Key Skills and Competencies Even Modern CEO Must Have

CEO – one of the most coveted titles every employee aspires to become, is both an exciting yet very complex role. Any individual who has risen to the C-suite is bound to already possess a wide range of business skills and traits to lead his team.

To rise from the working ranks to an executive position takes one to have certain key attributes that distinguish them from other employees. Even those already CEOs in their capacity have room for improvement.

Some people may be born with leadership skills, and be regarded as natural leaders. They motivate others and diligently lead a team to achieve desirable success levels. However, others may need to work a little bit harder to develop these skills over time.

A CEO is the head of a company and therefore responsible for the processes that happen in the entire company. CEOs are tasked with making quick decisions that may affect the health of a company.

Previously, we looked at how to define roles in a startup company. This guide is interesting. It looks at key skills, traits, personalities and competencies required by anyone who aspires to become a CEO. We shall look at what it takes to be a leader, how modern executives lead the way, and how to forge a productive morning routine.

What it Takes to be a Leader

There is a popular belief that great leaders are cultivated and developed. One common thing that should be understood is that great leaders possess a strong belief in what holds dear to them. To be a successful leader, you need to have a deep understanding of what holds value to you.

Here are some of the aspects needed for those aspiring to become great leaders.

Leaders over-communicate

Great leaders relentlessly communicate a consistent message. They are not afraid to communicate about the difference their organization is making. They constantly remind their teams of that mission with lots of examples.

They are exceptional masters of their vision. They take every opportunity to remind people of the big picture. They lead through their values. They are masters of drawing a line that separates who they are and who they will never be.

They have managerial will

Managerial will involves a kind of leadership to tell your people that you are going to take the hill and then driving the action to actually take the hill. You do this regardless of compensation whether you are motivated or at times when motivation is low.

As a leader, you must hold people accountable for their roles and tasks they deliver. You must ask your people about the progress they are making, and help them clear any obstacles on the way. You help them with whatever they need to succeed.

Great leaders specifically know their non-negotiables.

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There are several aspects that a leader can’t and won’t negotiate. Having a sound knowledge of this subject is one of the most powerful leadership qualities. One thing that is non-negotiable is culture.

If someone or something threatens culture, the leader needs to take action. Another non-negotiable subject is values. Values are what sustains an organization, especially through times of great change.

A great leader will always treat people well. Treating people well leads to better performance as compared to not treating people well. A great leader will always protect his business model. You should never accept price reductions that may inhibit your ability to produce good results.

Great leaders focus on big initiatives

As a leader, it can be easy to get distracted by the small stuff. Many people you lead will bring you small problems especially on things that have not worked for them. Much of what reaches your desk may be a pile of distractions.

You need to avoid getting frustrated and focus on the big picture. Keep focused on the mission, vision, and goals of the organization you lead. Focus on the big initiatives and delegate tasks efficiently.  Take tough decisions that make you not feared but respected.

How Modern Executives Lead the Way

Today’s modern executives must adapt their leadership styles to be in line with the various needs of their employees. Most great leaders have a passion for building and leading an elite team. No one wants to lead a team that is built-in mediocracy.

But leading the best teams takes a lot of persistence and consistent, particularly in pursuit of personal and professional development. There is a need for constant personal meditation and reflection and taking action based on regular feedback.

Here are three tips for leading an elite team.

Create an environment of leadership

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If we could take an example of the caliber of team members that we find in the military, the first inclination would be to wonder how they are recruited and developed to be such selfless. There is great satisfaction in leaders who have an attitude of service and loyalty. It takes more than the environment and culture to create attitudes and values of true leadership.

Values and employee motivation

Leaders of today must establish a value-based corporate culture, and work to instill these values in every aspect of a business. There should be clear guidelines that should be followed by every member of the team.

There is a need to make employees feel comfortable. A good leader must set an example and demonstrate his commitment to corporate values every day. In organizations where values are lived and demonstrated every day, it creates a very harmonious working environment.


Due to different social and technological changes, the job market is growing more and more complex. It is no longer possible for executives to operate as a one-man show. Today’s leaders appreciate the importance of teamwork.

You want your startup to succeed, you must be well organized. Most of my planning is done via teamgantt. Teamwork and good planning is key to success in startups.

The capacity to understand new perspectives and to be open to other ideas is an important component every leader must develop in this century. Today’s modern boss is an advocate for teamwork. He encourages his employees and knows what works best for them.

5 Skills Every Modern CEO Should Have

For many career-driven professionals, reaching the CEO level is the ultimate goal. The position of CEO is about much more than good management. It is much more leaning towards individuals who can provide vision and have a strategic plan on how the vision can be achieved.

Here are top skills any aspiring CEO mush have


Every successful CEO understands the importance of giving clear and concise communication. They understand that the absence of simplicity is confusion and chaos. IF CEOs set goals that have to be met, communication should be done in such a way that there are no two ways about it.

When CEOs place a keen focus on concise and clear communication, they make it easy for others to follow. Clear communication reduces all chances of ambiguity and makes processes move seamlessly and swiftly.

Great Collaboration

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CEOs are known for having a sharp mind, being very decisive and having high business acumen. Top CEOs understand that if their organization is to reach top levels, they must get the entire organization to think the same.

Frequent communication between employees and senior leadership is very important to have an organization that is well-aligned. Employees should be allowed to collaborate and share ideas as doing so creates a sense of ownership.


The title of the CEO carries a lot of weight and can bring an atmosphere of intimidation. Titles alone can discourage employees from approaching their leaders is there is are some barriers to communication between employees and their leaders.

