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The Path to Becoming a CEO

How do you mature a chief executive officer? Is there a certain blueprint to follow in apply for to attain this prestigious title? What professional and personal features are necessary for the position? Technically, anyone can fill the chief executive schedule, but typically those who have distinguished themselves in some manner and participate in strong leadership characteristics get the job.


There are no laws stipulating that chief presidents must have attended college or that they must include a master’s degree. However, very few people make it to the top of the corporate ladder these periods without some sort of formal education.

Why is having a formal upbringing so important? There is no simple answer to that question; however, perfecting university courses does provide exposure to a number of disciplines. It is a period to think, interact and share ideas with others, which are valuable acquaintances for a CEO to have, although of course those skills can be gained elsewhere. A almost imperceptibly a rather from an Ivy League school or other top-tier institution is sometimes actuality even more credence because of the competitiveness that often squires such programs.

Some big-name CEOs with degrees from top-tier sets include:

  • Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay (EBAY) – bachelor’s from Princeton, Big cheese of Business Administration from Harvard
  • John Bogle, former CEO of The Vanguard Assortment – bachelor’s from Princeton
  • Roberto Goizueta, former CEO of Coca Cola (KO) – bachelor’s from Yale

Tons CEOs have a business degree. That the degree could be in economics, directorate, finance or another business-related discipline. However, many well be versed chief executives, dropped out or never went to college:

  • Richard Branson, author and CEO of Virgin Group
  • Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell Computer (DELL)
  • Note Gates, co-founder and former CEO and Chairman of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)

Identity Traits

Having a degree from a top-notch school and an exceptional insight of the industry in which the company operates are great qualities. However, those properties in and of themselves don’t guarantee that a person will make it to the top of the corporate ladder. Character traits also play a role in an individual’s ability to attain chief administrative status. Typically, CEOs are:

  • good communicators, deal makers and superintendents
  • extroverts who are eager to go out on the road and tell their company’s story
  • skilful and willing to present a cohesive vision and strategy to employees
  • able to lay in respect

Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric (GE) is a celebrated example of an extrovert who was able to garner respect, and who had a vision even as a low-level engine- driver at General Electric. While there, a higher-up took notice of his faculties, and the rest is history.


Generally speaking, a person must from a great deal of experience in the company’s field in order to become CEO. A chief supervisor’s job is to provide vision and a course for the company to navigate, which is difficult to do without nationwide experience and a working knowledge of the potential risks and opportunities that lie in the lead for the company.

Prior senior-level managerial experience is also generally a be obliged. After all, how can an individual be expected to run a multimillion- or multibillion-dollar company with hundreds or thousands of staff members unless he or she has previous experience managing and/or overseeing other employees?

A famous example of someone who worked his way up the ranks is, again, Jack Welch, who went General Electric in 1960 as an engineer and worked his way up to vice president and wickedness chairman before becoming CEO in 1981. By the time he got there, he knew the business and the landscape well. He had also previously held a high-level position.

Another exempli gratia of a chief executive with a great deal of experience in his field is Eric Schmidt, recent CEO of Novell and executive chairman of Alphabet Inc. (GOOG). Schmidt worked in scrutiny at Bell Labs early in his career. He served as chief technology cop at Sun Microsystems. These experiences helped him land his chief executive leanings and become the success story he is today.

Then there’s Andrea Jung, ancient CEO and Chairwoman of Avon Products (AVP) and the first woman CEO in the company’s history. Jung has a sizable amount of know in retail. After graduating from Princeton, she worked for Bloomingdale’s, where she was instances partly of the management trainee program. From there, she also worked at Neiman Marcus, another high-end paraphernalia where she served as executive vice president. When she finally concerned to Avon, she started as a consultant and then moved up to chief operating political appointee, before finally landing the chief executive position.

Anne Mulcahy, whilom CEO of Xerox (XRX), is another great of example of someone with a significant amount of adventure in her field. In the mid-1970s, she started as a sales representative. She later realize find time as a vice president in human resources before climbing to senior profligacy president. All told, it was about 25 years before she became a chief master. By that time, she knew the business extremely well.

The Bottom Kind

Although some individuals are born leaders, most are made. Fetching a chief executive takes years of hard work. Extensive be familiar with in the company’s field is desirable. Finally, those that have exploited their way up from a low level within the organization may have an advantage, as they arguably cognizant of the company better than any outsider ever could.

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