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What a Successful CEO Won’t Tell But Shows

Posted: December 4, 2013 at 7:17 am   /   by   /   comments (0)



Want to be a successful CEO? It takes more than just going to business school. Your MBA never really prepared you for everything you need to know to be a serial entrepreneur. Instead, it prepared you for some of the things you’ll encounter in the corporate world. But all serial entrepreneurs have the uncanny ability to succeed over the long-term, even if they fail in the short-term. That’s not something that all businessmen can say.

They Have Domain Expertise

All good entrepreneurs have domain experience – whether it’s technology or some other industry. Makes sense. How can a business owner succeed when they’re ignorant about the industry they’re entering? They can’t. If you want to be successful, the first thing you need is to be knowledgeable about what you’re doing.

They Have Good Leadership Skills

Good CEOs have great leadership skills. They have a vision and clarity of purpose. They are able to make tough decisions and see the big picture. They aren’t afraid to determine the fate of other people, and they create and change the culture of the entire company. They’re able to make judgments about opportunities, people, their own actions and the actions of employees.

They aren’t afraid of conflict and even welcome it. They also accept a unique kind of isolation. You have to be all of those things. Since the “buck” stops with you, there’s no one sitting over your head telling you what to do or who can understand what you’re going through. You bear all of the pressure of success or failure.

They Are Financially Savvy

Business owners have to be financially savvy if they want to stay in business. That means understanding things like profit margins, how to price products and services, how to negotiate financial deals, and how to do at least basic accounting.

They Can Sell

Entrepreneurs have to sell. If they can’t, they won’t be able to sell their ideas. The burden of success in an early stage startup rests on the shoulders of the CEO. Often, the CEO is either the only person really working for the company or he’s a major player. You have to have passion for your idea or product, and believe in it like nothing else. But you need more than that. You have to live and breathe your company – it has to be an extension of you.

They’re “Real”

There are dreamers and there are doers. Dreamers think big, but they can’t or won’t execute. Something always gets in the way of actually getting the business off the ground. A doer is someone who actually sets the ball in motion. He’s not afraid to take action.

They Have Amazing Perseverance

Organizations like Out of Sight help to build confidence in young people – and this is exactly what’s necessary to persevere. It’s also a necessary trait of a good entrepreneur. You can’t give up at the first sign of failure. You have to be willing to fail 20 times before you succeed once.

They Have Patience

Success doesn’t happen immediately. In fact, it often happens in fits and starts over an extended period of time. Usually, there’s no “huge launch” that catapults you from a “nobody” to a “somebody.” Success takes methodical planning and implementation. Dreamers often get caught up in the glitz and glam of success without actually implementing the real-world strategies needed to succeed. Keep your feet on the ground and wait it out. That’s how you become successful.

Mary Egan has always had a passion for books. She started her working life as a librarian and developed a career in publishing with a focus on high-quality books.

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