skills CEOs master
Insight & Analysis - March 25, 2022

6 Skills All Great CEOs Master

Although they aren’t taught in colleges, these skills make all the difference. 

The ultimate career objective for many high-achieving professionals is to become an executive in their workplace, especially in the chief executive officer (CEO) position. However, not everyone has the skills that exceptional CEOs have devoted years to master.

To become a successful CEO, it takes more than “what you know” and “whom you know”. The characteristics that distinguish a great CEO are essentially a collection of skills that top-level executives develop independently.

Here are some of the skills great CEOs master to be exceptional in their offices.


Angel Gurría, former OECD Secretary-General, said, “Integrity, transparency, and the fight against corruption must be part of the culture. They must be instilled as essential ideals”. 

This is because transparency is one of the skills that successful CEOs must master since trust, respect, and loyalty are earned when you are transparent.

Be the Calm in the Storm

Being a CEO entails being on top and in charge of everything that occurs in the firm, even when chaotic, which can be quite stressful. This is because, as the number one person, you are essential to the company’s success. 

When the company is under pressure, the CEO serves as the soothing, encouraging voice that ensures that projects, deadlines, employees, and everything are on track.


Diplomacy is one of the abilities you’ll need to master, although it’s not taught in college. It is the skill of relating with people with tact and sensitivity.

This is a skill necessary for your career as a CEO. Your employees will trust you to handle difficult situations with sensitivity and tactfulness. It will give them a sense of equality in the company instead of favouritism towards specific employees.

Also, being a CEO, your way of being diplomatic will change regularly; as a result, you will have to stay up with it.

Willingness to change both the company and themselves

Sir Richard Branson said, “Every success story is a narrative of ongoing adaptation, modification, and change”.

This is not only true for a company’s growth but also the CEO. Although getting a firm off the ground to another level is impressive, ensuring profitability and competitiveness is no simple task.

According to CEO Today Magazine, the need for change and growth is because “the company is constantly facing the threat of competition. By staying small, you are essentially offering opportunities for others to take the lion’s share of your markets”.


Inclusion in the workplace shows that everybody is part of the activities regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, age, or political affiliation.

This is because every single person is significant. No one should be afraid of being excluded, bullied, or shunned at work. Every individual provides value, and it is the CEO’s responsibility to ensure that inclusion is a top priority.

Capacity to take carefully considered risks

Successful CEOs did not get to the peak of their professions by following all the rules. When a student questioned Tim Cook, “When should we listen to our teachers and when is it fine not to,” he replied, “I think you should rarely follow the rules.

I think you should write the rules. If you follow things in a formulaic manner, you will wind up at best being the same as everybody else”. Develop the skill of how to take calculated risks.

READ ALSO: 7 Things Business School will not Teach You about the Real World

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