Are CEOs really the boss or is it the other way round? Well, a CEO has to be a boss and a team player to execute the company’s duties. Now, learn 6 top-tier skills for modern CEOs. In some cases, the role has transcended from being the boss to being the face. In shorter terms, the public image of the company. Sometimes CEOs of companies happen to be the founders, however in larger establishments they are appointed by the board of directors. So you see the role can have two forms. Nonetheless, which ever form it comes in, a top-tier quality is being able to know when the team needs a boss or a team player.

In full, the abbreviated word CEO translates to chief executive officer. This means you control the affairs of the company, everything and anything goes through you before it becomes public. In some instances, you work closely with C- executives, that is COO-chief operating officer. On the flip side, it means the bad and good will be heaped on your shoulders. A win for all is a win for you and vice versa. So it’s important to know when to race back as a team player to assist those lagging behind.

As the CEO, you are the link between staff, shareholders and board members and the public. You are seen as a visionary taking the company to new heights. As a CEO, you don’t play a role in most of the internal 9-5 activities, neither do you do paperwork. However, you ensure all paperwork has to sit with the image of the company.

Other times, CEOs are also the “image”.  The one who projects the company’s image in fundraising activities, public speaking, outreach programs, media presentation and more. For instance, you have Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg as the company’s face/image. This sets the tone for how your company is perceived. As human beings, we love to integrate companies or brands with their most popular face. In most cases, this happens to be the CEO. In other words, a CEO must show top-tier skills in their personal life to avoid dispersing wrong information that affects or reduces a company’s image. This, in turn, could affect growth and sales of the company.


It’s important to understand that certain skillset are needed for you to become a top-tier CEO. Amongst these skills, you will find that being able to play boss and team member is arguably the creme of the crop. So we begin with flexibility.


As the saying goes regardless of where water is thrown into, it becomes the thing. In the same light, as a CEO, you must adopt the concept of water to become flexible/ adaptable to any situation on ground. That is, being a CEO means knowing when the situation requires a team player. By extension, it means a CEO should be void of pride and be ready to get down with handy work if need be. The message here is staff understands if the CEO can do it, what excuse do I have as a staff member’. Sometimes it goes beyond swiveling around in a swivel chair and making demands. it requires hands not commands. In essence, this practice helps you as a  CEO, to understand the work of staff members and value their input when they go to lengths to see the company succeed. But just like a coach, know when it’s impossible to step on the pitch.

As a modern CEO, flexibility also requires that one knows when to be the boss, when to see through excuses, when to get results and how to handle the board of directors, if elected as CEO. This helps the company move forward and meet targets set. So a modern CEO must learn to become flexible/adaptable to fit in any space at any time, become water.


You are the captain of the ship, so sail to greatness. As a modern CEO time is of the essence, a day spent on approving new ideas/ procedures could be very costly but more important than time management is knowing it’s always your call, you have the final say, you are the final say, so make it count. Be solid and firm to stand by your decisions with proper research and well-detailed evidence with a sprinkle of foresight. Top establishments employ/elect CEOs to lead the company to newer adventures, newer goals and more. So you have to make decisions that might be unheard of but necessary for the company. With the advent of tech, CEOs now have to gain insights/ primary knowledge in data analysis, coding etc to make better-informed decisions.

Likewise, you should also have plans to cushion the hard falls from a decision that draws the company back because this might happen. It’s not always the bright side, there could be a shady side to decision-making but here’s what to do: –

accept the bulk because it will be coming back to you.
Find better ways to improve on the failed decision

Sometimes it’s not the bath water that needs changing, it’s the bathtub, don’t throw it all away.


Be careful what you say because when you speak you tell the world who you are”. No truer words have captured the conclusion of perception we humans draw up from encounters. As a modern CEO, you should know when to speak or when not to. This also include to know what to say and what not to. Today, most words that could easily be flung around are meticulously scanned before usage I order to avoid passing the  wrong information. This deluxe hair gel is out on sales from November and available for African-Amercians,sounds okay right?. At first glance sure it does but look again and the phrase AFRICAN-AMERICAN pops out as a racial slur.

In translation, it says the CEO is still stuck in the era of slaves and this could be offensive to an entire race. As a result, the target audience is lost. A modern CEO must understand that emotional intelligence should be displayed as the company’s outlook and it starts inward. You must be emotionally intelligent enough to understand changing times and words or concepts that could have an adverse effect on the market.  


In line with perception of speaking and becoming what you speak, communication is a top-tier skill for a modern CEO. Understandably, a modern CEO doesn’t just communicate to staff, customers, board members, and shareholders, they communicate to different minds. Meaning, you need to communicate with clear and concise terms when speaking. Most of the communications for a CEO would also be at public speaking/ media presentations. This is to ensure all knots and bolts are screwed on tightly to avoid passing the wrong message.

Finding the precise words for every situation can be difficult. But this is when you realize you have a team that can ensure your public image, speech and outlook is kept intact. However, delivery is still on you as the CEO to give a master class in communication to the available audience.


As part of adopting the concept of being water as a modern CEO, you must be open to ideas, changing times, different solutions, risk-taking/risk-management and more. In essence, even the cleaning lady might have an idea worth developing. Most likely, you won’t see till you understand every opinion is valid, every idea is welcome. This is the reason for an open-minded approach. The most absurd ideas happen to be the ones that have shaped the modern landscape we have today. As such, no idea/method/suggestion should be shut down without a second look. Remember the work of a CEO can be so overwhelming your patience might run thin, so don’t toss everything in the moment. Ensure to take a second look after you have decluttered your table.


Creativity is the ability to create something from nothing while the ability is to advance a failed plan or a working plan is innovation. A combination of these two skills will help you advance plans your predecessors have led down and let you create new ones from your creative well. In turn, the company can bank on you to deliver on existing projects and bring new projects to advance the dream.

Creativity is more talent than skill but it can be built upon to become a talent from being a skill. For some it comes natural, for others it’s different but it must be nurtured, groomed and practiced to give the best result.

The massive pay cut and power CEOs get would sound like it’s all rosy but it’s far from that. Hence the reason for this article to enlighten you on your journey to acquiring top-tier skills for a modern CEO. Its pay range varies from country to country but its working demands remain the same. Also, understand that, for larger companies, some CEOs are appointed and answerable to a board of directors. Likewise, some CEOs are founders of the company and by virtual are the CEOs but whichever the case may be a CEO must learn to play as a team member and a leader/boss.


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