There are many qualities that an effective CEO must have. To be the top executive of a company, you must be a leader, a visionary and someone who is not afraid to be accountable to everyone else in the company. However, there are other traits that successful CEOs possess as well. What are these traits?
A Good CEO Understands the Core Product or Products of Their Company
Good CEOs will recognize and understand what it is that drives sales and produces steady revenue on a quarterly or yearly basis. Understanding the core product is essential to keeping the stability of the brand as you transition to being the chief executive. If you don’t understand or are perceived to not understand what the company does, it could scare customers away and spook shareholders as well.
One example of this is from the beauty product company Nu Skin. The CEO does a great job of taking to YouTube to talk about why customers should buy those products and the value that they add for the customer. Each video goes into detail about how a product is made and the research that goes into making a product before it hits the open market.
Quality Chief Executives Innovate Based on That Core
Once you understand the core product that the company sells and is known for, you have to be to innovate and offer new products for your customers. Businesses that fail to diversify their product offering may lose market share to competitors who offer more variety at better prices. The solar company Vivint was recently spotlighted in a Business Insider article comparing them with solar giant SolarCity. In the interview, CEO Todd Pedersen attributed their growth and success to their willingness to innovate and always improve, especially with their people.
When innovating, it is important to not stray away from what your company is known for. For example, McDonald’s decided to offer fruit smoothies and sandwich wraps to customers who were seeking healthier eating alternatives. This helps the company extend its brand without alienating its core customers who want a burger and fries.
The Best Executives Are Accountable to Others
If you are the leader of a company, your legacy rests on your ability to keep it profitable and making it a worthy investment for shareholders. At times, your employees, shareholders or members of the media are going to criticize your actions. If you cannot take the heat, it is best to stay out of the kitchen.
While some people may point fingers and blame others or the market conditions, a good executive will hold him or herself accountable for anything that happens. Although this is hard to do, your people will respect you more during the good times for being able to take the heat when things are going poorly.
Productive Executives Know How to Listen to Others
Good CEOs are good at listening to those around them. If you aren’t going to listen to your people, what is the point of having them around? Although a CEO has the final say regarding anything that happens at the company, the best ideas can come from any source. Listening to the input of others allows everyone in the company to feel as if they have ownership of the company. This keeps the ideas flowing and everyone feeling a loyalty and respect for the company that is hard to come by.
Good Leaders Know How to Develop Others
The sign of a good leader is his or her ability to develop others. A good boss will allow their people to learn and grow professionally as they work their way up the corporate ladder. Counter to popular belief, developing a core of people who could do your job if you were to leave can be a good thing. This allows you to delegate more to your people and focus on your job of creating ideas that will benefit the company the most.
Successful CEOs are capable of developing their people, adding new products or services for customers and holding themselves accountable for anything that happens to the company. If you strive to be a CEO, developing these traits could help you accomplish your goal of being the top executive of a company.