- 25 skills that will help an ordinary employee like you rise to the top of any corporation
- A brief study about the famous Indian CEOs in notable global companies
The position has a lot of responsibility and power, which can be exciting. A corporate CEO or Chief Executive Officer of a corporation or organisation is the highest-ranking officer of the company and has a say in all the significant decisions taken by the company.
These CEOs are typically in charge of the overall direction and operation of the company.
Amazing Skills to Become a CEO
If you want to grow in your career and ultimately become a corporate CEO, here are some skills and achievements that will help you get there:
1. Acquire a Professional Postgraduate Business Degree from A Top University or Business School
The first step is to acquire a professional postgraduate business degree from a top university or business school. It is an essential qualification for becoming a CEO.
Most Fortune 500 companies require their CEOs to have at least an MBA degree. Some of the top universities that offer MBA programs include the Indian Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Wharton School of Business, and Stanford Graduate School of Business Administration.
2. Do a Technical Post-Graduation Degree in A Foreign University
A technical post-graduation degree in a foreign university is a great way to increase your technical skills and get your foot into the door of the corporate world.
It would give you a leg up in providing proficiency in a specific programming language and a proven track record of success in the field of technology.
3. Learn at Least 2-3 Global Languages
It always helps to know how other cultures think about business, so learning other languages will give you an advantage when negotiating with clients from different countries.
You’ll be able to communicate more effectively with people from all around the world, and it is an added advantage when you are a CEO representing an international firm.
4. Build Excellent Communications Skills
As a CEO, you must communicate effectively with different types of people. This means that you need to speak clearly and with confidence when talking to more senior people than you and those who are more junior than you.
Additionally, as a CEO, you must communicate with your employees and make sure that they understand the company’s strategy.
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5. Learn and Practice How To Deal with People and Speak in Public
Alongside communication skills, the ability to deliver compelling public speeches is integral for CEOs. Because, a significant portion of a CEO’s job involves speaking in public, giving presentations and speeches at conferences and meetings.
And also hosting events for potential investors or clients. Because CEOs are also the public faces of their companies, they must be able to speak clearly and project confidence when speaking publicly.
Improving your public speaking skills can help you get a job as CEO by showing your employer and others that you’re the type of person who represents the company well in front of groups.
6. Dressing the Part of The Unwritten Rules of The Business Profession. Always Dress Decently
CEOs must always dress respectfully and in a dignified and elegant manner. Dressing in casual clothes may reflect poorly on the company and could even raise questions about their ability to lead.
Hence, CEOs must always dress in a manner that is appropriate for the occasion and situation.
7. Always Have an Energetic and Encouraging Smile
They must motivate the team and lead by example. A vibrant and reassuring smile is vital for CEOs. A smile can make a world of difference.
Successful CEOs have proactive attitudes, and they are always enthusiastic and optimistic. It enables them to be positive in their outlook on life, relationships with employees, and even their business.
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8. Build Excellent Body Language
Leaders have perfect body language, including posture and eye contact. They speak with an even tone, don’t interrupt others, and maintain eye contact with whoever addresses the crowd.
They use the right level of firmness appropriately when speaking to others.
9. Weigh and Speak, and Before You Speak, Think and Use Wise Words
The CEO of a company must be able to think first and then talk. They must use wise words.
As a CEO, it is essential to be mindful of others which means you need to take the time to learn and understand. You must listen carefully and pay attention to others. More importantly, you must be respectful.
10. Maintain a Healthy Mind and Body
The CEO is the public face of a company and has to be a role model for the company’s employees. CEOs must take care of themselves to perform at their best.
You’ll be making critical decisions about your company’s future every day. A poor diet or lack of exercise can impact your performance at work and make you seem unapproachable to others.
One of the best ways to keep your body healthy and mind clear is exercising. Endorphins are released while working out, making you feel good and helping you face stressful situations with more optimism.
Another way is by eating a properly balanced diet. Eating right is a crucial part of staying healthy. When you enjoy healthy foods, you feel better and have more energy to do what you want.
11. Be Active on Social Media
CEOs need to focus on engaging with customers and employees on the channels that matter most. And one of these channels is social media.
It has become an essential tool for attracting and retaining customers and growing your company’s brand.
The best way to reach and interact with your customers is through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
12. Address Business Seminars and Deliver Powerful Speeches
Every CEO has to address a crowd of people when they have to. Business owners are in a position where they need to make many important decisions.
They have to give presentations and speeches to different groups to sell their products and services. Hence, if you want to be a successful CEO, you must be able to speak well.
You should be able to communicate your ideas and thoughts clearly to people to understand you.
