How do you become a CEO?

Would you like to know how to become a Chief Executive Officer (CEO)? Find out in this blog post.

What is a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and what are his responsibilities?

The term CEO has long since arrived in German-speaking countries and describes one of the highest positions in the company. The abbreviation CEO stands for Chief Executive Officer and the CEO is the managing director or chairman of the board of the company. He heads the management / board of directors, usually consisting of one management or board member, such as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Chief Sales Officer (CSO) and many more.

You don’t have to act as CEO for an international company. The CEO can also be the managing director of a sole proprietorship. Even if you are a freelancer or the CEO of a public company, you can still be referred to as a CEO. CEOs are usually the highest-paying executive positions in a company, and it is not easy to achieve such a position or fulfill the job description. To qualify for this position, you need specialist knowledge and experience in many areas: financial management, marketing strategy, organizational behavior and leadership skills. It’s also important to understand how to work with other leaders inside and outside the company. If this sounds like something you want to do or if you are considering taking on the role of CEO, read on!

In England and the Commonwealth of Nations, the term MD or Managing Director is often used for “manager” and is nothing more than the chief executive officer. However, in the US, MD or Managing Director refers to various positions within the company. There you can only find managing directors in middle management.

What do you earn as a CEO?

The CEO position is incomparable to any other job. On the contrary: As a managing director, you have a close bond with your company. On the one hand, you have a lot of freedom in the direction of the company. On the other hand, you are heavily dependent on their strategy and the economic situation. Even so, you will almost certainly get a relatively high salary. The CEO and other managers are among the highest paid people in the world. According to , the salary of a CEO in Switzerland in 2021 is between CHF 6,067 and CHF 41,667 per month.

What key qualifications do I need to have to become a CEO?

To be successful at the top of the company, you need to have a few key qualities. Diligence and commitment are the most important things, success in school and studies is the right start. In addition, you should also take part in activities and public events to connect with other executives. Flexibility and a strong personality are other important priorities. You should always be open to new ideas and be familiar with the latest trends and technologies.

In this post, we’re going to cover a few things to keep in mind as you seek your dream job as CEO. Our aim is not to scare you, but rather to give you an overview of what it means to become a CEO or CEO and hopefully help you make the best decision for you and your family by having as much information as possible.

How to shape your career path to CEO

One of the most important prerequisites for working as CEO in Switzerland or Germany is either having a degree from a university or technical college or having relevant training and relevant professional experience with leadership and management training courses. There are no patented formulas or even planned career paths. However, current research shows that most of the most successful CEOs in German-speaking countries have degrees in law and economics. There are also a particularly large number of CEOs with technical degrees. As a managing director, the opportunities for further training are almost limitless. Experts offer training courses, seminars , etc. for all core competencies and requirements of CEO work. From leadership to finance to strategic negotiation and communication methods, everything is included here.

According to an analysis by the Berlin School of Business and Innovation (, which analyzed 112 executives from 22 start-up companies in German-speaking countries, business studies are particularly popular with executives. In addition, three quarters of the board members have gained experience abroad, which has almost become the standard in times of globalization. Whether in IT companies, the technology sector or the consumer goods industry: In Germany’s leading start-up companies, around 60% of executives have completed a business degree before their corporate success.

During the entire training phase, it makes sense to deal with the following topics: strategy, leadership, performance, finances, controlling, negotiation, communication, conflict management.

If you already dream of becoming a CEO at school, you should pay particular attention to the following subjects: economics, law, mathematics, English, German.

What skills do you need as a company CEO in German-speaking countries?

What skills should you have if you want to someday be promoted to the role of CEO of your company? What are the challenges facing those who aspire to such a position? Finally, we will talk about what it takes, from an individual point of view, to achieve this goal.

Ultimately, as the CEO, you have primary responsibility for the company or organization you lead and the CEO is always under surveillance. You should be characterized by a high level of commitment and self-confidence towards other managers. Typically, to grow your business, you need to take risks as you define and perform your roles, and stay strong in your decision-making.

The know-how in leadership and management provides you with the basis for this. You need to demonstrate leadership and teamwork skills to employees when working with other managers in the company. It is also important to be able to communicate goal-oriented in a situation and needs-oriented manner. The internationalization of the job market also requires a high degree of flexibility and willingness to travel, meet partners and promote your company across borders.

Skills Every CEO Should Have:

  • Leading by example people in difficult times
  • to delegate and trust others
  • to have a high level of self-knowledge and humility
  • to recognize necessary changes and the willingness to react to them
  • write, speak and listen efficiently
  • speaking in public
  • Recognize patterns in data, assess risks and opportunities, and solve problems creatively
  • to make decisions quickly and confidently after weighing up all relevant information
  • to work with people who are not like you.
  • to act decisively in difficult situations
  • Willingness to accept feedback from others
  • deal with ambiguity and uncertainty.

