Too many people climb the ladder of success, only to find it is leaning against the wrong wall. (unkn)
Should you be a CEO?
Jim just took a job as a manager of a small company. He’s been a CEO before. He took the lowly manager’s job because he likes it better than being CEO. He didn’t even put his CEO experience on his resume. He got the “lowly” job he really wants because he left the word CEO off his resume.
I can tell you the same story, with the exact opposite twist, of technicians and engineers who worked their way up the technical ladder, only to finally figure out that they should have quit and gone to work as the CEO of a small company. These are guys making $150,000+ as technicians. Not bad money at all.
There’s a way to find out if you really, truly, in your gut would like to be a CEO. Get a couple of practice jobs. First, become a team leader or manager where you are. Also get involved in your local or national trade association. While you are at it, volunteer to head a charity organization. Your local school has a PTO, swim team boosters, band boosters, etc. The YMCA, Boys and Girls Club and Scouts all need people who are leaders. Another great way is to run for the school board, town council or state legislature.
Leading any of these organizations will help you see if you like management. In them you need to set your own goals and agenda. You need to persuade people to work with you. Selling others on your ideas is essential. You’ll also build a network of people who can help you become a CEO. You’ll get to show true executive leadership.
If you talk to CEO’s, you’ll find that many of them evaluate executives in their own and in supplier companies by how they perform in volunteer posts. Being a CEO isn’t just telling people what to do. It also includes creating a network that will draw talent and contracts to your company.
If you want to be a CEO, get started now. There are teams, associations, charitable organizations and political organizations looking for leaders.
And pay attention. Being CEO may not be for you.
Something To Do Today
If you have any desire to be a manager or a leader, make a list of places where your leadership
could have an effect. Go out and get started in those organizations. You could easily be the “CEO” in 2 years.
Later: 3 critical words on your resume
Absolute proof it is time to leave your job