13. Start Your Business Blogs and Share Them on Social Media
We can share our knowledge and skills through blogs and articles with other people. When you share your knowledge and skills on the internet, it will help others look for information on the same topic.
It will also help you to get more experience in the world of business and propel you to become corporate CEOs in the future.
14. Be the Point of Attraction in The Crowd
When running your business, you must be the point of interest in the public. People will flock to you and follow you because you have something unique that they can’t find anywhere else. You should always put yourself out there, and then people will start looking for what you have to offer.
15. Cultivate the Habit of Reading Business Magazines
If you are interested in becoming a CEO, you should keep reading business magazines and journals. To become a CEO, you should have a good idea of what makes a good CEO.
You can read the business magazines to learn what the qualities of a good CEO are. The more you read, the better you will become.
16. Conduct Business Seminars and Invite Participants
Business seminars and events provide great exposure to executives. It will allow you to learn about their businesses and network with influential people.
Invite participants from your industry or other industries you are interested in to attend your business seminars.
17. Try to Capture a Small Company Management Level Job as A Beginner
The road to becoming a CEO is a long route. No one can become a CEO overnight. To become a CEO, you need to gain the relevant skills and work experience.
You must gain experience working in various departments with different people who have other skills to learn from them. It will help you build confidence and experience regarding what it’s like to work in a team.
18. Get Promoted to The Top Levels of The Same Company or Become CEO of A Similar Company After Completing Many Years of Experience
CEO is a very high position, and it requires a lot of work to get there. The climb to the top of the ladder typically starts with an entry-level job when you are fresh out of college.
IT is an excellent way to get some experience. Then you can advance to the next level and become an assistant manager.
In that case, you will be in charge of many people and gain more knowledge and skills. Once you get the relevant experience, you can move up to general manager positions and higher executive positions.
19. Gain Recognition and Develop a Good Reputation Within the Company
To become a CEO, you need to gain recognition and a good reputation within your company and your industry. It can be accomplished by going above and beyond in your current role.
For example, perhaps you can volunteer for projects or tasks that will help you gain experience in new areas, or maybe you can take on additional responsibilities that no one else wants to do. This will go a long way in developing good relationships with your teammates and managers.
20. Read the World’s Best Business Books from Top Writers
Books can provide a wealth of knowledge and help you become a better leader. Reading enables you to understand your market, industry, and everything surrounding your business.
Moreover, by reading business books written by notable CEOs, you can learn from the mistakes that others have made before you, which can save you years of trial and error.
Lastly, the more books you read, the more excellent knowledge you gain. Knowledge is power, and it will help set you apart from other CEOs.
21. Improve Your Business Writing Skills
Everyone from small-business owners to top executives at multinational companies must write. Good writing skills are essential for getting things done in the workplace, whether it’s an email, a presentation, or a blog post. And it’s significant for CEOs who write every day.
22. Participate in Business Conferences and Events
There are many benefits to attending conferences and networking events, but the primary use is the ability to grow your business.
You can meet new people, learn new things, and see what other companies are doing to succeed. Additionally, conferences are an excellent place for networking.
You can meet other entrepreneurs who have similar interests and goals. You may also meet potential clients who may need your services.
23. Cultivate Leadership Skills
A CEO must inspire confidence and loyalty from employees and stakeholders. They must know how to motivate people and deal with difficult situations.
Strong leadership skills are vital for a successful CEO, as they are often required to lead from the front and make essential decisions on behalf of the organisation.
24. Build Negotiation Skills
A CEO needs both a mind for numbers and the ability to talk with other people about business matters. This area is essential for anyone involved in future mergers and acquisitions.
25. Teach Business School Students as A Guest Lecturer
To become a successful CEO, you need to give guest lectures at universities and colleges. Understanding the business and technology landscape is also crucial for aspiring CEOs.
Also, guest lecturing is a great way to share your business knowledge and expand the minds of students who look up to you.
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Successful Indian CEO’s Of Top Global Companies
Here is a list of the well-known Indian CEOs of top global companies. Read on to discover some interesting facts about them.
1. Sundar Pichai, Google
Sundar Pichai is the CEO of Alphabet Inc. and its subsidiary Google. He was born on the 12th of July 1972 in Madurai, India.
He completed his education in Metallurgical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. He joined Google in 2004, just one year before it went public.
In his first year at Google, he developed the toolbar for the Internet Explorer browser, among other things.
In 2013, Pichai took over as Product Chief and managed the Android operating system and Chrome OS and other related apps like Gmail, Search, Maps, etc. In 2015, he became the CEO of Google.
