How To Start Building Leadership Skills

No matter where you are on the company ladder, there are always ways and means to start building your leadership skills. Preparing yourself for the next step in your career will have you standing first in line for the next promotion. The following suggestions will have you well on your way up that ladder if you practice them religiously. These tips and suggestions include:

Act “As If” You Have Already Been Promoted

You want to move up and one of the best ways to do this is to act as if you already have the next position above the one you have now. Dress like it, talk like it, and carry yourself as if you have already achieved the next rung on the company ladder. Upper management will notice your new professionalism, and you will be in the spotlight for a brand new leadership career.

Support Upper Management

Always support the decisions and actions of management. When others are complaining and rebelling, realize that there are reasons for the changes and decisions that lower level employees may not be aware of. Be vocal and visible in your support and defend your company’s position.

Practice Leadership Traits

Do not be judgmental or arrogant as a co-worker or supervisor. Neither of these have any place in a true leader’s daily life. A real leader will be empathetic, caring, calm. understanding, and be open to new ideas. Practice these traits even when you feel frustrated and overwhelmed.

Read Biographies, Psychology, and Self-Help Books

Become an avid reader of leadership authors such as Anthony Robbins, Steven Covey, and Dale Carnegie. Study psychology so you can understand why some individuals think they way they do. Biographies of great leaders can be enlightening and educational.

Choose a Mentor

Select a professional whom you can emulate. This person can be someone you know and trust or can be a figurehead that you can follow from afar. It can even be someone who is no longer alive or is in your history books. Study that individual and how he treated employees and other individuals to get a true feel for what being a great leader is all about.

If you take this path, it won’t be long before you get noticed by the higher-ups. These are also excellent steps to follow if you own your own business and want to be an effective and productive supervisor or manager.

Skills Every Leader Should Be Proficient In

Some leaders are more effective than others. This can cause one to wonder what it is that the more effective leader does. There are some very important skills that are important for leaders to have. Leaders with these skills are more likely to be effective in business.

Shows Great Ethics And Makes People Feel Safe

One of the most important factors in leadership is how good he is at gaining the trust of his followers. The way that a leader can gain trust is by showing a great sense of ethics and safety. This shows that he actually cares about the people working for him. Therefore, he makes sure that he is clear on what he expects and any upcoming changes he is aware of.

Helps People Feel Connected

Many people have had jobs where they have felt as if they did not belong. This often resulted in their work performance falling short and in some cases, their lack of following what the leader has set out.

Willingness To Accept New Ideas and Solutions

Among the types of leaders that people are going to run into are those that are open to new ideas. Leaders with this type of flexibility are going to have a better time connecting with their workers. For one thing, this helps the workers stimulate their minds as well as bodies in the workforce. When people deal with the rigid approach to leadership, they are less likely to stick around for the long haul.

Encouraging Self-Organization

When leaders are clear in the direction they give their workers, then they are more likely to get the results they want from their workers. One thing that can frustrate workers a lot is a leader that is confusing in the directions that he gives the worker. When a leader does nothing to make himself clear, one of two things could happen. The worker could give up and walk out, or the worker could do things the wrong way.

Effective leadership is very important to the success of a business. In order to get the best performance from his worker, he has to make sure that he is providing an environment that is very productive. Among the things to do when leading someone is let them know when they are doing something right as well as when they make a mistake.

Habits to Get You Into the C-Suite

You can overcome significant barriers to job advancement by simply practicing healthy thought and behavior patterns. These habits are practiced by leading Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) throughout the business world, and following their example can help you follow their success.

Be Part of the Team

CEOs are leaders, and leaders are part of the team. Start being a team player by understanding how your specific job is related to the product or service your company provides. This may lead you to think of ways your job could be done better. Second, promote the culture of the workplace, even if you see things that could be better. Volunteer for company charity events and participate in company outings.

Communication is a part of every work culture, so be sure to practice it. Remember, no workplace is perfect. Griping and complaining are negative practices that can prevent you from seeing a way to make things better, or from encouraging others. If someone starts griping to you, listen politely while looking for a way you can help in the situation. Unfortunately, some people just love to complain. Don’t be a party to this. It damages the culture and the company.

Practice Leadership Skills

Refusing to be drawn into a negative conversation is leadership because it demonstrates to everyone how to get out of these situations. Look for other ways to practice leadership skills, such as by setting goals for yourself. Then encourage others to set and pursue their own goals, and try to find some way to contribute to their success.

If you have management responsibilities, there is a balance to be struck when using this approach. Good leaders allow team members to make their own decisions on some details of the job. After all, thinking of ways to do a job better is one of the first attributes of CEO thinking, and leadership means building this skill in others.

