The chief executive officer is perhaps the most coveted role in any business. The most high-profile position, it carries with it the most responsibility and the highest requirement of trust. However, CEO roles can vary wildly from business to business. Yet, many times it is the CEO who is responsible the success of the business and has the last say in decisions made for the company. He or she must create winning strategies for their company by creating a roadmap for success and implementing the strategies needed for advancement. The CEO must be a person who has a clear vision for the company. He or she must always be aware of the external and internal forces that threaten the company’s goals. Lastly, he or she must seek out new customers, new markets and opportunities for expansion. There are lots of people who would love to be a CEO, probably of their own companies. Unfortunately, unless you name yourself CEO of your own company, you are going to first have to do a little work. Here are some tips to get you started.

CEO

  1. Education – CEOs are generally very well educated. To be a CEO, therefore, it comes as no surprise that you have to do well in school. This means completing both an undergraduate and graduate degree. Your academic focus should fall in line with the industry in which you are interested. However, you should keep things fairly general in case your goals change. Of course, you don’t need to complete a graduate degree right after your undergraduate studies. Many people get a job after completing their undergrad degrees and then return to do an advanced degree, later on, many times an MBA. Whatever studying you do, it is wise to make sure that the university is recognized and that it ranks fairly high in the field that you are studying. You do not want to work hard towards a degree that fails to impress those in charge of hiring.
  2. Learn Everything You Can About FinancesProperly managing finances is one of the skills that a CEO needs. A CEO who knows the ins and outs of his or her own niche, but is also aware of how finances and economics work will be seen as a great asset in any company. If you are still in college or plan to be attending college soon, add some finance and economics classes to your schedule. You may also consider completing a minor if possible. As you become part of a workforce, you should try to learn everything you can about finance using your work life as a practical setting. Consider workshops, training sessions and classes as a way of acquiring more knowledge.
  3. Start Making Valuable Connections – It is great to work hard to earn your place in the world. Unfortunately, a lot of the world’s opportunities are only made available to you based on who you know. Connections run everything. So when in college, network by attending business seminars and other networking events. You can also volunteer at events where the leaders of your industry are sure to attend. Volunteering at charities is also a great way to make valuable connections. Volunteer work tells others that you are familiar with service and hard work. It teaches you about efficiency and how to accomplish a lot using a little. It also builds your organizational skills. It’s never too early to start making good connections that can help you along your way.
  4. Cultivate Good Personal Traits – Being a good CEO requires more than being able to make good decisions. There is more to it than advanced degrees from expensive universities. In order to be selected as a CEO, business leaders want to see that you have positive personal qualities that will motivate others as well as exude a positive influence over all the company’s operations. These good personal traits are some of the “intangibles” that business leaders look for when making hiring decisions. CEOs need to be hard-working and good communicators. It’s clear to see why being a hard-worker is important. Less clear is why communication skills are such a desired quality. CEOs need to be able to speak their vision for the company so that all employees know what is required of them and the direction of the business. CEOs also need communication skills in order to make good deals that will benefit the company. They must be able to garner respect, not only from the people under them but also from their contemporaries as well. In addition to commanding respect, CEOs must learn to practice humility. CEOs must be able to learn and listen to others. They must admit mistakes and ask forgiveness. They should give credit where credit is due.
  5. Gain Lots of Experience – Lastly a CEO needs to spend years learning the ropes of an industry before being lofted into that trusted position. This way, you can work your way up the ladder, filling various positions until you are ready to assume the role of CEO. However, you don’t have to wait for a CEO position to open at your current company. You can also be on the lookout for openings in other organizations. While you wait for a position to open up, you can also take part in training programs offered by your company. Many companies offer corporate training or other development programs that can help increase the value of your stock. Companies also use these training programs to gauge your dedication to the company and to personal development. However, sometimes gaining lots of experience also means sacrificing your nights and weekends in favor of working long hours. Bosses want to see that you are prepared to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to help the company be successful.

The road to becoming a CEO can be a long one. There are lots of tests along the way and the wait may become discouraging. The role of CEO is designed so that only the best get there. However, with a lot of preparation and tons of hard work, becoming CEO of a company can be a dream turned into a reality.