What does it take to become a CEO in a Company?

Companies are becoming more demanding in the choice of their staff due to the increase in competitiveness in the market. This compels them to have high profile executives to face the rising challenge.

In that sense, selection processes must be as thorough as possible, especially when it comes to professionals of the highest level, as a CEO. But, how do you choose these professionals in order make a company thrive?

The responsibilities of a CEO involve decisions that can empower or lead a company to failure. Therefore, the qualities they must possess are essential for the success of the company. Even though the characteristics looked for in high-level executives depend on the sector and specific position, there are some general requirements that all CEOs must meet. Here are some of them:

  • Expertise: They need to be proven and tested leaders, which have a long and successful professional career with ample evidence that under their administration a company or an important division within the company was successfully managed. This high profile executive must have international experience, be proficient in a foreign language and be up-to-date in technological matters and, of course, in their own field.

  • Versatility: CEO candidate should have ample experience not only in marketing, finances and sales, but also in logistic operations and human resources, because people are an essential factor in the success of a company today.  The CEO also has to have a humble and accessible profile, attentive to the demands of the workers and, above all, of the customers.

  • Leadership: Potential CEOs must be great motivators. They must be leaders who can engage their teams with the mission, vision and goals of the company. This is a key competence: a vision for business and the ability to create new visions for the organization, to be strategic, have initiative to take on challenges, opportunities, and provide solutions to problems and situations, and be prepared for change and innovation.

  • Team-work. A CEO should be someone that is committed to work in teams in order to improve the company’s progress. Business does not just mean for them selfish gain. But there is an interest in making the business grow for the corporate benefit and that of the employees as well.  CEOs work with managers at a higher level but they are able to relate to workers as well.  Not only with their own teams CEOs should be able to work, but with other directors of the organization that may be in other locations, since companies with a global operation require team efforts to get better strategies and results.

  • Communication. A CEO must have the ability to interact with others, leading work teams, to influence, manage and control all the people who work in the organization, with the aim of achieving business results. Not only must the CEO be able to communicate but also to listen. The CEO must convey the mission and vision of the company effectively. if they fail to communicate the goals of the company in the right way, it would be harder for the organization to go where it needs to go.

  • Approach to results. In a globalized world as the one we are living in, a CEO must show excellent business results and should also be prepared to deal with any organizational change, strategy or personnel that may be present in the company. Some CEOs may face challenges in the achievement of results due to political, economic, social or market issues, but if the leader is focused on the result, the right strategies will be implemented to overcome any problem that comes their way.
  • Know-how.  Potential CEO candidates must know the company’s operation in all of its levels. In some cases, they might have to demonstrate how a process should be done. That ability to understand the overall operations of the company encourages employees to trust their management. Additionally, they must have excellent administrative, negotiation and decision-making skills. They have to be practical, oversee and guide and empower employees to excel.
in the office_hiring a ceo_jason hanold_human resources

Image courtesy of Grant Wickes at Flickr.com

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To sum up, any candidate that wants to take on the challenge of being a CEO has to prepare. They have to develop the necessary skills that will enable them to assume this great responsibility when the opportunity arises. In order to do this, they must assume functional roles that enrich them with the experience, knowledge, visibility and exposure required. Also, they have to be very proactive in order to anticipate the right moment to take a step forward.

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