How to Become a CEO

The road to becoming a chief executive officer, or CEO, is long and winding. CEOs go through years of schooling and sometimes even more years of labour to learn what it takes to be a leader. Learning their skills and the measures you may take to become this high-ranking employee can help you on your way.

In this article, we’ll go over the processes to become a CEO and the talents required for this position.

The Role of a CEO

A CEO is an organization’s highest-ranking official. The particular responsibilities of a CEO vary by organisation, but they determine the company’s direction and priorities, how it uses its resources and budget, and how it handles its commercial connections. Depending on the business model, the CEO reports directly to the firm owner or the organization’s chairwoman. The CEO is the firm’s public face, and he or she frequently represents and promotes the company at events, conferences, and in the media.

How to become a CEO

Becoming a CEO is a long-term goal that demands a lot of dedication. Though the path to CEO differs by industry and company, following these steps can help you get started:

1. University courses

Getting an education is the first step on your path to becoming a CEO. Choosing the correct university degrees might help you choose which apprenticeships you’ll acquire and, ultimately, which jobs you’ll get. A basic degree may require two or three A-levels. Business studies, finance, and economics courses can help you gain the business expertise you’ll need for a CEO position. Advanced degrees are available. Advanced degrees, such as MBAs, can improve your chances of landing an apprenticeship or a career that leads to a CEO role.

Engineering is another field of education that CEOs could look into. Because many students throughout the world are more interested in technology and science, certain businesses may look for high-potential employees in these sectors. A bachelor’s degree can be earned in 2-4 years in many of these disciplines.

2. Apprenticeships

Some programmes may offer an apprenticeship for a Senior Leader Master’s Degree to assist you focus your education on senior management in organisations. Employer-designed programmes aim to provide individuals with the tools and education they’ll need to keep their firms afloat. Individuals interested in positions such as chief operating officer, chief financial officer, senior director, or other executives may want to consider doing an extra two years of schooling before starting work.

Regardless of your career path, becoming a CEO necessitates an attitude of continuous learning throughout your career. Continued education can help you become a well-rounded decision-maker as rules change and new skills emerge.

3. Work experience

Much of what it takes to become a CEO is learned on the job. Investigate businesses and industries in a field that you’re interested in. It may even be advantageous for you to enter the workforce before completing your degree, allowing you to use that accomplishment as a springboard for your first promotion. Check up various work sites and reviews to see if there’s any information on promotions and career advancement, as this is essential for becoming a CEO. The most important thing is to develop your talents, get experience, and gain a better understanding of how the firm and industry operate.

4. Get promoted

When you first start working, you want to keep getting promoted until you reach the top. As you learn how to manage teams and entire departments while adapting to new duties, you may confront problems, but your bosses, coworkers, and possible mentors can assist you. Make sure to keep track of your accomplishments with metrics that show you’re a capable leader.

Consider your own performance and what you can do to improve it. The capacity to monitor performance and make adjustments when necessary is one of the most crucial traits of a CEO.

5. Setup your own business

Some successful CEOs rose through the ranks by starting their own business. Building your own company can be gratifying while also teaching you a variety of essential skills. You decide the company’s culture, direction, and mission as an entrepreneur. This alternative path is also important for demonstrating to larger organisations that you have the technical skills and leadership attributes required to run a company. Over time, you can learn how to work with technology, form teams, and innovate, and if you’re successful, you could become the CEO of a larger corporation.

Characteristics of a CEO

There are some attributes that a CEO must possess in order to succeed as the head of an organisation. CEOs can establish influencing authority and recruit others to follow their vision by combining hard and soft abilities in the appropriate way. The following are essential qualities for a CEO:

Good Communication Skills

Because the CEO is the highest level of management in the firm, communication is essential. The capacity to communicate effectively aids others in comprehending the CEO’s judgments.

CEOs negotiate, acquire information, and explore potential solutions with various stakeholders while making decisions. Communication skills can aid them in comprehending the organization’s potential and difficulties, and knowledge of the industry can aid them in making educated judgments and communicating those conclusions.

Financial Understanding

One of the CEO’s most important jobs is to secure the company’s financial performance. Financial literacy, company management abilities, a basic understanding of accounting, and cash flow expertise are all required. CEOs frequently run their own businesses before taking the helm of a larger corporation, where they can gain experience in these areas.

CEOs also contact with shareholders on a regular basis. To comprehend how stocks, earnings, and shares function, it’s critical to learn the fundamentals of the market and industry.


Employees can look to you as the company’s leader for inspiration on how to stay engaged. Maintaining a high level of energy and making your presence and deeds known. You can also drive teams in other ways, such as through reward programmes or by cultivating a business culture in which employees encourage one another to succeed through competitions and other activities.

Develop this talent through paying attention to others’ opinions and responding appropriately. Making active adjustments in response to employee complaints, for example, might motivate individuals to work more because they know you care. Working successfully in a team fosters long-term relationships and loyalty, which are essential for taking the company forward.

Understanding Company Performance

The ability to judge whether earlier activities and behaviours were effective or productive for the firm is known as performance assessment. A CEO’s previous judgments might provide a wealth of information about how they will handle circumstances in the future. They can show you what works well, what needs to be improved, and what you should avoid. CEOs who learn from their mistakes can examine the links between action and result. A CEO’s ability to evaluate their own and their employees’ performance is crucial.

Because CEOs spend time in staff training and resources, analysing performance data can help identify areas where the company might improve. For example, in reaction to staff polls indicating a lack of trust in management, they may invest in formal leadership training.

Decision Making

Decisiveness is the ability to make swift and effective decisions in the face of new knowledge. CEOs confront a variety of deadlines and inquiries from both internal and external sources as the leader of an organisation. The ability to make timely decisions keeps the company on track to meet its objectives. Decisiveness is a skill that develops with time as a result of confidence and experience. You could also employ confidence while making major decisions that have a large impact on the firm. This skill enables you to evaluate the company’s details and macro views while forecasting what will happen if you make a specific decision.

Being Accessible

Being approachable entails being a good listener and setting aside time for others. CEOs who are successful are personable to other employees. Many companies have an open-door policy that encourages employees to share their thoughts and concerns.

Managers increase their accessibility by having informal one-on-one meetings to get to know their employees. Adopting a coaching or mentoring leadership style brings out the best in your staff and strengthens your working relationships.

Problem Solving Skills

Problem-solving creativity is a valuable skill in every profession. Through a thorough approach, it is possible to arrive at a unique and inventive answer. Businesses that make innovative decisions are more likely to succeed in the face of market changes, financial issues, and leadership changes. In order to solve problems creatively, you must first gather information and analyse it. Following that, a CEO works with a team to develop a series of hypotheses, which are then tested to determine the best viable solution.

Initiative and Drive

The ability to act before others is known as initiative. To become a CEO, you must take action by seeking education, beginning a career, and rising through the ranks. Knowing when it’s the proper moment to pursue these things and when you can continue to grow in your current career requires initiative. Setting ambitious goals for yourself, especially when you’re just starting out, is what ambition is all about. A CEO has the highest authority in the firm, so aspiring to that degree of authority requires drive and ambition.