Hello, ambitious moguls. Is your company ready to be more efficient, creative, and strategic than its competitors? That’s where a CEO comes in, and you need someone with above-average CEO skills. That’s where entrepreneurial experience comes in.
A CEO with entrepreneurial skills and experience adds an extra layer of dynamism to your leadership team. Drawing from their journey in the start-up world, they bring a proactive approach to challenges, an innate ability to adapt, and a penchant for creativity.
A while ago I made the controversial statement that all CEO’s should come from Marketing…that went down like a lead balloon! Now I’m saying, your CEO should be or have been or think like an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurial CEO skills that help your company
Entrepreneurial CEO Skills #1: Risk-Taking
Entrepreneurs know how to take calculated risks. They understand that growth often requires stepping into the unknown, but they don’t do it recklessly. They prepare for different outcomes and have backup plans in place.
Imagine your digital marketing agency is considering investing money into some hot new technology. A CEO who cut their teeth in the start-up world won’t just look at the shiny potential. They’ll also have an “Oops, that didn’t work” backup plan.
Entrepreneurial CEO Skills #2: Resourceful
Entrepreneurs have a MacGyver-like ability to make things work with limited resources. They’re the masters of “bootstrapping,” doing more with less and finding creative ways to stretch a dollar – or an hour.
In a practical sense, if your marketing budget gets slashed, an entrepreneurial CEO could steer the company toward cost-effective strategies like a high-impact social media campaign. This approach saves money and keeps the company’s marketing efforts effective and on target.
Entrepreneurial CEO Skills #3: Agile
The ability to adapt quickly is second nature to entrepreneurs. When faced with challenges or unforeseen changes, they react swiftly to keep your digital marketing strategy on course. Or they will adapt it as needed.
Picture this: Consumers are quickly shifting from desktop to mobile. A CEO with entrepreneurial flair doesn’t hesitate. They immediately pivot your company’s focus to mobile-first strategies.
Entrepreneurial CEO Skills #4: Visionary Thinking
Entrepreneurs have a knack for long-term thinking, always focusing on the broader goals, even amidst short-term issues.
Say your industry is bracing for new regulations to make business operations more complex. While many might see this as a roadblock, an entrepreneurial CEO would identify it as an opportunity to innovate, potentially turning a hurdle into a competitive advantage.
Entrepreneurial CEO Skills #5: Customer-Centric Approach
Entrepreneurs inherently have a customer-centric approach because their early success is deeply tied to customer satisfaction and informs their services.
Entrepreneurs often interact directly with customers, gathering feedback and making quick adjustments to meet their needs. This hands-on experience instils a strong sense of customer importance when transitioning into a CEO role, making them uniquely conditioned to always put the customer first.
Entrepreneurial CEO Skills #6: Ready to Innovate
Entrepreneurs often thrive in problem-solving and innovation. When faced with a challenge, they think creatively to find a solution.
Steve Jobs, co-founder and former CEO of Apple, is a great example of innovation in action. When the music industry was dominated by CDs and illegal downloads, Jobs introduced the iPod and iTunes, revolutionising how we purchase and listen to music.
This wasn’t a mere product introduction; it disrupted an entire industry.
Entrepreneurial CEO Skills #7: Results-Oriented
Entrepreneurs are tuned into outcomes, not just activities. They closely monitor performance metrics and are quick to adjust strategies when needed.
If a quarterly sales report comes in below expectations, an entrepreneurial CEO may dive deep into the data to understand the cause and then actively engage with the sales team to improve performance, instead of waiting for the next report to act.
Entrepreneurial CEO Skills #8: Networking
Networking is often a lifeline for entrepreneurs, and those skills don’t go away when they step into a CEO role. These connections can lead to partnerships, collaborations, and other opportunities for the business.
For example, if your company is looking to penetrate a new market, an entrepreneurial CEO could leverage their existing contacts to establish strategic partnerships, giving the company a valuable foothold in uncharted territory.
Entrepreneurial CEO Skills #9: Passion
Entrepreneurs are driven by passion because their ventures are often personal undertakings, not just jobs. They’ve invested time, money, and emotional energy, making every win or loss a deeply personal experience.
This passion often becomes a contagious force that inspires the whole team. When they transition to a CEO role, this same fervour helps them lead with enthusiasm and purpose, encouraging team members to go the extra mile, stay committed to goals, and be equally passionate about their work.
Entrepreneurial CEO Skills #10: Eye for Opportunities
Entrepreneurs have a knack for seeing potential where others see chaos. They operate with a foresight that’s honed from years of navigating unpredictable business waters, making them more adept at spotting untapped markets, niches, and growth avenues.
Consider Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks. When Schultz first visited Italy, he was captivated by the coffee culture and saw an opportunity in the U.S. market for Italian-style coffee shops.
Many were sceptical about Americans paying a premium for a coffee experience, but Schultz’s entrepreneurial vision transformed Starbucks from a single store in Seattle to a global phenomenon.
Entrepreneurial CEO Skills #11: Resilience
Start-ups are a rollercoaster, and any entrepreneur has tasted both success and failure. This experience builds resilience, a valuable CEO skill in any business.
Take the example of Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb. In the early days of Airbnb, the company faced serious financial challenges, with credit card debt piling up and minimal revenue coming in.
Instead of giving up, Chesky and his co-founders launched a creative campaign selling unique cereal boxes to generate cash. This resilience and out-of-the-box thinking kept the company afloat and garnered media attention.
How Entrepreneurial CEO Skills Set Your Business Apart
Picture this: You’re on the racetrack, your company’s engine humming with potential. Right beside you are your competitors, engines revving, eyes locked onto the same prize. You all hit the gas pedal, but while they’re hesitating, recalculating, and checking their mirrors, you’ve got an ace up your sleeve: a CEO who thinks like an entrepreneur.
For company leaders and shareholders, having a CEO with entrepreneurial chops isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s your turbo boost in a crowded race. Entrepreneurial CEO skills add value to your business:
- Faster Decision-Making.
- Agile Problem-Solving.
- Strong Company Culture.
- Effective Use of Limited Resources.
- Greater Employee Empowerment.
- Quick Adaptation to Market Changes.
- Leveraging Networks for Business Growth.
- Authentic Brand Building.
Upgrade Your Team’s and CEO’s Skills with Digital Marketing Training
If you’re looking to hone your company’s digital marketing capabilities further, consider specialised training from myself and my team. You can find in-depth courses on a wide array of topics, from SEO to thought leadership, for a comprehensive marketing education that can be tailored to your team’s needs.
Think of this as a strategic move, akin to how an entrepreneurial CEO might assess a new market and invest in research and development to gain a competitive edge.