This article originally appeared on businesscollective.com.
While it might sound fancy, being a CEO is not easy. As the leader of your company, you’re expected to satisfy the needs and expectations of employees, customers, investors, communities, and more. To boot, you’re often solely responsible for moving the company forward and propelling growth and success. Talk about pressure.
As an entrepreneur myself, I know that it takes a lot of hard work, passion, and dedication to even get a business off the ground. Taking it to the next level is even harder. While there is no cookie-cutter recipe for what makes a great executive leader, in my experience, there are three key qualities every CEO must have to take their company — regardless of industry, size, or age — from good to great.
Leading a company is no different than leading a sports team. Every CEO needs to create the vision for the business; the vision that will excite and guide each employee. It’s this vision that will motivate them to do their best and make them feel part of something bigger.
While that vision may start off as a distant dream, it’s the cornerstone to innovation and direction. It serves to help every employee know your company goal and mission. CEOs should be able to define and communicate that vision to the entire team, whether it’s three employees or hundreds of employees.
When I first began my own business, I knew I wanted to make marketing accessible to business owners, small and big. After working for years with clients who were tired of working with multiple vendors and using multiple reporting tools and platforms, I had a crazy idea of creating an all-in-one marketing dashboard capable of providing a business owner a full snapshot of their marketing plan. Tired of using many third-party tools ourselves, we too wanted one tool that would help us provide customers full insight into the performance of their marketing campaigns.
That became our vision and mission: a fully transparent marketing all-in-one platform. At that point it sounded like a wish more than anything else, but it was something I felt strongly about and the team was excited about. The next question that came to mind was: “How in the world are we going to achieve this?”
You can’t be a great leader if you always see the glass half-empty. While there is nothing wrong with being realistic, a CEO needs to be an optimist at heart, turning non-believers into believers by the mere fact that they are so optimistic about the success of a new product, a new tool or the direction of the company.
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