What Makes a Modern CEO?

“Lots of companies don’t succeed over time. What do they fundamentally do wrong? They usually miss the future.”

– Larry Page, Co-Founder of Google

As a CEO and leader of your business, you likely possess a diverse skill set and employ said skills how you see best fit. However, as time goes on, you may notice your approach to business seems less effective as other more ‘modern’ practices. In the ever-growing professional business landscape, what is deemed to be ‘modern’ seems to change from day to day. However, there appears to be common traits and abilities of a successful, modern CEO that may be of use.

The most obvious trend for a CEO is the embracing and understanding of new technology. It is one thing to decide to integrate newer technology into your business, but it’s another thing to fully understand their capabilities. Gaining a solid comprehension of the tool’s technology provides leads to not only an increase of future innovations, but also a greater efficiency across a multitude of areas for your business. Just like most aspects of the business world, technology is always evolving, so having a base understanding of the modern landscape can only better prepare you for the innovations to come.

With a higher turnover rate and relatively faster pace of business, many modern CEO’s possess quick decision-making skills and flexible strategies. As a leader you not only have to deal with a crisis with clientele or other businesses, but also internally. Being able to quickly find solutions, whether it be attacking the issue personally or delegating responsibility to other employees, is essential in retaining control of crucial situations. Along with being able to find smart, quick solutions, is communicating your decisions to those you lead. More and more people are beginning to reject the cold, firm CEO of old and feel they are able to work more productively when having a clear mutual understanding of leadership goals. This does not necessarily mean explaining every little choice, nor does it mean a lack of respect, but rather simply a consistent and honest communication between all the involved parties.

A stronger, modern sense of communication doesn’t just stop at the internal level. Many CEOs have found that an increase of communication with other CEO’s have yield increasingly positive results all around. According to a 2017 analysis of Dun & Bradstreet data, Vistage member companies grew 2.2 times faster than average small and medium-sized U.S. businesses. This is why organizations such as Vistage can be such a vital resource. Gaining new knowledge and feedback from a diverse group of people that best understand your struggles and successes as a CEO can only serve to better your business in a variety of ways.

Achieving success as a CEO in today’s world means a consistent pursuit of innovation and profitability. Understanding the variety of skills modern CEO’s possess is just one step of many to succeed in the ever-changing business market. Not being afraid to constantly learn, change, and adapt when necessary, can better ensure future prosperity for you and those you lead.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
The world’s leading business advisory and executive coaching organization