How to Think Like a CEO

I read How to Think Like A CEO written by D.A. Benton, per recommendation from Nora M. Denzel. There are two more books recommended by Nora on my to-read list, one of them is about Cleopatra. That would be a very exciting holiday read. How to Think Like a CEO is more suitable for reading in one’s home office rather than on the beach. My reading chair is proud to claim its intimate relationship with one more book. 

As its subtitle reveals, the author wrote about the 22 vital traits that one needs to develop in order to be the person at the top. Leaving aside whether getting and remaining at the top is a good professional career goal for everyone, I found it enlightening to see what Benton thinks are the key attributes required through interviewing and analysing numerous cases. It is partially the reader’s responsibility to see how the changes in professional landscape might have rendered some views in this book somewhat out of date in certain business areas. However, ultimately human nature could not have changed much in the last two decades. 

The book listed 22 traits that near-perfect CEOs have and gave advice on how one can make them one’s own. 

Here are the 22 traits: 

  • Be secure in yourself
  • In control of your attitude
  • Tenacious
  • Continuously improving
  • Honest
  • Think before you talk 
  • Original
  • Publicly modest
  • Be aware of your style 
  • Be gutsy
  • Humorous
  • Theatrical 
  • Detail oriented
  • Be willing to lead 
  • To fight for your people 
  • To admit mistakes
  • Be straightforward
  • Nice
  • Inquisitive
  • Competitive
  • Flexible
  • Tell stories

These traits are better viewed together than separately from each other. For example, we hear or read about the frustration expressed by people that their professional growth restricted by being labelled as nice, but not necessarily as ambitious, high-potential, very capable or competitive enough to be given high-profile high-reward tasks to grow towards the next level. 

Read, reflect, act, adapt, and grow.