Take a Long View

Every business and every job has its bad days. Don’t get ruffled by them. Focus on the long-term prospects for your job and the business. Encourage this attitude in those around you, primarily by demonstrating it.

This is so important that if you can’t do it you should move on to a new job. CEOs believe in their jobs, so if you don’t see a long-term future it is time to move on to somewhere else.

What You Haven’t Heard About Being CEO

Being a CEO is actually a tremendous responsibility and the weight of that responsibility can take a huge toll on a person. Long is the list of CEO’s who have crashed and burned from the tremendous weight of leadership. Burning out doesn’t have to be a fact of life for CEO’s, however. As the new saying goes, it’s important to “put on your own oxygen mask first.” Here are 3 ways to engage in good self-care, which will help you to lead effectively over the long haul.

Rise early and start slow

Many people have this idea that the most productive people spring out of bed at the crack of dawn (or before) and immediately spring into action. That might be the best recipe for burnout, however. In reality, it can be far wiser to rise early and spend those early morning hours in thoughtful pursuits like planning, envisioning, meditating and even getting inspired. Early mornings are a great time to lay out a plan of attack for the day and strategize any current challenges you or your company is facing. Before you act, it’s important to have a plan and early mornings are a great time for developing one.

Throughout the day, breathe, write and move

Breathe: Taking as little as 30 seconds to breathe deeply several times a day will go a long way towards reducing stress and oxygenating the brain.

Write: Throughout the day, whenever you encounter a problem or issue that needs to be dealt with, write it down. Not only will that help you get it “off your mind” – literally – but it will give you a reminder of the problems that need to be solved during you morning strategy session.

Move: CEO’s spend an inordinate amount of time sitting behind computers and in meetings and conferences. Moving throughout the day is extremely important. It’s much better to do some kind of active movement 5 minutes every hour than to do a single hour-long workout before or at the end of the day. You can still put in that time, but it’s also important to stay loose and limber throughout the day.

Reflect

All too often, it is so easy for one day to simply run into the next that we can feel like a hamster on a wheel just running, running, running and getting nowhere. Taking some time at the end of each day to reflect on achievements, accomplishments or advancements you have made can minimize this feeling of constantly running and never getting anywhere.

Being CEO is Not Easy: Here’s Why

It more than likely goes without saying, but being the Chief Executive Officer of a company is no easy task. What’s more important to talk about is why. Not many people know exactly what it takes to be a CEO or what makes it such a hard job. We have a general understanding that the title comes with a lot of responsibility, but here are a few of the difficult parts of the job.

CEOs have to take the biggest risks

As CEO, you’re the head risk taker. It’s your job to steer the company in an innovative and explosive growth directions. More often than not, that involved taking quite a big risk. There’s no great reward without a substantial risk. This can be a taxing part of the job, especially when taking a risk falls up short.

Earning Respect of All Employees

Earning the respect of an entire company is not an easy task. Plus, you have to give respect to get it back. To add on another layer of difficulty, earning that respect also requires you to prove every day why you are fit to be CEO. Listening to the ideas and concerns of others is the final piece of the puzzle. Respect is much easier to earn when your employees know you spend the time listening to them and value what they have to say.

Have to Communicate Well

Communication is one of the biggest jobs of a CEO. You must communicate effectively with the board and also be able to turn around and communicate that same information to the rest of the company. As the face of a business, CEOs are also tasked with communicating with consumers. This could be at the release of a new product or responding to issues. No matter what way you look at it, communicating well is a pivotal and difficult part of the job.

CEOs Determine and Set Work Culture

As we know, work culture is extremely important to every office. It can change the landscape of the office and the quality of work completed by employees. It’s the CEOs job to effectively determine what the company culture looks like and begins to put it in motion. If the CEO doesn’t live the culture and help push it forward, it will never get off the ground.

C-Suite Productivity Hacks

Everyone wants to be productive, however we all know it’s easier said than done, right? If you’ve ever thought about all the successful people in the world, you know that it’s not easy for them to get to the top. Some have failed, others failed and tried hundreds of times before reaching their goals. However, all executives have one thing in common; they must find ways to stay productive. If you feel like you don’t have enough time in a day, imagine with a C-level executive feels like. The trick to productivity is to plan our your day to ensure you have time for all the important things that need to be done, followed by the least important. By following these hacks, you’ll be able to change the way you think and work to ensure maximum productivity.

