How to Become a CEO: 6 Steps to Seeing Yourself As the CEO No Matter How Big You Are

MattBusiness, Filmmaking, Marketing, Mindset, Video Production2 Comments

how to become a ceo

What exactly is a CEO anyway? The letters stand for Chief Executive Officer and they’re usually the highest-ranking executive manager of a corporation. But what exactly can they do and – as the owner of a small video production business – how to become a CEO?

Well, ultimately, a CEO has the responsibility for the overall success of their business and the authority to make any final decisions that affect how a business is run.

Sounds familiar? As the head of a video production company, the fate of the company does rest on your shoulders. But is that all a CEO is? A title?

A good CEO is not just a title, a good CEO is a leader. They set the direction of their company and help move it towards success.

How do they do that? Well there are several ways and schools of thought about that.  In this post, we’ve compiled some thoughts and tips from various experts – including CEOs themselves – as to how you can see yourself as a CEO, no matter how big or small your business is.

how to become a ceo

Start thinking, acting, and talking like a CEO

Stop seeing yourself and your company as small. It’s a common problem, especially in video production company owners. Oftentimes, we’re creative guys first and business guys second.

Get a bit of an ego. But don’t make it too large. 😉

David Ching, the Vice President of Operations for EQA Office Furniture, reminds us that the most successful CEOs are those that are great leaders. He breaks down what makes a good leader and a good CEO into three qualities.

Think Like a CEO

First, you need to think like a CEO.  Ching identifies two attributes that are important to thinking like a CEO: A positive mental attitude and a mind-set that is always looking for ways to improve.

A CEO needs a positive mental attitude as they set the tone for their companies. A good CEO must lead the way and inject a positive mental attitude within the company.

It is also important that a CEO always seeks ways to improve. This means that they also have the confidence to believe improvement is possible and the understanding that constant improvement is needed to put them ahead of their competitors.

Act like a CEO

After crafting a CEO mindset, you next need to learn to act like a CEO. A CEO leads by example.

As stated above, your mental attitude should have a trickledown effect. You should “infect” the other people in your company with your positive attitude and cultivate in them a desire to improve as well.

Talk like a CEO

Lastly, you need to learn how to talk like a CEO. Good verbal communication is very important and you should always be conscious of your words and the effect they might have.

As a good CEO, you need to think beyond just giving positive pep talks every now and then. You need to make your normal, everyday speech positive and challenging.

You also need to learn how to communicate the company’s “big picture” goals over and over in different ways, so that the picture is clear to each and ever person in the company.

how to become a ceo

Take on a CEO’s responsibilities

According to Joel Trammel, CEO of Khorus, a CEO leads from the top and has 5 core responsibilities, no matter the company’s size or industry.

Own the company’s vision

First, the CEO owns the company’s vision.

They determine an organization’s strategic direction and communicates this direction effectively to the company’s shareholders. Naturally, if you’re a small company, you won’t have shareholders.

To be an effective CEO, you need to make all your employees understand the company’s direction and how this roadmap will affect their duties and responsibilities.

Provide the proper resources

Secondly, a CEO provides the proper resources. It’s a CEO’s task to balance the organization’s resources. Of all your resources, it is your capital and your people that are the most valuable and you need to ensure that both of these resources are available at the proper time and in the proper quantities for a project to be successful.

To make the proper decisions on the allocation of resources, you need to make sure you understand all aspects of your business.

As part of the allocation of proper resources, a good CED knows how to put the right people in the right positions. You need to be able to put together the right team for the job. This also implies that you need to know your people and know their talents and capabilities.

how to become a ceo

Build the company culture

Third, a CEO builds the company’s culture.

By culture, we mean a set of attitudes, behaviors, goals, and values that are shared by a group.

The most crucial part here is “values”. A CEO ensures that a company’s values are applied consistently and across all departments.

By promoting a good culture for your company, you make your people feel respected and safe and able to perform their best.

