How to Become a CEO

How to become a CEO? Excerpted from Goldsmith’s excellent book “What got you here won’t get you there”, here are the 20 most common habits that tend to hold executives back from becoming CEO.

Become CEO: What holds you back

Winning too much – Some people need to win at all costs and in all situations – when it matters, when it doesn’t, and when it’s totally beside the point.

Adding too much value – Some executives have an overwhelming desire to add their two cents to every discussion, something which can get a little irritating after a while. Instead, consider offering golden words of wisdom occasionally!

Passing judgment – The need to rate others and impose our standards on them. This can become restrictive, as it limits your ability to work effectively with your subordinates and your fellow co-workers.

Making destructive comments – Needless sarcasms and cutting remarks that we think make us sound sharp and witty

Starting every sentence with ‘No’, ‘But’, ‘However’ – Overusing these negative qualifiers will only secretly hint to others that you are right and they are wrong.

Telling the world how smart we are – The need to show people we’re smarter than they think we are

Speaking when angry – Using emotional volatility as a management tool

Negativity, or ‘Let me explain what that won’t work’ – Sharing your negative thoughts even when we weren’t asked will inevitably hurt you in the long-run; people will label you as the cynic.

Withholding information – The refusal to share information in order to maintain an advantage over others

Failure to give proper recognition – the inability to praise and reward

More Tips on How to Become a CEO

More bad habits to avoid:

Claiming credit that we don’t deserve – That is the single most annoying way to overestimate your contribution to any success

Making excuses – The need to reposition our annoying behavior as a permanent fixture so people excuse us for it.

Clinging to the past – The need to deflect blame away from ourselves and onto events and people from our past; a subset of blaming everyone else

Playing favorites – Failing to see that we are treating someone unfairly

Refusing to express regret – The inability to take responsibility for our actions, admit we’re wrong, or recognize how our actions affect others

Not listening – The most passive-aggressive form of disrespect for colleagues

Failure to express gratitude – The most basic form of bad manners

Punishing the messenger – The misguided need to attack the innocent who are usually only trying to help us

Passing the buck – The need to blame everyone but ourselves

Excessive need to be ‘me’ – Exalting our faults as virtues simply because they’re who we are.

How to become a CEO? As Goldsmith argues, it is a much better approach to enlist people as your allies than to alienate people through defending behavior. A large part of becoming CEO involves developing the right people skills to lead an organization; correcting the most common habits listed above should rightfully be your first step to corporate success.

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