No distractions- airplane mode

The reality is that as a society, we are more distracted than ever. The reason is none other than technology. We are constantly looking at screens and socially interacting through the internet. Sometimes it feels like it’s impossible to get any work done as we continue to check up on e-mails, texts, and social media updates. However, have you ever noticed how many people try to get work done at an airport or on a flight? Putting your cellular devices and tablets on airplane mode may be the key to becoming more productive. I mean think about it; when the internet and cell service is down, you have no choice but to stay off your phone. This allows you to become more productive with your time and getting your work done. Try putting your phone on airplane mode when you’re looking to be more productive throughout the day. This trick works perfectly for those who are working from home or spending too much time on social media while at the office.

Least desirable task first

Another trick to get you on track and allow you to finish your daily assignments is to complete your most dreaded task first. Although dreadful tasks aren’t the most fun to do, they can actually keep you from getting your work done and wasting your time. By completing your most important or dreadful task first thing in the morning, you’ll have more to look forward to after you complete it.You’ll have no negative assignments thoughts to think about the rest of your day, ultimately allowing you to be more productive.

Create a plan

One of the most important steps to take for ultimate productivity is to create a plan. Whether you use your computer or write lists on a piece of paper or planner, creating a plan is crucial in productivity. When you write something down, you are making a contract with yourself, so you are less likely to break it. You’re also less likely to forget about it because your mind is cleared from all the things you’re trying to remember at the same time. Writing out all the things you have to do will also allow you to schedule out time for your tasks, but also allow you to see where you have free time and where it is being wasted. This will help you become more organized and motivated. Try this trick before bed or as soon as you wake up in the morning. You’ll quickly see a productivity difference.

What Are the Responsibilities of a CEO?

Most people understand that there’s a ton of work that goes into being a CEO, but many don’t actually know what that work looks like. There’s a multitude of responsibilities that fall under the care of a company’s Chief Executive Officer. They range in everything from leadership to marketing. There is not a corner of the business that does not include some kind of input from the CEO. In order to provide a better understanding of the role, here are a few of the most common responsibilities.

Providing a sense of direction

The CEO is essentially the company’s compass. They create the vision for the company and then set things in motion to implement them. In conjunction with the company’s direction, a CEO must develop the strategy and consider how the overall operations will be impacted because of it.

Leading the Executive Team

All CEOs are required to play a part in building – and leading – the executive team. The CEO is the manager of the executives and delegates work according to their designated job duties. The CEO is there to provide direction, develop their skills, and vet any new additions to the team. It’s a huge job, but it’s vital to the success. The leadership team is the backbone of the company, so the CEO has a huge responsibility in making sure they are the best people for the job.

Liaison between Board and Company

The CEO is the sole liaison between the board and the company. When appropriate the CEO will seek out the board for advice and guidance. From there, they will take that information and directly apply it to the company. The board is there to assist the CEO and also make sure that the company is headed in the direction it should be.
Being the Chief Executive Officer of a company is not easy job, but it is extremely important. The CEO can lead a company to greatness or be the reason for its downfall. As the head of the leadership team, they are the big thinker, dreamer, and decision maker. They must always act in the best interest of the company and sometimes make the hard decisions that no one else wants to make. The job is extremely rewarding given all the hard work that goes into it.

A Young Professional’s Guide to Becoming a CEO

All young professionals aspiring to become CEO’s have a long road ahead of them. Many of them are aware of this, but most don’t know just how much they have to learn. In order to have what it takes to effectively run a company, you have to know the intricacies of business and leadership. In order to give these young professionals a head start, I’ve put together a list of some of the most important things to master on the journey to becoming a CEO.

Operations

As a CEO, you must understand how everything works and why it works. Operations is a big undertaking, but start thinking and asking questions about the processes of every company you work at. As you train yourself to start thinking about the gears in the machine, it will make it easy for you once you become a CEO. A few examples: you’ll need to know about the technology in your company and its role, how to find solutions to efficiency issues, and looking for ways to reduce operations cost. All of these things will help shape the company and its your job to understand how it all works.

Trust

This is more of a personal trait and way of working, but just as important. As an employee, you need to be extremely trustworthy. When you are a CEO, many people are going to count on you and trust that you’ll get things done. Your word is your bond – be sure to stick to that at all times. Instilling trust within the company is a great leadership skill and will infinitely make your job easier.

Company Culture

More specifically, understanding how to change it and why. Company culture is an important part of the work environment and overall productivity. If your employees are happy with their work environment and the culture in the office, then they will work more efficiently and with purpose. It makes sense when you think about it – it’s easier to get work done when you’re happy with how you’re treated, the work you have to do, and knowing there’s an entire support system around you.
From now until the time you find yourself as a CEO, work on the skills that will directly play into a future executive. It will make you a better employee in the meantime and may open doors for you on the road to becoming a Chief Executive Officer.

