7 Habits of Highly Successful CEOs

Highly successful CEOs possess a variety of habits that help them achieve success in their roles, but some key ones include:

Setting clear goals and objectives: Successful CEOs are able to clearly communicate the company’s vision and goals to their employees, and they consistently work towards achieving them. According to a study by Harvard Business Review, CEOs who set specific, challenging goals for their teams tend to achieve better performance outcomes. This includes setting both short-term and long-term goals and regularly reviewing progress toward those goals.

  1. Staying organized: Successful CEOs are able to manage their time effectively and stay organized. They prioritize their tasks and delegate responsibilities to their teams. According to a study by the University of California, Los Angeles, CEOs who prioritize their tasks and manage their time effectively are more likely to achieve success. This includes developing a schedule that allows for focused, uninterrupted work time, as well as regular meetings with key team members to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
  2. Strong communication skills: Highly successful CEOs possess excellent communication skills and are able to effectively convey their ideas to both internal and external stakeholders. According to a study by the Kellogg School of Management, CEOs who possess strong communication skills tend to be more successful in leading their organizations. This includes the ability to clearly articulate a vision, to effectively negotiate with partners and investors, and to inspire and motivate employees.
  3. Willingness to take calculated risks: Successful CEOs are not afraid to take risks when necessary in order to achieve their goals. According to a study by the University of Cambridge, CEOs who are willing to take calculated risks tend to be more successful than those who are risk-averse. This includes the ability to identify new opportunities, make bold investments, and adapt to changing market conditions.
  4. Embracing a growth mindset: Successful CEOs possess a growth mindset and are constantly looking for ways to improve their skills and knowledge. According to a study by the Stanford Graduate School of Business, CEOs who embrace a growth mindset are more likely to achieve success. This includes the ability to learn from failures, seek out new challenges, and continuously develop new skills.
  5. Strong leadership: Highly successful CEOs are strong leaders who are able to inspire and motivate their teams. According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, CEOs who possess strong leadership skills tend to be more successful in leading their organizations. This includes the ability to set a clear direction, empower employees, and lead by example.
  6. Adaptability: Successful CEOs are adaptable and able to adapt to changing market conditions. According to a study by the MIT Center for Digital Business, CEOs who are adaptable tend to be more successful than those who are not. This includes the ability to adapt to new technologies, new competitors, and shifting customer demands.
  7. Self-awareness: Successful CEOs possess a high level of self-awareness. According to a study by Harvard Business Review, self-awareness is one of the most important traits of successful CEOs. This includes the ability to understand one’s own strengths and weaknesses, to be honest with oneself, and to continuously strive to improve. One way CEOs become more self-aware is by setting aside time for self-reflection and introspection. This can include journaling, meditating, or working with a therapist or coach. Additionally, seeking feedback from employees, colleagues, and mentors can provide valuable insights into one’s strengths and areas for improvement. Engaging in activities outside of work, such as volunteering or pursuing hobbies, can also help CEOs gain a broader perspective and better understand themselves in relation to others.

Successful CEOs practice a variety of habits that help them achieve success in their roles. Do you?

Questions for you to answer:

  1. How do you set clear goals and objectives for your team?
  2. What strategies do you use to stay organized and manage your time effectively?
  3. How do you develop and maintain strong communication skills?
  4. How do you approach taking calculated risks in your role as CEO?
  5. Can you give an example of a time when you had to adapt to changing market conditions?
  6. How do you inspire and motivate your team?
  7. How do you ensure that you stay aware of your own strengths and weaknesses?
  8. What steps do take to continually increase your self-awareness?

As CEOs, we confront critical choices – growth strategies, succession planning, employee engagement, leadership development…the list seems endless. The weight of these decisions can feel exhilarating, yet also stressful. And lonely.

Even though I started an INC. 500 company, I spent too many years trying to navigate it all solo. I’ve learned every CEO needs a community of peers who understand the unique challenges we face.

Peernacle is a private peer advisory group where leaders in southern Virginia come together and help one another to make better decisions and grow as leaders. If you’re looking for a community where you can gain insight from others who have sat in your seat, explore Peernacle group membership.