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Lessons on Leadership from Successful CEOs

Setbacks and failures are what makes a company remarkable. This might not be what people want to hear, but it’s true. Like any other thing in life, failure is essential for anyone who wants to succeed. Along the way, problems will arise, and these will serve as your testing ground.

But every success story is different, and each person might learn a different lesson along the way, and these lessons are different forever leader.

The Basics For Every Aspiring Leader

Every leader has certain qualities that make them the best to handle a company, a team, and even a group of leaders. Often they need to be decisive and give good judgment, something that Seah Moon Ming, the Chairman of SMRT Corporation, has faced in his stint with the Singapore transport company. He made a crucial decision that affected his career, but he quit his job in the interest of providing the best public service and accepting accountability. He also identified three things he lived by: Take Charge, Connect, and Have Courage. He called them his 3Cs.

Scott Abel, the Founder and CEO of Spiceworks, says that you should be open and honest. Give the impression that you’re approachable and that your employees should never hesitate. For start-ups, everyone usually tends to be in a state of panic. Letting them know that they can come to you when things go bad is a great building point.

Former Demandware President and CEO, Thomas Ebling, also mentions that there is a reason as to why one person has two ears and one mouth. Why? Well, he points out the importance of listening to what others have to say. Being a CEO won’t mean that what you say is always right. Rushing to judgements may lead to problems in the long run.

You should also have a clear idea on your goals, objectives and mission as a leader. What’s your vision? Where do you see yourself and your company? Former CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, Richard Hytner, says that what fueled him was the passion for serving. Give importance not only to your business, but to everyone involved as well. From your employees, customers, and even your shareholders, let them know of your objectives. If your mission is only to serve these people, it will propel you to success.

Versatility Is The Key

Change is inevitable. And as this happens, wide knowledge and understanding of your business are also needed. Jacqueline Hinman, CEO of CH2M HILL, says she opted to move from one role to another, further challenging herself for the better. From her point of view, this serves as a stepping stone towards reaching the top.

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Adapt New Technology

Sergeant Laboratories’ CEO, Eric Anderholm chose to focus on technology. In today’s digital age, a CEO with sufficient technological know-how can surely benefit one’s company. It will help you in keeping up with the current trends. Not only that, but if a certain system gets hacked, you won’t sit around and wonder how such an issue happened.

Accept and Look for Feedback

And lastly, never be afraid to ask for feedback. This would give your company room to grow and improve. Yes, it may be hard to accept at first, but that’s the reality of life. Everyone will always have something to say, and at times, these things can help you for the better. Hinman adds that without knowing what others think could cause blind spots within your business, so make sure to always ask for feedback. Whether you’re a newly-appointed CEO or someone who’s been in the industry for a long time, seeking others’ opinions and advice is always ideal.

The Tough Get Going

Finally, CEOs know that nothing good would come out if you choose to give up when the times get tough. When everything feels like the opposite of what you had planned, it is harder to move forward. However, it would be best if you always thought of your company, your employees, and everyone else that relies on you. There might be difficult choices and decisions to make, but that’s your duty as a leader to make these decisions and communicate to your team the need to make judgment calls.

These CEOs have learned the hard way that success often relies on effort, hard work dedication, and failure. It takes a person of great character, openness and charisma to become a leader or CEO, but they have learned many lessons in their career paths and used all of them to succeed in their endeavours.

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