2. Satya Nadella, Microsoft
Satya Nadella is the CEO of Microsoft and has been working for Microsoft since 1992. He joined the company as a product manager and was named Senior VP of Research and Development in 2011.
He was appointed CEO in February 2014. Nadella earned a degree in electrical engineering from Manipal Institute of Technology, India.
He later received his master’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and his MBA from the University of Chicago.
3. Parag Agrawal, Twitter
To know more about Parag Agrawal, click here. (Link: https://twitter.com/paraga?lang=en )
Parag Agrawal is the chief executive officer of Twitter. He was born in Ajmer, Rajasthan, in the year 1984. He has a Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford University.
He joined Twitter in 2011 as a data scientist. He took on other roles, including running its business intelligence team, engineering team, and eventually the ads product engineering team. He was named CTO in 2018 and later CEO in 2021.
4. Leena Nair, Chanel
Leena Nair is the CEO of Chanel. She was born in the year 1969 in Kolhapur, Maharashtra.
Before Chanel, Leena Nair has been with Unilever for more than 15 years, where she has held a number of roles in the HR and communications departments.
She has worked in India, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East and is currently based in London. In December 2021, she was appointed as the CEO of the French luxury brand Chanel.
5. Shantanu Narayen, Adobe Inc:
Shantanu Narayen (born May 27, 1963) is the chairman and CEO of Adobe Inc. Narayen was born in Hyderabad, Telangana, India.
He completed his schooling at Hyderabad Public School and received a bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering from Osmania University in 1985.
He has an MBA degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MS in computer science from Bowling Green State University. He joined Adobe Systems in 1998 and became CEO on December 1, 2007.
6. Arvind Krishna, IBM
Born into a Telugu-speaking family in Andhra Pradesh, Arvind Krishna has been the CEO of IBM since April 6, 2020.
He joined IBM in 1990. Since then, he has held numerous leadership positions across the company’s software, hardware, and services divisions, most recently serving as senior vice president of Hybrid Cloud and director of IBM Research.
As chief executive officer, Krishna leads IBM’s continued transformation to a virtual, hybrid cloud platform and AI company that helps clients drive innovation across industries as chief executive officer.
7. Sanjay Mehrotra, Micron Technology
Micron Technology’s CEO Sanjay Mehrotra was born in Kanpur, India, and raised in the United States. He studied electrical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and then started as a chip designer at Intel.
In 1984, he joined SanDisk, a maker of flash memory products. He became president and chief operating officer in 2006 and CEO two years later.
Western Digital acquired SanDisk in 2016, and Mehrotra was appointed a director at Western Digital. In 2017, he joined Micron as president and CEO.
8. Nikesh Arora, Palo Alto Networks
Nikesh Arora is the CEO of Palo Alto Networks, which he has held since June 2018. Before this role, Arora served as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Business Officer of Google.
Before joining Google in 2004, he worked in various roles at T-Mobile International and Fidelity Investments.
Arora was born in Ghaziabad, India, and earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University. He then moved to the United States and obtained an MBA from Northeastern University.
9. Jayshree Ullal, Arista Networks
Jayshree Ullal is president and CEO of Arista Networks. Ullal was born in London and spent her childhood and adolescence in New Delhi, India.
She has a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Santa Clara University and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from UC Berkeley.
Ullal joined Arista Networks in 2008 as its president and CEO. She previously served as senior vice president and general manager at Cisco from 1995 to 2008.
10. Ajaypal Singh Banga, Mastercard
Ajaypal Singh Banga is an Indian-American business executive. After completing his education, Banga started his career with Nestlé in India and moved to PepsiCo, where he served as the CEO of their restaurant’s division.
Subsequently, he joined Citigroup as the CEO of its Asia Pacific region. In 2009, Banga became the president and CEO of MasterCard Worldwide and later assumed the position of chairman in 2010.
He has been credited with turning MasterCard into a global brand from a US-based company branding it as a technology company.
11. Indra Nooyi, Pepsico
Indra Nooyi was born in Madras, India, to a middle-class family. She earned degrees from the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta and the Yale School of Management.
In 1994, Nooyi joined PepsiCo, and in 2001 she was named president and CFO. In August 2006, she was promoted to CEO and chairman. Nooyi has consistently been included among the list of the top 100 most powerful women globally.
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In this article, we have discussed some specific skill sets that are a must when you aspire to become a company CEO.
Anyone can learn the skills listed here, and it is not difficult to understand them, provided you have the right attitude towards learning new things.
The road to becoming a CEO can be a long one. It requires formal education and a significant amount of on-the-job experience.
But in return, the reward can be huge! It’s a prestigious position and an incredible opportunity to make a substantial impact in the world of business.