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How do i start my career off to be a CEO


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Jac’s Answer

You do the hard work as an individual contributor to start. Focus on financial and business acumen, and be vocal about your desire for leadership positions. Be really good at your role - you'll naturally get noticed and picked upon for leadership roles. Your EQ (emotional intelligence) and soft skills are going to be heavily weighted in addition to your tactical strength and performance. CEOs do tend to be more fundraisers, the performer and go-to for investors, big picture, can translate into Lehman's terms and tell a good story from data, as well as be a steady rock and lighthouse for the company employees.

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vivekananda’s Answer

Going to a top B School, starting career in a good corporation, hard work, value addition, timing and a pinch of luck could lead you to become a CEO. However this could be a long way and you may not become a CEO! Most of the path breakers of this era like Bill Gates, Larry Page, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg started their own companies based on their passion and they are CEOs from early stage. Their dream was not to become CEO. But, their passion to go deep into the area of their interest and turn into a business idea. How can one become so passionate about anything? Start exploring out of academic study and try to understand the latest developments of the world. It will widen your thoughts and keeps you ahead of many. Keep experimenting and explore in every area that draws your interest. Deep book reading is a great way to start exploring and enriching your brain. Look at the choice of books Bill Gates make here https://www.gatesnotes.com/Books . His choice of books are to understand things in deep and get ideas to change the status quo. Keep exploring and innovate! its your sure shot way to become CEO!

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Christopher’s Answer

Decide what fields interest you. Start at the bottom and never give up your goals.

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Harmeet’s Answer

Hi,

Think of things you're passionate about. Really hone in on things that bring you joy or problems you want to solve. From there, focus on the problems in that space, and what problems you want to solve. It may be that other companies are already working on that problem, and maybe you want to work for them. Being a CEO might not always be the path you want, especially if you're solving a problem that someone has already found a solution for. That said, maybe you solve the problem differently and you can branch-off on your own and create your own company that way. A CEO has a lot of responsibilities outside of running the company. If you're really interested in being a CEO you have to find the problem you want to focus on, build a product or solution that solves the problem, and gives value to your end-user, and after some traction you'll likely need to hire other people to help.

Of course, being a CEO is not as straight-forward as the above but if you can focus on building a product that solves a specific problem and it gives value to your end-user in a different way than other products have in the past, then you're on the right path.

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Rob’s Answer

Find whatever passion you have and identify the opportunities in that industry where you could make an impact. Just having that vision in the 1st place of wanting to be a CEO is fantastic! Now for the path to actually get there it certainly can depend. Academic training has traditionally been the path to prepare and then land a great job by one of the reputable companies in the market space. Being able to learn from established veterans in the industry is important, but be sure to also keep connected with the youth and emerging trends there as well since things can change rapidly. Alternatively, if you really want to get tracked into a CEO role you literally can start your own business pretty reasonably now. But you will need some help with a financial backstop and securing funding for the business. Having started an LLC on the side years ago, that provided an amazing fast track path to learn about a business first hand that working years in corporate America could never quickly do. Keep you dreams!

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Whitney’s Answer

I would recommend starting with a business degree to learn the basics of all businesses. Additionally, looking for any operations management positions that could help you develop the leadership and soft skills required to become a CEO would be beneficial!

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Sharon’s Answer

I love that you are dreaming big! My suggestion would be to first find the industry you want to be in and then learn the business from the basics of that business. You may not start out as the CEO but to be an effective one you should know the business inside and out. Also, maintain positive working relationships with people on all levels. Too often people forget about the "little people" you never know when you might need a favor from someone who knows the business but do not have the same aspirations as you. Create a stellar reputation for being effective at getting the job done and knowledgeable about the overall industry.

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Christopher’s Answer

Decide what fields interest you. Start at the bottom and never give up your goals.

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Michelle’s Answer

Make sacrifices, demonstrate your commitment and work hard. Be willing to take on the jobs that are messy, a lot of work or not appealing to others. Raise your hand for the hard stuff others won't. Practice strong active listening from the beginning, we have one mouth and two ears for a reason.

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Scott’s Answer

I admire your ambition! I see some good advice on this post already. My two cents, you need to start with a solid educational base. Most CEO's I have worked with have a graduate degree from a well known or respected school. I would consider this table stakes, though there are some who advance with a lessor education because they are really good.

The advice I have given to new team members is more tactical which is to make the most of the opportunities you have to get noticed. Meaning, you may be asked to give a presentation, lead or be a part of a project, or generally be in a position to contribute. Your task is to excel in these situations so you get on senior staff's radar screens. To make a baseball analogy, you need to hit a home run or at least a tripler. A double or single isn't going to give the returns you need to advance. Now, if you are able to contribute like this over and over you will find, in my experience, the promotions will naturally occur. It is also a good idea to find a mentor who is clearly on a upward path of direction and endear yourself to them. I have done this and made lasting connections that have spanned many companies.

Finally, it is very important to be likeable within your company. It sounds basic, but it is critical. This translates to being a student of people. Continually learn how your personal attributes effect others and make adjustments in verbal and non-verbal communications. Best of luck!

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Charles’s Answer

Hi Eli,

Can you elaborate on why you want to be a CEO and which industry(ies) interest you?

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