CEOs develop and communicate a vision and a strategy for the company. They are in charge of winning the confidence of investors; winning the trust of the wider public; and setting the standards for ethical behavior within the company. CEO jobs require both formulating and executing a strategy for the organization. A quality CEO will make an effort to understand the company on all levels. Those possessing CEO positions spend a great deal of time building and managing executive talent to ensure that the company has a capable management team across all critical business functions and a succession plan for the future.
CEO operations steer the course without getting bogged down with details. A good CEO will engage and motivate his or her employees, from entry-level to senior executive positions. The CEO is in charge of building an organization that is able to stay current. It is the CEO’s job to make tough, decisive and sometimes risky decisions in an expedient fashion. CEO jobs also require sufficient communication of a clear, consistent message to each group of stakeholders regarding the company’s goals, activities and values.
The CEO job calls for excellent decision-making skills and good judgment as well as an interest in working with others. The CEO position seeker must visibly demonstrate his or her commitment to ethical conduct. He or she must have the hands-on capabilities and understanding to provide leadership to the business and instill a culture of operational excellence. Prospective CEOs must have the ability to attract, lead and retain talent across all senior executive positions, as well as the ability to break down organizational silos and consider all factors when making decisions and structuring the work of their teams.
The CEO needs intellectual agility and creativity to respond to changing demands and create new solutions. CEOs must have superior operating skills; financial acumen; the ability to manage risk; and the means to formulate a plan of action and execute it swiftly and decisively. Those seeking CEO positions opportunities should have talent, drive, and energy, and should enjoy a challenge. Aspiring CEOs and executive leaders should inspire respect, loyalty, and affection. They should be able to handle complexity and act as objective listeners. A CEO must have an analytical mind and a clear understanding of what factors positively influence the P&L. CEO job holders must be excellent communicators with the ability to engage and motivate people both inside and outside of the company.
It is important that these qualities are clearly and concisely demonstrated to executive and CEO recruiters and search consultants through a professionally written executive resume or CV. In addition, as a senior executive, one must ensure visibility to executive and CEO recruiters and headhunters through well-developed networking skills and a solid online presence. BlueSteps can help one achieve exposure to over 8,000 executive recruiters worldwide, an opportunity that CEO job seekers may want to consider. Follow the next section to understand what level of experience is often required by executive headhunters using the BlueSteps database.
Career Experience Sought for the CEO Job by Headhunters
An executive headhunter or senior search consultant will look to fill CEO jobs with COOs, CFOs or Divisional Presidents. Often, CEO candidates will have had operational experience running at least a division of a company. CEO job candidates need to have demonstrated the skills and competencies listed above in their former roles. CMOs are sometimes made CEOs of marketing driven companies, but only after they have had general management experience. In this situation, CEO position prospects should have also demonstrated credibility, a proven track record and intense involvement.