How To... Become A CEO - Gulf Business
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How To… Become A CEO

How To… Become A CEO

Rajesh Nagjee, CEO of Chrysalis Management Consultancy, lists five ways to reach the pinnacle of a business career.

From my experience as a CEO mentor for over 25 years, dealing with hundreds of high-profile CEOs from multi-national corporations to SMEs across four
continents, I have discovered some simple truths about what it takes to become a successful CEO.

✑ A blueprint or recipe to achieve the prestigious post of CEO simply does not exist. Every CEO’s story is unique and no amount of research has revealed any fixed pattern that guarantees the top job.

✑ You need to be inspirational with the ability to effectively manage and mentor your teams. You need to develop a cohesive vision and strategy and clearly relay it to your teams to earn their respect and their willingness to follow through and perform.

✑ You need to be a good communicator and negotiator. You need to be the chief problem solver, crisis manager and fire fighter, whenever the need arises.

✑ What really distinguishes a great CEO is his understanding and ability to manage five key dynamics, with the ability to make quality decisions, to ensure the success and health of the company.

These dynamics are:

THE BUSINESS MODEL

Having a schematic of how the company creates and captures value is imperative as it is the blueprint on which the entire business stands. Without a sound business model, the CEO will end up struggling for survival, as he or she would have failed to generate sufficient value for all the key constituents: customers, suppliers, shareholders and employees.

THE ROAD MAP

A CEO is required to constantly find viable answers to the three fundamental questions (a) where are we? (b) where do we want to go? (c) how will we get there? These answers lead to developing a clear-cut road map or strategy. CEOs who fail to find implementable answers to these three questions often land their company in difficulties.

THE DELIVERY

A CEO is required to streamline execution to eliminate wastage and deliver on time, quality and within budget. This is the key that separates a good CEO from an average CEO. Effective delivery and execution is the foundation of success for which a CEO needs a keen eye for detail to discover and eliminate obstacles.

THE SCOREBOARDS

Any successful business needs critical information to measure progress such as budgets and variance analysis, which are key to CEO level effectiveness.

Without accurate and in-time score boards, a CEO ends up playing a blind game and depends more on ‘hope and chance’ to manage the company’s financial performance.

THE CULTURE

A CEO needs to foster a culture for reliable and dependable teamwork; without a high-performance culture, the company will tend to operate at a mediocre level. A CEO needs to ensure the health of the culture either through his own abilities or through engaging the services of a competent business coach.

Being a CEO is exciting and rewarding and, at the same time, carries a lot of responsibilities and expectations and continuous, unrelenting pressure from all sides. To survive and thrive, you will surely need to develop the key qualities of patience, resilience and tenacity.

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