How to be an Effective CEO

Leadership is difficult. As a leader, every day is different, and as the fulcrum of a business, you’ll quickly learn to think on your feet or fall behind. Taking on CEO responsibilities is not for the faint of heart, but anybody with the mettle to last will gain a new perspective on their life and on their work. There’s no magic bullet for being an effective CEO, but there are certainly a few things you can do to improve your leadership of a company.

Honesty

If you want to stay as a leader, you need to keep your credibility. It’s easy to go into a CEO role determined to be as open and transparent with your employees and stakeholders as possible. Similarly, it’s always encouraging to share the positive progress that your business is making.

More difficult, however, is dealing with hardships or setbacks. Not wanting to be the bearer of bad news, many CEOs twist facts or simply omit any information indicating that a business is going through a rough time. To be an effective CEO, address problems and try to present solutions. You don’t need to have all of the answers, but being upfront about it can save you from mistrust and frustration later on.

Expertise

Educate yourself on the industry that you work in. This may seem obvious, but changing trends in technology can lead to disruption and potentially offset your business. Always be on the lookout for potential change, and try to learn as much as you can.

Know your business. Know your competitive advantage. Know your competitors. Know your industry, inside and out. Be a font of knowledge for your company to look to.

Efficiency

Being a CEO means doing more work to keep a company moving forward. With only a certain number of hours in the day, you’re inevitably limited in what you can accomplish. Improve your productivity by minimizing time-wasting meetings, stay off your email as much as possible, and keep your workspace free of distractions.

Keeping a well-updated calendar is also critical when it comes to segmenting your day. Know how to prioritize, as CEOs don’t have the leeway to “just wing it.”

Delegation

You may be in charge as a CEO, but that doesn’t make you a superhero capable of solving all of the company’s problems. Instead, surround yourself with competent individuals you trust to do their jobs well, and give them responsibilities of their own to fulfill. You may find that your business runs very well without the need for micromanagement.

Additionally, empower them to make their own decisions. As CEO, you should not need for every decision to flow through you; this only wastes your time and the company’s time. It’s a case of mutual trust for both you and your employees.

Culture

“Culture trumps everything” is a common phrase said by many professionals these days, and for good reason. Creating a strong office culture in which employees feel happy and comfortable leads to greater productivity and more open exchange of ideas.

Gain the trust of your employees and spend time with them. Learn what they enjoy and don’t enjoy about their jobs, and adjust office culture accordingly. Keep your employees’ needs in mind and they will be more committed to the company’s mission.

Traits All Great CEOs Share

With any business, it’s vital that CEOs focus on being effective leaders and avoid letting the desire for more profit overshadow their talent for leadership. To be a successful CEO, there are certain traits that are imperative to possess in order to lead the company and work toward its future success. Without these vital traits, a CEO may be able to hold the position, but he won’t be considered one of the “great” CEOs.

They are self-aware

Even though you’ve made it to the top of the company, it doesn’t mean you’re infallible. Great CEOs know that they sometimes make mistakes and understand their own weaknesses (as well as their strengths!). Knowing where they do and do not excel allows a CEO to delegate tasks as necessary. Through being self-aware, a CEO can also handle constructive criticism and improve in different areas.

They are optimistic

A negative attitude can bring the entire company down, so it’s important that a CEO displays optimism, even if there are some issues. Keeping a positive attitude and showing that optimism to employees will encourage them to look on the bright side and work toward finding a solution, instead of unproductively worrying about a problem.

They are realistic

Just as optimism is important, so is being realistic. Great CEOs know what to expect from their employees and know what is too much to ask. A company doesn’t become successful overnight and issues cannot be immediately resolved, so a CEO must know what a realistic timeline is for the business, as well as what expectations she should have for the business, given its resources.

They care

One of the most important traits a person can have in any position is showing others that they care. When a CEO is genuinely interested in his employees and concerned about their well-being, it translates into him valuing the company. This sense of value often inspires employees to work better. The best way to show you care is listening to people when they talk and making an effort to sincerely understand what they’re saying.

They are risk-takers

Generally, risk is involved if you want a business to show serious growth. CEOs understand the importance of risk-taking, but also know how much risk is appropriate for their individual business. Taking unnecessary risks is bad and can endanger the company.

They are learners

Great CEOs are always learning. Whether it’s how to better work with employees or developing a new skill through classes or a conference, truly fantastic CEOs make a point to keep learning throughout their professional careers. You can always learn something new and you’d be surprised what skills might benefit your career.