Image by: Steve Jurvetson
By Victor Averin
Entrepreneurs often say good CEO’s are made not born. Research suggests that CEO’s and those that are in higher executive positions have significantly different personality traits and qualities compared to those in lower executive and non-executive positions, but it’s possible to acquire those traits!
What do you and the best performing CEO’s have in common? Here’s how you might be able to tell if you’re cut from the same cloth as a big-time CEO:
You Take Risks Long-Term
One of Jeff Bezos common phrases when someone has a good but risky idea is “we can measure that.” Besides being a data addict, Jeff Bezos has the personality of a risk taker, “sometimes we measure things and see that in the short term they actually hurt sales, and we do it anyway,” because Amazon doesn’t see short-term sales as a good predictor for long-term sales.
For example, Amazon found that their biggest customers had such large collections of CD’s that they ended up purchasing the same album that they bought years ago. So what Amazon did was help customers prevent re-purchasing through a warning system. Short-term sales obviously decreased, but long-term sales over a ten year period increased because customers were happier.
Amazon also saw the same sales pattern when they lowered prices and offered shipping for items that were $25 or higher. Every statistic and calculation said it would be costly for the company, and it would lose money. Jeff did it anyway and found that over a ten year period the benefit of lowering prices was an increase in frequency of shoppers, and their overall satisfaction was going up.
He essentially traded short-term sales for customer satisfaction and shopping frequency by adding in a human factor for long-term and not simply following what business calculations dictate for sales.
You Have An Unbelievable Imagination
Ever find yourself thinking about products that would change the way people behaved? For example, one day you’re drinking a beer near an isolated beach and you wonder if a biodegradable beer bottle existed so that you can simply toss the empty beer bottle into the lake instead of finding a trashcan that might be miles away.
Steve Jobs, one of the greatest CEO’s of the era, had an uncanny ability to address issues and create an imaginative solution then develop and design highly creative and quality tech products to solve those issues.
He insisted on design and human-interface interaction which had transformed Apple into a huge competitor and evolved the company’s brand. An Apple product or service is now in almost every household. Jobs’ strength and focus was always on making the best product, not making the most money from selling a product.
You Have A Deep Passion For A Skill Or Product
Have you become so proficient and passionate about a skill where people ask you for advice or will actually pay you for your knowledge? The truth is Mark Zuckerberg was no business whiz he was a tech-whiz. He admitted that he knew almost nothing about business two years into facebook. His stock tanked after it debuted because he priced it too high and his net worth fell by $8.1 billion dollars.
Zuckerberg was a savage coder/programmer when he was developing facebook although his skills aren’t as strong since the company had moved beyond what he expected and complacency set in, he still advocates for children and young adults to start learning how to code. The point is to pursue and be passionate about a skill throughout your entire life. Easier said then done however. This is a rare trait if you have it and can take you far.