CEOs need to create an atmosphere of approachability. They need to encourage employees to share ideas, their concerns and give vital feedback. CEOs need to build a stronger relationship and deepen trust in matters of leadership.

There should be an open-door policy to help employees approach their leaders without having to pass through bureaucracies that most organizations have. A great leader should influence others to act swiftly and establish trust when information is communicated.


There is nothing that costs a leader’s trust and influence than a lack of transparency. When employees feel like their CEO might be hiding information or failing to act in an open manner, they will begin to question everything.

Successful CEOs understand the importance of transparency and how it is critical for employees to see what happens behind the scenes, to help them stay motivated. The act of transparency deepens trust and credibility in leadership.


Successful CEOs are not just born great – they achieve greatness through a series of mistakes and lessons they learn from their mentors and opportunities that are presented to them. Influential CEOs will always be learning and self-developing.

Employees are very much influenced and inspired by the successes and failures of their CEOs. They want to hear such stories to stay motivated to the cause. When a leader shares lessons from what they have learned from experience, it keeps the whole organization motivated to deliver improved performance.

Productive Morning Routine of Highly Effective People

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Highly successful people are known to be great planners of their daily routine. One of the greatest secrets to success is having a daily routine. Your future is not going to be greatly influenced by what you do on and off, or once in a while.

However, what you do repeatedly is what will create the quality of your life. What you do on a daily basis becomes your fate. This is the reason there is a great relationship between success and morning routines. ­

Highly successful people, CEOs inclusive, are known to be masters of their morning. They wake up so early in the morning to get their day moving. It is important to understand why highly successful people put a lot of focus on building a routine. Here are the reasons;

Run-on autopilot

Successful CEOs understand that their energy every day is limited. They condition their minds to work on autopilot on common tasks as if it is automated. They wake up and instead of wasting their day on countless indecisions, they have an already made-up mind on what they ought to do.

Doing so helps them enter a state of flow, then to wake up and start thinking and questioning the decisions they have to make.

They eliminate small decisions making

You might have probably read about those CEOs who wear the same clothes every day or those who have eaten the same breakfast for the last 20 years. This is not because they are boring people, but they understand that small, almost undetectable decision-making is what will rob the majority of their energy in the morning.

It is common knowledge that the more options we are given, the less happy and unproductive we become.

Prioritize Values

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Success means different things to different people. But what we can say with authority is that successful people have a huge priority on their values and principles. If they value their health, they work hard on incorporating an exercise routine and a healthy meal in their program.

If what they value is family, they always take a few minutes to have breakfast with kids before they leave for school. If what they value is productivity, they wake up very early and tackle the first tasks of the day before anything else.

Eliminate micro distractions

Unnecessary meetings, push notifications, online shopping, social media, phone calls, name them all, are micro distractions that can have a huge toll on you. Micro distractions probably take you away for hours each day.

When the day ends and you feel as though you have accomplished very little, try to figure out what wasted your time and you should be able to realize some micro distractions that came your way.

Accept temporary discomfort for long term reward

Living the life of your dreams will not involve doing what makes you most comfortable at all times. The most challenging things in life are what brings people the best joy in life once accomplished.

Successful CEOs understand this principle and that is the reason they are willing to withstand temporary discomfort in exchange for a long-term reward be it a better network of friends, achieving a new milestone, being in prime health condition, among others.

Achieving the best version of yourself

Now that we have discussed what it takes to become a great CEO, not all people in a corporate setting will end up becoming CEOs. For any organization, there can only be one CEO at a given time. That said, even if we all can’t fit to become CEOs, that is not to mean we can’t improve.

There are various ways we can achieve the best versions of ourselves through productivity. Their key habits you have to eliminate to become the best version of yourself.

Stop the fear of failure

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If failing makes you worry about yourself, your abilities and competencies, you are not going to achieve the best version of yourself any soon. It is important to realize that failure is an important and natural part of life, and doesn’t signify the end of the world.

Highly successful people have all failed at some point in their life. Failure is needed because it helps you gain valuable insights that can propel you to become highly successful in life.

Stop pleasing people

It is important for you to stop playing the role of being ‘Mr. Nice’. This life calls for some need to be a bit selfish and put your interests first. For every second you remain as people’s pleaser, a piece of you dies.

The world is an unforgiving place. People pleasers are taken advantage of, and they become prone to stress and depression. Once you quit being people’s pleaser, you will regain your sense and worth.

Stop procrastinating

Perfectionism is the mother of procrastination. Procrastination is just but another form of high-level laziness. Procrastinators are great saboteurs of themselves. They hinder themselves from becoming the best versions of themselves.

You need to stop procrastinating and take actions that are precise and calculated. You need to have some form of accountability in everything you do. Set goals that are practical, manageable and trackable.

You also need to stop negative self-talk. You need to seek ways to learn something new every day and remain productive. Seek ways to keep yourself always motivated. List down all issues that make you deviate from your purpose in life and avoid all forms of negativity.

You should stop criticizing, and judging others. Additionally, learn how to handle your critics and haters. Never give time and energy to anything that doesn’t add value to your life. Learn to say No more often than you say Yes. The circle you surround yourself with can make or break your life. Be wise!

Alberto Venditti

Alberto has more than a decade of concept & production expertise in engaging with clients and end-users for both the entertainment and the advertising industry, marrying his passion for strategy with years of field research in user experience and a solid academic background in Psychology.

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