At the same time it is expected that he

  • has knowledge of the relevant laws
  • Has an understanding of financial statements and risk management
  • can formulate his vision and convert it into results
  • knows how to delegate tasks and responsibilities and
  • can work with people who are not only better educated than him, but also with high-ranking executives, board members, investors, customers, partners, salespeople, as well as with less qualified or new employees.

Negotiations are part of the daily routine of the managing director. The best conditions are those who understand when it is appropriate for you or your company to negotiate with others and have a feeling for what to expect from negotiations. as well as knowing when it is time to compromise so as to be able to reach agreements that are beneficial to both parties in the negotiation process (ie a win-win situation) (e.g. salary negotiations).

Other important soft skills

Examples of how you can use your soft skills at work, including common ones such as empathy, creativity, and persuasiveness , but also unusual ones such as humor or the ability to read people’s body language or expressions (ie, “read people”)

  • Time management
  • engagement
  • flexibility
  • Teamwork
  • Willingness to take responsibility

A few tips on what it takes to be successful with your skills – personal traits like perseverance and intelligence / knowledge, among others; social traits such as the ability to manage effectively without getting caught up in politics or bureaucratic gossip; Competencies such as good written communication skills so that one can articulate ideas well enough that other people will listen and understand them easily enough that they will be more likely to believe them, rather than just communicating offhand about something vague or unclear.

If you want to become a CEO, you should celebrate your 10 greatest successes

“Do good and talk about it”: This also applies here. Write down every success you have had in the past and think about which successes were associated with high risk and which successes were easy to achieve.

Also document what you are doing to continue to be successful, acknowledge your mistakes and think about how different it could have been.

You can list the success list in different areas or focus on the 10 greatest successes in the job.

The most common mistakes made by CEOs and their teams

The best way to avoid failure is to avoid the most common mistakes CEOs and their teams who are there make:

  • Mistake in the selection of employees
  • communication error
  • Unclear goals from the CEO
  • Overworked and frustrated employees
  • Conflict CEO with other teams in the company
  • lack of focus on core business
  • Transition from one manager to the next
  • Finding a balance between security and innovation
  • Observance / life of the corporate culture
  • too much fixation on the past
  • Failure to take responsibility for one’s own mistakes
  • Delegation of CEO duties to others
  • Teams are neglected and seen as a means to an end
  • CEO is dissatisfied with the status quo
  • CEO gives poor feedback (or none at all) and does not resolve conflicts proactively on the spot
  • Inconsistent action in crisis situations.

What should you look out for when applying for the position of CEO?

Preparation! Be prepared. Do research on companies that may want to hire someone for this position as this will highlight the applicants’ strengths and make them more competitive with other applicants. Having relevant experience and success in their current position can serve as evidence that they succeed where others fail.

Every decision is fraught with uncertainty, but there are some general guidelines for a successful application. First, you need to know your strengths and weaknesses and those of other potential applicants; Second, it’s important not only to worry about that Third, researching past business leaders can shed light on how this new role might play out at specific points during implementation – both for better and for worse !

TED Talks to prepare you for the job as CEO

The best way to learn from the experiences of other, successful CEOs: What makes a good manager? These TED Talks offer surprising, nuanced approaches to inspiring and empowering others to be their best. Here is a selection:

  • What it takes to be a great leader , Roselinde Torres (Boston Consulting Group) reports from a study of 4,000 companies what makes good leaders.
  • Why good leaders give you security , for Simon Sinek it is someone who gives his employees security through trust, especially in phases of transformation.
  • Everyday Leadership , Drew Dudley, in this hilarious talk, Drew Dudley calls on all of us to celebrate leadership as the everyday act of improving someone else’s life.Why you should be a good leader

Further training in leadership and management with the qualification “Diploma, management specialist” from the Swiss Association for Leadership Training (SVF)

For example, if you have completed basic education and have several years of professional experience in business or administration, you are wondering how you can prepare for your desired management tasks, then targeted leadership and management training courses to prepare you for a management position are the method of choice. Established executives who want to refresh their leadership skills and adapt them to the new conditions are also well suited to leadership and management training courses.

Perhaps you have recently taken on a management role and still feel unsafe in the new terrain? Even then, it is a good idea to further develop your leadership role and your leadership skills in a targeted manner.

The leadership and management courses convey the relevant know-how and skills for prospective and experienced managers.
In addition to the basics of leadership, you will develop personally through coaching trainers and exchanging experiences with other managers.
The further training can be concluded with a certificate from the Swiss Association for Leadership Training (SVF).
The federally recognized management specialist diploma is obtained if you have both SVF certificates – leadership and management.

You can find an overview of the next training courses here .

We are Swiss Connect Academy

We look forward to introducing you to our services!

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