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Career Information: How To Become A CEO?

A chief executive officer can be best described as a senior most position of the most corporate officer or person in charge of administration of management of for-profit organizations or a for-profit organization. The CEO presents his/her report to the Board of Directors. The other names of CEO are President, Chief Executive (CE) and Managing Director (MD). In this article on how to become a CEO information will be given on the helpful tips to get the coveted job and responsibilities of the work profile.

how to become a ceo

CEO Job Description

Known as one of the least understood, but often sought by employees who are in the workforce. Usually, the word “CEO” can remind you of a villain, who has spectacles and the Hero will be ‘James Bond.’ According to the people mindset, a CEO role is very powerful, and they have the connections to change any policy as per their whims and fancies. However, the job of a CEO will be entirely different, as they have to meet the requirements of customers, communities, investors and the law.

The responsibilities of a CEO are put in place by the board of directors of an organization or any authority depending on the legal structure. The duties can be either limited or have greater responsibilities and the job profile will be one of authority. The duties can be of a decision maker, director, manager, leader and executor of policies. He/she will also have a job as a communicator as they have to address the board meetings, press, employees, management and the stock market customers. When it comes to decision-making roles, they will be high profile focusing on strategy and policy. They are the leaders and advise the board members, provide motivation to employees and try to drive change inside the organization. As the policy maker, they have a say on the day-to-day operations of the organization.

In United States, the term of a ‘chief executive officer’ is used primarily for business, but not in charitable sector while the term of director for charity staff is not used to avoid confusion among the charity director as they are unpaid (non-executive roles).

In a start-up, the duties will differ from a big organization as the CEO will be primarily responsible for the success or failure of the company. Everything will be under his/her control that includes strategy, finance, operations, creating of company policies, hiring new employees, compliance with the business standard and safety regulations etc.

Some of the job profiles have responsibilities that can be delegated to juniors, but some of the CEO’s job duties are such that it cannot be routed to others. He/she has to hire the senior management team, creating the proper work culture are some of the duties which can be done only by a CEO.

The next main job of a CEO is to have a proper working environment, become part of the culture. A place full of politics and unhealthy practices can drive away the best talent. The attitude and behavior in a risky situation can send healthy or unhealthy signals to the employees.

Team building is the key strategy of a CEO. An organization can grow quickly and sustain themselves in the market when they have a proper team who share the same vision and passion for growth.

Budget allocation is one of the foremost duties of the CEO. He/she can either fund or stop projects depending on the success and failure.

How To Become A CEO

You cannot become a CEO overnight, even if you are the son of a Royal Scion or the founder of a large organization. History has records that even Chairman or CEOs of a large organization make their sons startup from the lower ranks so that they get to know the how-to-do of business. Usually, a Chief Executive Officer has to work their course via the ranks and then rise to the crest – the essentials – hard work, perseverance and qualities – needed for a top-notch business leader.

Proper Education

A proper plan done in school can elevate you to the job of a CEO in the shortest possible time. The grades need to be good, and you should have completed an undergraduate as well a graduate degree. It is advisable to focus on a particular subject you have a passion. However, do not emphasize too much on studies as you need to have an all-round development for becoming a CEO. After all, you will be working with human beings and not with heavy books or computers.

You can find on Linkedin and other social media websites, that many CEOs had completed an undergraduate degree and then work for many years in an organization, rise via the ranks and then go back to study for completing an MBA program. Ensure you do not need to put the workforce on hold option because you do not have the necessary degrees.

Learn Finance

A CEO has to take into consideration many reports and make wise financial decisions and for this aspect, a strong financial knowledge is essential. You can learn and study about the concerned subject any time in your life, but college life is the best suitable opportunity. If you have not opted for a major in economics, accounting, or let us say, finance, you can take plenty of short term courses.

If you are a part of the workforce of any company, which provides additional certifications, make best use of the opportunity. Also, it is better to enhance the knowledge about special classes, seminars and other educational events. To be a great CEO, you need to know and possess many skills, the best among them – never stop learning.


