Ideas on paper

Thoughts by José Luis Agell

What being a CEO requires

These days, I’ve been thinking about the main characteristics that most leaders and CEOs should have. The reflection was prompted due to the article I read last week: The making of a CEO.

Some will probably put the communication skills on the first place. At the end of the day, a leader must be able to communicate the corporate vision internally and externally . Some might point out the capacity to set up clear goals and deadlines and the ability to motivate the team to meet the goals.

However, the author defends that CEOs nowadays require a completely different set of skills than some years ago. They need to create an expanding corporate culture and ambition, so new means have to be used. Concretely, the author mentions 3 key traits of a modern CEO:

  1. No Fear Communications. The Modern CEO must shake off the “analysis paralysis” and listen and engage with social media. While it sometimes seems impossible to manage the fire hose of information, social channels provide what CEOs need most – unfiltered feedback. CEOs need to blog, tweet, fan, follow, and friend their way into the hearts and minds of stakeholders.
  2. No Fear Ambition. Today’s CEO has to be comfortable in the digital realm, with ambitions to embrace mobile and social technologies and be willing to take a company in new directions. TechCrunch notes that it is critical that Chief Executives have the right kind of ambition. That is, ambition for the success of the company rather than ambition for themselves.
  3. No Fear World View. To achieve success today, CEOs need to cultivate an external world view which guides the company in the broader context. For the Modern CEO, The Triple Bottom Line has become the ubiquitous measure of success: People, Planet, and Profits.

I agree with these 3 points especially with the first 2- but I miss a mention to the capacity to engage people. A leader has to define the ambition, but more importantly, he/she needs to put together the right talent and make things happen. Therefore, the ability to motivate and engage the team has to be inherent in every CEO.

What do you think being a CEO requires?

2 responses to “What being a CEO requires

  1. Guillermo Casasnovas November 30, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Good article, Joe!
    In my opinion, a CEO also needs a clear vision. If he/she knows what he wants, it will be easier to communicate it and to engage the team.
    you will make a great CEO!

  2. Íñigo December 14, 2010 at 1:47 am

    jaja, visto así no parece tan difícil ser CEO 😉
    sentido común y don de gentes…
    un abrazo enorme pepe.

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