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Top 5 Leadership Skills for CEOs

Becoming a CEO takes business experience and a willingness to grow your leadership 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 needed from influential leaders who are looking to innovate, inspire growth and build a healthy working environment. 

1. CEOs lead 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. CEOs require emotional intelligence 

When becoming a CEO, you should strive to be an approachable and self-aware presence in the workplace. This can be a difficult skill to learn 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. CEOs with the skill to be emotionally intelligent will take the time to understand team morale and pick up on non-verbal cues to manage the team empathetically.

3. CEOs need to be socially aware

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 is required from CEOs

The ability to shape and define the framework of a business strategy is a primary skill 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 those becoming a CEO 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. CEOs require 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 to ensure you are equipped with the required skills. 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.

Online Study Success 

Every student starts their study journey with high hopes for success but if you haven’t studied online before, let alone while managing competing responsibilities, you might be wondering if you have what it takes to remain motivated and achieve your goals.

Top 3 Benefits of Networking Online

It’s never been easier to virtually network and being an online student puts you in the perfect position to reap its benefits. Networking is an excellent way to get ahead in your career or field and create professional connections that could last a lifetime. 

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