When you are in college, try to attend networking events and business seminars as far as possible. Check for small jobs that you can do in vacations to develop the necessary traits of a leader and hard work. Do not be too materialistic – also try to spend time with people in charitable organizations so that you can imbibe the human values. Ensure you have a proper plan in place. Do not work in an industry for five years and then change the domain. It is better to keep false pride out of sight and do not hesitate to ask for assistance. You never know who will be the angel in the world. They can help with either a kind word or good reference written in paper with their seal.

Aim For The Stars

In your first job, show enthusiasm and keep a lookout of lazy workers. They are the ones who spread negativity in the organization and discourage you with their speeches on favoritism and politics. Do smart work and take the initiative in accepting new jobs. Within a short period, you will be noticed – the result – the management is convinced, you are interested in a long term in the organization.

It will be excellent if you can get friendly with a high-level executive in your organization. Closely observe their expressions and choice of words while they make a speech. If you get one high-ranking executive as a mentor for you, that will be the most potent tool needed for fast-tracking a career.


In recent times as well in the good old days, the proverb that stays true to the words is “Destiny favors the brave”. If you get an opportunity in which a request is made for the team to change shifts from working in the morning to the night, go for it. The other situation could be a “high-level post” in a far-off location.

If you have been sidelined after putting in months of work, scan job postings and resign from the organization to join a new one. A look at the resume of top-notched professionals can indicate they had become managers and vice presidents for two or three organizations before becoming the head of their previous company.

You can start a company on your own and believe it or not, that will be the greatest experience not in the curriculum of any of the best educational institutions. Building a company from scratch is a wonderful task, but it will need every inch of the body’s energy.

Join As A Board Member

Try to become a board member in any of the big organizations after putting in at least ten years of working in various positions in your chosen career. You can get experience in dealing with various situations. It is estimated that nearly 50 percent of the CEO’s in the United States have served as board members before becoming a CEO.

Being A Great CEO

The CEO of an organization need not be the owner or founder; the role is quite different from that of the entrepreneur. The best role of a CEO will be to run the company, make financial decisions and solve the differences among the members of the management team and keep the budget on a tight leash. In short, a CEO must be one who has an eye for detail.


Many get the positions after decades of experience in the same industry or the same company. If you have reached the top, do not forget the less ranking position you had joined in the initial stages and use every opportunity to connect with the employees. The position can give you insights about policies in a new way and sometimes you have to make the “rules” for the betterment of every one.

A Leader With Vision

A leader is one who can promise the employees of a better future, and by making the office environment a conducible place to live in. A word of appreciation at the appropriate moment, a motivational speech in the right event can get the tempo rolling.

You can assign the hardest jobs to workers, but be ready to forgive them in case of unavoidable mistakes. The best way of enhancing productivity will be when you take personal calls.

Selling The Goal

If your employees have faith in you, ensure that you tell them the goal and decision in a simple way. They can make their plans to help you achieve the vision.

You should never allow the statement that the CEO lives in an ivory castle and the rest is run by subordinates according to the whims and fancies. You should visit every department and ask doubts or give clarifications on every task. A high-level leader in the thick of action is what every employee will appreciate and understand. If someone is not able to do their job, take the driver’s seat and complete the task explaining the reasons and steps – remember, a leader always leads by his/her actions and not insulting others.

Strategy Decisions

Your thoughts run the company and it is better to know what is around the corner. Keeping your organization on top of the hill is a daunting task and you should be prepared for the bumpy roads ahead.

How Much Does A CEO Make?

The pay scale can differ from organization to organization, and also on the industry. The average annual salary of a CEO is more than $10 million and the calculation has been done by inclusion of salary, perks, stock options and other pay availabilities. Female CEOs draw more salary than male CEOs in 2012, although their number is very few. The highest paid CEO in 2012 was Mark Zuckerberg who had $503,205 in his salary, but profits from his stocks gave him close to 2.276 billion.

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