Skip to content
Home » Expert Advice » How to Have a Successful CEO Mindset 

How to Have a Successful CEO Mindset 

Want to be an Extraordinary Boss? If you’re really looking to become a boss that your employees brag about, it starts with your Mindset. Take time for some introspection on your beliefs about leadership, business, and the future. Having the right core philosophy, beliefs, and a CEO Mindset, can help you be an extraordinary boss and leader.

A CEO Mindset and the beliefs of extraordinary leaders include:

1. A company is a community, not a machine.

The best company leaders believe that, rather than a company being a rigid machine, their company is a collection of individual hopes and dreams. These hopes and dreams begin with your vision for your company but are connected to each of your employees. While each employee has their own goals and aspirations, a true leader should learn what they are and find ways to motivate them. Give them a reason to believe in you and your company. Inspire them to dedicate themselves to the success of their peers and, therefore, to the community and company as a whole.

2. A business is an ecosystem, not a battlefield.

While office politics can get intense, and may even seem like a battlefield at times, that’s not what a business is really about. Part of being a leader and having a CEO mindset is believing that their business is symbiotic, where more diversity is likely to help it not only survive but thrive. You should create teams that adapt easily to new markets and can quickly form partnerships with other companies, customers, and even competitors.

3. Management is about guiding, not controlling.

Many people fall into the idea that they need to constantly watch over their team members and make sure that they are doing what they need to do properly. However, not only are you going to wear yourself out but you’ll likely frustrate your employees in the process. Rather than micro-managing, leaders with a CEO mindset often believe in giving general directions and then committing themselves to supply the resources that their people need to get the job done effectively. They push decision-making downward, allowing their team the freedom to decide things on their own and form their own rules, intervening only when necessary.

4. Employees are peers, not children or lackeys.

Leaders will adopt the mindset that employees are their peers for a handful of reasons. Treating every employee in the company as if they were the most important person to the success of the company, will not only help the employees feel seen and respected, but in turn, they will also see and respect you. On top of this, the expectations that most basic leaders have are that an employee will do their job well. However, with this new mindset you’re not expecting someone beneath you to do their job, you are trusting that your peers and colleagues know what they are doing and can get it done with excellence. This level of respect will not only be received well by employees but will often be reciprocated.

Scrabble tiles spell out the interlocking words "How to Motivate" on a denim background.
(Motivating your team is a valuable part of a CEO mindset)

5. Motivation comes from vision, not from fear.

Some leaders think that fear can be used as a motivational tactic, and while they are somewhat correct. This is an external motivation, though, and is not a healthy one. It will often lead to employees leaving or simply giving up due to no internal motivation. By paying attention to employees’ internal motivation, offering them rewards, respect, etc., they go from just doing their job for the sake of doing it to doing their job in hopes of excelling beyond your expectations. As their leader, it is your job to keep them motivated and help them believe in your vision and goals for the company. You cannot force this kind of motivation, it takes time, patience, and effort, but if you can find the right way to motivate then it will make all the difference. 

6. Change equals growth, not pain.

Many people don’t like the idea of change, especially when they have gotten into a comfortable groove. However, change is ultimately inevitable and someone with a CEO mindset will recognize how to use this change to your advantage. While you don’t want to change everything just for the sake of changing, build a plan for change and slowly implement it. See what is and isn’t working, find how to improve, and maybe look at what other people are doing. Change never truly stops, so recognize that continued success is only possible if new ideas are embraced and new ways of doing business are discovered.

7. Technology offers empowerment, not just automation.

Throughout time innovation has completely changed the way we do things. There is no reason to stick to outdated processes and systems. Leaders should be able to notice when something is taking too long and needs to be improved. Don’t be afraid to look online and review available technology to help speed up your processes. There are programs for just about anything you can imagine. Find ways to use these systems to free up your employees’ time. Don’t boggle down your potential by spending all your time on mundane tasks.

8. Work should be fun!

This can often be one of the hardest things for an aspiring leader to wrap their head around, but it’s also probably the most important step to fully adopting a CEO mindset. We’re always told that you should choose a career that you like, but that’s not always possible. Unfortunately, many people have adopted the idea that they are now stuck where they are in an unideal job and it will never be fun. However, every company has different sides to it. If someone isn’t enjoying their position in one department or maybe they’re being too slow, change it up. Find what they enjoy and are good at, then see if maybe their talents would work better for another department. Use people’s talents appropriately and your team’s efficiency, engagement, and quality of life will skyrocket.

If you want some help developing your CEO mindset and applying it to your business, consider executive coaching.