I love how the CEO life has been painted to be all fun and games, but I’ll be the one to tell you it is not for the faint of heart. It’s so many misconceptions surrounding the idea of being a CEO. Most people believe the CEO just sits around and calls all the shots...yea, if only it was really that easy. In reality, a CEO is the glue that keeps the business together. They have to be versatile, critical thinkers and hardcore decision makers. Needless to say it’s not a job for just anyone. So to put this thought that any idiot with an idea can be a CEO to rest, let’s break down a few popular misconceptions.
CEO's Sit Back and Call The Shots
Life would be nice is CEO’s only had one job...to tell everyone what to do. Too bad we live in reality where the CEO has to be ready to step in at any moment. Yea that’s right the CEO has to get down and dirty sometimes for the sake of the business. As CEO you MUST have a can do attitude. Whatever needs to be done has to get done one way or another, even if that means you have to get down and do it yourself. No matter how far your business advances, this part of the job never goes away.
CEO’s Automatically Get Respect
Boy oh boy, is this false. The title of CEO sounds nice and all, but it doesn't mean anything if you lack the leadership skills for the role. No one listens to the CEO just because they are the CEO. They listen to the person that they have the confidence in to lead the business in the right direction. And you better believe if people sense you are a pushover, they will run all over you with no remorse. It takes balls to be the boss.
CEO’s Get a Little Slack From Investors
Yea...right. I don't care if this is your first business as CEO or your 50th, investors are in the business to make money and that is exactly what they expect from you. Can you blame them though? They have trusted you with their money with expectations of a return, you better be busting your ass to deliver that promise. Now, investors are not expecting you to have all the answers and aren’t expecting you to be perfect. Mistakes happen, but when they do it’s best to be transparent about it and hold yourself accountable.
CEO’s Must Take investors Advice
While investors may be throwing advice your way, that doesn't mean you have to take it. You have to trust in YOUR decision making skill because at the end of the day, if the business goes down, you will be the one in the hot seat...not the dumb ass that gave you the bad advice in the first place. You have to be able to take into consideration what others in the company wants, but also educate yourself on what the company needs.
At the end of the day, CEO is not a job that everyone is cut out for. It takes a special type of person with valued skills to run a company. Yes, there are many successful CEO’s out there that live luxurious lifestyles and have it on display for the world to see. But, what you don't see is the endless amounts of work put into building that type of success. So, next time you decide “I can do that,” make sure you're ready to get grimy and handle all the dirt that comes with it.
Ziad K. Abdelnour, Chairman, President & CEO of Blackhawk Partners Inc, is widely regarded as one of the world's top business leaders. In addition to being a best-selling author, he is also a founder and Chairman of the board of the Financial Policy Council.
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