not the one digging the ditches and blazing the trail. You are the one providing the direction. Also, you are the one encouraging and empowering those around you to perform optimally and find value in the job that they do.

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Focus on profitability, not revenue growth

As most entrepreneurs are hyper-focused on revenue, we have always pushed management to shift focus to profit. Financial transparency with your team can be a key indicator of a business’s health. Transparency can fuel the following questions: Is it really worth the effort when revenue is XX and profit is XX? Most importantly, is it sustainable? Not really.

Investing in employees’ financial perspectives has created a paradigm shift from thinking about revenue to thinking about profit. In return, this has brought employee morale up, creating an environment for them to win and remain happy. Why? The long-term strategy indicates a profiting entity retains more money to invest in its team, its business, and most importantly success.

When you recognize the value of giving your employees a voice and fostering a transparent and collaborative work environment, you open the door to endless opportunities for your brand to reach new heights this year.

Look out for the “Iceberg”

Successful CEOs are visionary. When we say “Iceberg”, we mean the ability of a CEO to describe the different elements of the organization’s culture from the hidden and unseen to the visible and explicit. This is one of the most common attributes of great CEOs. They have the ability to see into the future. The capability to see beyond the imagination of the employees.

Most times, the ideas and projections of a CEO may sound weird to the employees who may see them as impossible to implement in reality. Even when this happens, like a good CEO, you shouldn’t be upset. Whenever you record 100% buy-in from your employees, know that there is danger.

There should be at some points some sort of disagreement between the CEO or founder who sees the future and the employees who do not. The reason for this is that they both have different levels of experience, mindsets, and factors to take into consideration.

As the head of the organization, you are expected to always look out for opportunities and trends, and even pitfalls, and tell everyone what to do to avoid dangerous curves. Leaders know what’s to happen next. Employees execute on the current and probably overvalue the past. It is the job of a good leader to communicate ideas and plans to the employees.


Understand you’re a parent, not a babysitter

Most of the time, this understanding is what differentiates successful CEOs from unsuccessful ones. Good and successful CEOs don’t micromanage. They allow the employees to do their work while they watch and occasionally step in to support. They are parents and not babysitters.

The biggest vulnerability of CEOs with this leadership style is creating entitlement. That is, their ability to fix problems and create top-line revenue which gives other leaders within the organization a false impression that they are the ones getting results in their respective departments.

Successful CEOs give their employees room to try, fail, and most importantly learn. At the same time, they help them to acquire the capability to carry out high-level executions on their own. Successful CEOs are risk bearers. They sometimes make decisions that neither they nor the company is ready for.

It is always the responsibility of successful leaders to take the bull by the horn. To take decisions that might raise tension in the organization in the short run, but beneficiary in the long run.

Make your employees feel safe

Job security is one of the greatest concerns of employees. This is one thing successful CEOs do and do very. They make people feel safe and secure around them. There are a number of reasons safety help create speed in business;

When people do not waste their time trying to figure out how to resolve a situation, they will have time enough for projects and program execution. As a result, the entire organization’s working machinery produces higher output faster.

It is the duty and responsibility of a CEO to create a safe business environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their plans in advance. This successful CEO knows how to do very well.


CEOs work for their employees

This is one of the top Leadership Traits of Successful CEOs. The knowledge that their employees don’t work for them, but they, do for the employees. Although, This is very hard for a lot of leaders to understand and accept.

Many leaders and managers think that becoming one is “graduation” without knowing that is rather the other way. The bitter truth is that successful CEOs actually work for their employees. They understand everything their employees want at a time. CEO constantly adapt to the needs of their employees from the organization.

When you are promoted from a project executioner to a team manager, you are promoted from trading on IQ to trading on EQ. You are promoted from doing the actual work to listening to employees and meeting their needs, taking the blame, and yea, being the bigger person.

The best CEOs are actually the best career mentors.

9 Leadership Strategies and Traits of Successful CEOs – See Video

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