Six Traits All CEOs Should Have - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

It’s quite an achievement to be the chief executive officer of a company, but what traits are necessary in order to hold the reins?

Following in the steps of your predecessor isn’t always the best course of action. You want to build your personal brand within the company and make productive, significant changes along the way.

Below are six traits that all CEOs should have or acquire:


1. Communication Skills


Being able to communicate with a client is always the most important aspect of the relationship built between them and the company. Communication builds trust and can quell any uncertainty the client may have. Incorporating neuroscience into your communication with a client can help curate a strong relationship, too. By maintaining eye contact, smiling often, and even shaking hands, this emotional approach will increase your client’s levels of oxytocin, the social bonding chemical that helps build a more trusting relationship.

This trait can also be beneficial between the CEO and their team members. It’s imperative that a CEO keeps the morale high in order to have productive employees who get projects done in a timely manner.


2. Realistic Optimism


It’s crucial to have realistic expectations when leading a corporation. No one wants a leader who always expects the unobtainable because then they will never be pleased with the outcome. It’s not a bad thing to reach for the stars, but if you don’t do your research and make sure your goals are possible, then it will become a waste of time and money for the corporation. By all means, take risks, but make sure there’s a possibility for success.


3. Risk-Taking


As previously stated, taking risks can lead to more business for a company. If you were just promoted to a CEO position at a company that’s losing its traction, then risk might be your only option. According to a Harvard Business Review study, one of two essential traits that a CEO acquires is being able to take applicable risks. This trait will convey confidence to your team and further instill their trust in your abilities as their leader.


4. Organization


This doesn’t mean having a neat and spotless office. Being organized means having the ability to figure out how to properly see the bigger picture in all areas of business. A good CEO should be prepared for anything, from finding the solution to a crisis to discovering an opportunity that can bring exponential growth to the company.


5. Continual Networking


Regardless of a company’s revenue level, it’s always a good idea to continue expanding your contacts list. CEOs can be creative with this trait by constantly building new partnerships with prospective clients or prominent board members. Applying this characteristic can raise awareness about the new practices or exercises the company is participating in, in order to boost revenue.


6. Preparedness


No company is perfect, and that’s why a good CEO is always prepared for bad news. They shouldn’t just ignore the bad things that happen. CEOs should always be aware of negative issues that befall the company. If they didn’t know, then how are they supposed to prevent the same issue from happening again? They won’t.

There are countless attributes that make a good CEO. Use common sense when you’re in the office. If you think you don’t fall into any of these categories, then maybe check out seminars or workshops that focus on improving leadership skills.


Stephanie Chung

Based in Dallas, Stephanie Chung and Associates offer sales coaching, sales training, and executive mentorship services nationwide that help you work smarter, not harder. As a former sales executive in the aviation and private jet industry, Stephanie has mastered the art of high ticket selling and has mentored, coached and developed some of the highest paid, most elite, sales professionals in the country. Serving business leaders, sales executives, and sales professionals, Business Coach Stephanie Chung uses her proven executive coaching and sales training expertise to get the job done. Chung is an executive coach, trainer and advisor backed by more than 25 years of team management, business development, and sales leadership experience. She counsels sales executives and business professionals in a diverse array of strategies and tactics. Chung is also a public speaker, contributor of The Change Book Series and author of “Profit Like a Girl: A Woman’s Guide to Kicking Butt in Sales and Leadership” and “Embrace the Suck: How to Grow and Succeed in Business”.