One of my favourite sayings (as you’ve probably noticed) is ‘Leadership is an Attitude, not a Title’. This rings true for anyone in a leadership role, especially those in the position of CEO. Just having that title isn’t enough to make you an effective and successful CEO – so what does?

Here’s a list of 10 things that you need to know to become a top CEO:

Clarify what makes you who you are

Clarifying who you are at your core allows you to behave authentically and with integrity. It’s the leaders who demonstrate a strong sense of self that are most respected, so it’s time to define your character. This is the first step to becoming an effective CEO, so it’s crucial that you don’t skip over it or you’ll be left without the necessary foundations to truly succeed.

Serve as the example for your leaders

You cannot expect your team leaders to follow the leadership model you implement if you’re not abiding by it yourself. Don’t leave your leaders to look elsewhere for guidance, or you’ll quickly lose their respect and leave your company’s leadership in shambles.

Remember that you are the representative of your company

This should always be in your mind because what you do and say reflects on your organisation, not just yourself. As a CEO, you’re representing the whole company – so be mindful of the messages you’re sending in your interactions. Whether you’re interacting with a stakeholder, a potential client, or any member of staff, you’re giving them an impression of the company, and must ensure it’s a good one!

A diverse team is key

Surrounding yourself with people who have a range of different skills and competencies is key to being a successful CEO. You don’t want a team who just agrees with you and never puts forward their own ideas or suggests, or you’ll never expand your perspective. Learning how to see things from other points of view is vital to success. You’re also demonstrating the value of diversity to your team as well, which is always an important message to get across.

Establish a positive company culture

A CEO can’t be successful without empowering their staff to be successful as well. By fostering an environment that is encouraging, nurturing and healthy, you’ll have everyone in your company working their hardest. A positive culture is essential for success, in the long and short term.

Mastering relationships at every level

A CEO needs to know how to cultivate positive relationships, and not just within their own team. Top CEO’s foster relationships in all directions of an organisation, and learn how to influence and master them for greater success.

Open and honest communication is fundamental

Your team cannot be at their most efficient or productive if they don’t understand what they’re supposed to be doing, or what their end goal is. A CEO cannot be a great leader if they don’t understand and practice concise, clear and consistent communication.

Do what’s right, even if it’s not the easy option

CEO’s must be accountable. You’re the leader, so it’s up to you to take ownership and responsibility when necessary. Every choice you make must be for the good of the company, even when facing difficult situations and decisions.

Be flexible and ready to adapt to change

A CEO who refuses to accept new ways of doing things is doing themselves and their company a real disservice in this world of rapidly-changing technology. Businesses who don’t embrace change will be left in the dust, so having a CEO who is flexible and ready to adapt at a moment’s notice is vital to success in this day and age.

Never lose your desire to learn

A great CEO understands that they will never know everything, but doesn’t let that dampen their curiosity. Never stop asking questions or seeking out answers so that you can continue expanding your knowledge. Successful CEOs are those who stay inquisitive and foster a love of learning within their team as well.

A CEO has a wide variety of responsibilities, which means they must be knowledgable in a range of areas and skills. A successful CEO is more than just ‘the boss’; they must have the right attitude and do the above things to ensure not only their own success but the success of the company and all those within it.

For further reading on the importance of learning as a leader, check out my blog Why Learning is Critical to Great Leadership, and find out how a negative company culture can affect your business in the blog Weak Company Culture is Behind the Decline in Employee Loyalty.

Looking at stepping up in your career or business, learn more about my Courageous Leadership Course and Program! 

Sonia’s Books – Leadership Attitude and Just Rock It! Grab them HERE. 

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realize what it takes to be a truly great leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognized as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Keynote Topics

Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humor will enhance any event she appears.

  1. Leadership Attitude
  2. Just Rock It
  3. Leadership for Small Business
  4. Leading the Next Generations
  5. Courageous Leadership
  6. Future Leaders of Leadership
  7. New Kindness of Leadership

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