Scale Up Your Business Podcast
How To Be A Successful CEO
What Does it Take to be a Great CEO?
‘As the CEO your time should be focused on making sure the machine runs smoothly and putting people in the right places’
Nick shares what it takes to be a great CEO and discusses whether you can learn how to do it in this absorbing episode.
He has considerable experience as a CEO and has been the CEO of both medium and large businesses, he has also been CEO of several start-ups, which have very different nuances.
At the start of the business, you are usually the founder and can take the role of CEO, but sometimes you become the CEO through working your way up through the business.
Often people assume the role but don’t have any training and in this leadership role, there can be extreme consequences if mistakes are made.
The CEO job title very short but the responsibilities and opportunities of the role are extensive and exciting if you can learn to be a great leader and CEO.
Being a CEO is first and foremost about leadership how you lead others, how you influence and congruency in who you are.
Being a CEO is lonely - Whatever the size of the business it is lonely - you are in a league of your own but you serve many masters
If you on a board you are part of a team and drive a piece of the strategy but as CEO that strategy good or bad you own and everyone in the team is looking for you to execute the strategy and own the outcome.
You have to be thick-skinned - You’ve got to be ready for judgements which are sometimes founded and sometimes unfounded. You are responsible for the people in the business and externally to customers and investors.
If you have fragility and you don’t like criticism or conflict then being a great CEO will be challenging because criticism and conflict are part of the role.
Surrounding yourself with other people who have skills, attributes and experiences that you don’t yet have is key.
Nothing is more important than putting the right people in the right place at the right time - Whatever the business model you’ve got to be able to relate and to lead and manage people. You need to be able to identify skills in others that will allow you to get to where you want to be faster.
There is a fine line between compassion and doing what’s right for the company
Being the roadshow - For many companies, the CEO is the face of the company, the roadshow. The CEO needs the ability to connect, to be authentic and real. Being the roadshow is about people buying into you.
Being the roadshow is about being able to share the strategy and story multiple times so that as you inspire and connect everyone inside the business is following suit.
Your values ultimately determine your value - The values and standards of the CEO set the culture of the business.
You must share what’s important to you, your values through the vision. You align the vision, values and standards to the results and outcomes you are trying to achieve. Remember to have fun - Whether you are the CEO of a big company or a start-up, you’ve worked hard to be in the position and need to enjoy it.
You are creating something and opening the door to new opportunities and that’s massively exciting.
Set high expectations and be deliberate in your leadership. Being a CEO is all about the people you work with. They are the ones who are going to get you where you want to go
‘I made sure I got good at the managing people side of things and focused on developing my leadership’
‘You don’t have to be the same as someone else but you have to bring these characteristics in to be a great CEO’
‘You can learn to be a great CEO and if you learn to be a great leader of yourself you can learn to be a great leader of others.
Scale Up Your Business Podcast
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ABOUT THE HOST
My name is Nick Bradley. I’m an entrepreneur, author, speaker and investor.
My background is in growing and scaling VC and Private Equity backed businesses.
Having successfully built, bought and sold a number of companies, and removed myself from day-to-day operations, my focus now is on helping entrepreneurs get to where they want to be, in business and in life. As well as investing in growth businesses and backing turnarounds - with the ultimate aim of creating value from significant capital events.
I’m passionate about personal and professional development - showing up and being the best version of myself ... every day.
My bigger vision is to help bring entrepreneurial skills, experience and mindset to people in developing nations - so they can follow their dreams, live life more on their terms - utilising entrepreneurship as a global force for good.