Not Everyone Can Be a CEO

“My goal is to be the CEO one day.”

I have heard this line a thousand times when I ask people what their end game is. The problem is it’s very different from what CEOs say when you ask them how they got there. You always hear some variation of this quote from great leaders.

“I never really set out to be a ‘CEO’ of a company.”

Sure CEOs are natural born leaders. Yes, they love being in charge. And they would rather not work at all than work for someone else.

The difference is subtle but telling between those that crave power and those that can’t avoid having power given to them.

Those that set out to be “in charge” will rarely find their way to the C-Suite, no matter how hard they try. And more often than not, they will despise executives above them in the corporate ladder instead of trying to observe and learn from them.

These types of people want to set the pace through their words. They see the CEO as someone who simply barks orders. They don’t see the painstaking work and strategy that goes on behind the scenes.

Those that set out to cast vision, be vulnerable, and mentor others will generally find themselves with more authority and responsibility as their career progresses.

More often than not, These people want to work exceptionally hard and set the pace for others by their actions. They appreciate the good and the bad of a leader and embrace the sacrifices needed to lead.

Ultimately, it’s pretty easy to tell who is going to be in charge one day. It’s the people that care more about results than about ego. Those are actually the people that end up as great CEOs.