4 Keys To Becoming A CEO

BY: Center For Creative Leadership

An impressive track record is not enough to prepare you for being a CEO. It’s necessary, but not enough.

The CEO job is fundamentally different from any other senior leadership role. Until you’ve lived it, you can’t fully know what it’s like. But there are steps you can take to be prepared.

In our work with corporate boards, CEOs, and human resources executives, we see too many companies that wait too long or fail to take the right steps, to prepare candidates for the top job. And too few candidates have taken a close look at — much less developed — the full range of what it takes to succeed as the organization’s top leader. It’s not surprising, then, that almost half of all CEOs fail and companies struggle with short-tenured chief executives.

For companies looking to improve the outlook for CEO succession, consider these three fundamental tips:

  • Start sooner and plan more.
  • Understand the differences between being a senior leader and being the CEO.
  • Give each candidate a tailored opportunity to bridge any gaps before a selection is made.


We’ve found that the well-prepared candidate shows four kinds of readiness: Candidates want to be sure they’ve covered all four areas — experience readiness, personal readiness, network readiness, and relationship readiness — before they step into the spotlight and the top job.and businesses during the crisis. Some landlords are even forgiving rent for a season, knowing that their tenants will not have a way to make up their lost income and debt. Don’t be afraid to call to find out what resources are available.

Since 1970, The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) has been committed to delivering results that matter through leadership solutions customized to clients’ needs.

CCL helps its clients to grow by accelerating their leadership performance, their knowledge and partnerships drive sustained results for clients, and committed to create a better world through our work in the social sector. More resources available at www.ccl.org.



Airyauna Walker
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