5 Qualities Women In Business Need To Be CEO
So you have an idea for a business and you believe you have what it takes to be CEO. Most of your role models are men and in watching how they perform you instinctively know that you will bring different qualifications to the job. The question is do you have the right qualifications for the position you have chosen for yourself?
Here are 5 qualities necessary to assess yourself for the position of CEO:
(1) Be A Cheerleader
The first responsibility of every CEO is to be a dynamic spokesperson for the business. Rah Rah Rah is how the buzz begins for every new business. New companies rarely have the financial resources for adequate paid advertising and it is the CEO's job to get out there and promote at every opportunity. New businesses are offered an opportunity to make a first impression as it is news when a new firm is launched. But, let it be perfectly clear you only get once chance to make a first impression - your energy and passion can and should catapult the business into the marketplace with a positive splash.
(2) Jack of all Trades - Master of None
You can't lead people if you don't know what they are suppose to be doing. Think of the orchestra leader. (S)he has to know exactly what each instrument must do in order to arrange for the music collectively to perform the piece. As CEO you must be prepared to understand the role of each contractor in the business in order for the company to flourish. If you are unaware in even one instant as to what one employee's role in the organization's execution of business is you put the entire company in jeopardy. This is not to say a CEO should micromanage the operation - only the worst CEOs make this mistake which takes me to #3.
(3) Delegate and Hire the Best Talent
Savvy CEOs understand that the best talent comes in a variety of packages. In other words, don't assume that because you like and feel comfortable with a candidate for the job that (s)he is the right person to do the work. Most often, particularly in small companies, the roles and responsibilities are so diverse that it takes a variety of personalities to fit the qualifications to get the job performance a company requires. You aren't hiring a friend to work with you - you are recruiting the best talent, someone who is smarter than you and is available for the task you need accomplished to take your business to the top. Know clearly what you need and then go out and bring on the best talent available. Your company culture will develop by your leadership and style.
(4) Be A Motivator
People love to feel that what they are doing is important and worth their time. When they witness the CEO in action, walking the talk of the company, and doing what it takes to win they respond with optimism and excitement as well as with a desire to feel part of the winning team. A startup company has its highs and lows and a CEO that understands that her/his actions and words are followed carefully by all involved also knows that moments of despair or fear MUST be done alone (ie. the reason isolation is the number one problem for CEOs). A CEO shakes off depression by motivating the team even stronger - (s)he takes advice from Knute Rockne quotes "Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points" - (s)he never lets her team see her sweat.
(5) Be A Leader
As obvious as this sounds too many CEOs don't see themselves in the trenches and being a leader means getting out there and doing it all. Everything from defining and keeping the vision of what the business stands for today, tomorrow and for the future to emptying the trash and making sure the workplace is presentable at all times for employees, customers and vendors. Leaders know that they are responsible for the overall organization and that they too have a direct boss -- the customer, and in some instances, the investors. Every CEO learns day one that (s)he will be required to make decisions every minute of every hour of every day. And, every decision will not be perfect but will have a consequence. The number one fault of failing CEOs is their lack of decision making. A wrong decision is almost always better than no decision at all.
Ask yourself NOW - do you have these 5 qualities - are you CEO material? The answer is important before you undertake starting your own business.
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