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Employee to CEO: 6 skills that work

Blog by Prof Vijayan Pankajakshan on Oct 29, 2015
Great CEOs are not born, they are created through a lifetime of learning, failing and acquiring new experiences.

There are some key traits that distinguish the CEOs and top managers of an organisation.

The CEO, for one, is a star manager, a leader par excellence, a visionary who can drive his/her team and company to achieve new milestones.

Here are some managerial skills you must master to become the CEO of a company:

Ruthlessly prioritise

Success in any walk of life is closely linked to prioritisation.

This principle applies to management careers too.

While there is a tendency for many managers to accumulate/hoard many tasks, it is important that s/he is focusing only on those tasks that have the greatest impact on the most important set of stake holders.

Using the Pareto principle, managers should prioritise their attention on 20 per cent of the cause (inputs) that is attributable to 80 per cent of the effect (success or lack of it).

Balance time, focus on correction, prevention and anticipation.

Managers are paid to make decisions

Decisions would also include correction of an adverse output/result.

Many managers are very good at correcting a bad situation and restoring the performance level back to normalcy.

However, many a time, the problem recurs.

This is an indication that the manager has not spent adequate time on prevention of the problem -- hence the root cause(s) were not identified and removed.

Still problems can recur.

To avoid third level problem recurrence, it is important for managers to anticipate and the discipline of scenario planning.

Balance time focus on others and yourself

Careers do not mean that there is nothing other than work.

It is important for a manager to take time off from his work every day -- be it for few minutes or few hours.

This slowdown helps the manager to reflect and recharge their batteries.

In the hurry to satisfy stakeholders, many managers forget to serve themselves, in terms of slowing down and reorganising their energy transmission and energy loss processes.

Put your hand up and volunteer to take responsibility

A manager has to be driven by a purpose and spirit of wanting to contribute.

One big way of demonstrating this behaviour, is to volunteer to take responsibility outside or core role.

Volunteering can happen outside of the organisation too.

Volunteering humbles people and develops in them a sense of gratitude.

Be willing and able to log in the extra hours

Managers have to be willing and able to log in the extra hour that is needed to make a meaningful difference to the lives of internal and external customers.

Mission mode initiatives and goals cannot be always limited to conventional frames of '9 to 5' timings.

Putting in extra hours should not be out of compulsion, but choosing to do so.

When getting work has become more challenging in recent years, stretching is the only ways to get noticed.

Don't think in functional/specialisation language

Speak systems language, speak manager/leader language.

The world of today needs managers who can solve stakeholder issues that affect their daily lives.

They really don't care whether the solution is functional or not.

Hence managers have to begin speaking the language of the business/system, in order for them to be accepted and respected by customers and stakeholders.

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