Top 5 Leadership Skills for CEOs
Becoming a CEO takes business experience and a willingness to grow your skills for a higher c-suite position. As a CEO, you will move beyond specialised teams and take on greater responsibilities to shape and direct a business with instilled values in mind. This level of leadership requires entrepreneurship and the ability to problem-solve across all aspects of a company.
Continue reading to learn about the top skills required from influential leaders who are looking to innovate, inspire growth and build a healthy working environment.
1. Leading with understanding
CEOs and c-suite roles set the tone for the whole team to follow. To promote collaboration, productivity, and synergy within a team, you must lead with understanding. Workplaces can be culturally and generationally diverse, bringing people of different backgrounds and experiences together - this is something to be celebrated by leaders. CEO’s are encouraged to take the time to learn about their colleagues and acknowledge their diversity - ensuring that they are heard and understood.
2. Emotional intelligence
When becoming a CEO, you should strive to be an approachable and self-aware presence in the workplace. This can be difficult due to the nature of the role as it requires a level of emotional awareness to connect with team members. People spend a large portion of their lives at work and their mood can be affected by workload, management styles and personal factors. Emotionally intelligent CEOs will take the time to understand team morale and pick up on non-verbal cues to manage the team empathetically.
3. Social awareness
Businesses are a driving force in our society and have the ability to create a large amount of social impact. There is growing consumer sentiment around supporting companies that create positive change in the world and deliver promises on equality, environmental protection and social welfare. A recent study by Deloitte reveals that 34% of consumers choose to support brands with sustainable practices and values. CEO qualities that show strong social awareness can create a company that operates ethically, thereby improving its corporate social responsibility and aligning with the beliefs of its customer base. A purposeful company culture ensures that the business is not just operating for profit but strives toward social goals.
4. Strategic thinking
The ability to shape and define the framework of a business strategy is a primary quality of the modern CEO. It takes a strategic mindset to create a long-term plan and bring goals to fruition. Strategic thinking involves the use of data modelling to enable CEOs in training to identify and plan around key business trends and insights. When considering ‘how to become a CEO of a company’, the ability to translate data informed research into actionable plans is required. With time, CEOs are able to create strategic road maps to lead businesses toward success.
5. Interpersonal skills
Developing interpersonal skills is valuable for CEOs, as they must relate to a variety of stakeholders both within and external to the business. This skillset allows individuals to communicate with others at different levels - an important CEO quality to have when networking and building business relationships. Having the ability to read the room and communicate with people on an appropriate level requires a level of experience and exposure within the corporate world.
How to become a CEO
If you’re ready to take on the challenge and want to work towards becoming a CEO, further studies might be the next step. The University of Adelaide’s online MBA is a specialised program for the next generation of ethical, adaptive and skilled business leaders. This program offers courses like ‘Leadership and Influencing’ and ‘Manage People and Organisations’ that can give you the right training for complex and high-level decision-making. The University of Adelaide’s online MBA has been developed with a modern business lens and holds an ethical approach to value-based leadership.
If you have any questions about the online Master of Business Administration or around enrolment, make an appointment to speak with an advisor today.
Want to read more about leadership? Continue reading about the difference between leadership and management here.
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