5 Steps to Improve Your CEO Leadership Skills

Are you a CEO leader and struggling to make a positive impact inside your organization? Read these five steps and take a few minutes each day for 30 days (preferably in the morning before your see anyone) to review each one.

1 – Start With A Clear Focus

Do you know what you want to do with the business? It’s critically important that you understand what you want to own. Having a clear vision gives you the ability to share it with others, set realistic goals, and create a working strategy. Once you understand where you want to go and have a strategy in place to get there, you can begin to align your priorities, resources, people and everyone’s efforts toward reaching your goal. But, if you don’t have focus and a clear vision, how will know where to go and when you have arrived? How can you expect anyone else to know?

2 – Share Your Vision Every Day

Having a vision in place is not enough. You need to communicate it and help others move toward it. Your people need to understand the vision, and buy into it, to be able to give their best efforts each day. Take the time to share your vision often, and get your people to buy into the direction – and get everyone moving in the same direction. Smart leaders have a clear vision and share a good map with their people.

3 – Value Your People Always

You will not build this business by yourself. Remember, everyone inside your company has invested time, effort, or opportunity cost to come and work for you instead of going somewhere else. You can probably retain a few of them with some combination of motivators (career enhancement, aligned passion, learning opportunities) and hygiene factors (pay, work conditions, benefits), but if you are not fair and kind, you will lose more than you can keep.

4 – Help Your People Succeed

Set expectations correctly and fairly, and care most about results and outcomes. Help people execute or get out of the way. Stay calm and be patient. Allow people to blow off steam and let them leave early once in a while. Trust people more and try to be more flexible. If you have set expectations correctly and fairly, and if it’s been communicated clearly, people will know what they need to do.

Help people successfully execute and get back to your other core responsibilities including: owning the vision and strategy, building up people and culture, selling at the top, and securing necessary financing.

5 – Care More About Results

Trying to get people to change? Instead of simply requiring more activity, how about trying to set clear and achievable expectations, and then hold them accountable mainly for results and outcomes. Give them the freedom to work without micromanaging their every action. Your people will work smarter and better (and will have more energy and add more value) if you show that you care more about results and outcomes. If you hired competent and qualified professionals, then they most likely know how to do the job. Show you care about results and don’t pay for, or reward, routine activity. Set clear expectations and focus on results and outcomes and activity metrics will improve.

If you want to grow your business but have been struggling as a leader, then take this to heart. Be honest with yourself about what kind of business you want to build and be willing to share that vision with your people. Value everyone on your team and invest time with your internal staff to help them execute and reach for outcomes. Show people you care more about achieving results than measuring routine activities. Do these five things and you will become a better leader than most.


CHRISTOPHER MENGEL brings over 20 years of insights to business owners and talent leaders inside emerging technology and professional services firms to implement new initiatives, develop new strategies for growth, carry out organizational and cultural change, manage complex projects, and fill business-critical roles. Have a challenge you want to solve? Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter and subscribe to his posts or contact him.