Make good decisions

Fourthly, a CEO needs to be able to make good decisions.

By definition, a CEO is a person who is tasked with making decisions. A CEO will need to make the final calls on any major decision for the company.

Oversee the company’s performance

The fifth and last responsibility of a CEO is to oversee the company’s performance.

As a CEO, you are ultimately the one who is responsible for the overall performance of the company. You need to take an active role in driving your company’s performance.

This means that you need to have a keen awareness of the industry and the market that your company is competing in. You also need to be in touch with your businesses core functions and ensure that all tasks are executed properly.

According to Trammel, successful CEOs have a clear sense of their responsibilities and how to fulfill them.  A successful CEO will take the lead in driving the company’s success.

how to become a ceo

See yourself as a CEO

Terry Green, president and CEO of online marketing support company BizEase Support Solutions, stresses that – no matter what the size of your business – you need to have the confidence to see yourself as a CEO and be a CEO.

To be a good CEO, you need to feel and act like a confident business owner.  You need to see and present yourself as a CEO, as it is bad for business if you do not.

Remember that, you are representing your company. Often, the first impression a potential client has of your company comes from their interactions with you.

If you, as the CEO of a small business, doubt your skills or your level of expertize, you will not be able to convince a prospective client that you and your company are worth the rate that you are charging. They will go somewhere else.

You need to always present yourself, your company and your company’s services in a confident manner. Green stresses that an important way to project confidence is in your demeanor. Especially your voice.

Avoid sounding unsure – saying “ummh” or stumbling over the words or your pitch. Practice sounding and being confident.

Bottom line, to be a successful CEO of your small business, you need to believe that you are one. Believe and act like you are the owner of a successful small business and you will become a successful CEO.

how to become a ceo

Recognize and surround yourself with talented people

Alexander Haislip, a marketing executive with automation startup ScaleXtreme and the author of Essentials of Venture Capital has several pieces of advice on how to be worthy of being called a CEO.

One of his main pointers is to make sure you can attract awesome people.

As he puts it, many of those we consider remarkable CEOs also had remarkable people working for them. For example, Steve Jobs had Steve Wozniak and Mike Markkula.

Haislip describes a good CEO as being like a moon that is illuminated by reflected light from the stars that they have brought into their orbit. If you have awesome people, they will push ideas forward, execute ideas well, and challenge you and your company to reach new heights.

He also recommends hiring diversely. By bringing in the best people you can from different backgrounds and even different generations, you will have many different perspectives at work towards your company’s goals. They will bring their different perspectives to bear on your video production company’s problems and come up with innovative solutions.

Have board meetings no matter how big you are

Get into the habit of having ‘board meetings,’ even early on. It’s never too early to have a board meeting, even if you’re a new, fledgling company.

Getting into the habit of having board meetings primes your brain and gets both you, and your employees, into the mindset of seeing yourself as a big-time company. Not just some random video company startup.

You don’t have to get too technical and over-the-top with this. Keep things casual, but have everyone attends, semi-formal meetings every now and then.

You could have them:

  • once a week.
  • once a month.
  • once a quarter.

Just make sure you have them.

How to become a CEO – A Conclusion

Another piece of advice Haislip has for being an effective CEO is to make sure that you’re not just selling a good product but also providing a good experience.

A good CEO seeks to ensure that their company provides a good experience for their customers.  Experiences create memories and a good experience creates good memories for a customer about their dealings with your company.

By making sure your customers have good memories of you, you can ensure that they will continue to think of you and come back for more. As well as recommend other people to you.

You want to cultivate a long-term relationship with your clients so they will provide you with repeat business and drive new business to you by recommending your company to others.

Do you now have a better idea about how to become a CEO of your video company? As you can see, so much of this is mindset and simply just deciding that you’re now the CEO. Once you decide that, start acting like one.

Do you see yourself as the CEO of your company? Let us know in the comments below.

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