Think and Breathe CEO Starting Today


Just because you aren’t the chief executive of your company doesn’t mean you can’t behave like one. Anyone can utilize the principles of success that high-ranking officials everywhere follow daily.

Put your top dog hat on right now and start thinking and acting like a CEO.

1. Visualize the big picture.

Getting bogged down in the here and now and obsessing over routine tasks is not the road to success. You need to keep long term, big-picture goals in mind or you’ll be spinning your wheels.

Instead of staying stuck in the daily grind, try mapping out large-scale strategies for your success. Create a realistic plan that you can implement in small steps by doing something about the big picture for just 15 minutes per day.

2. Get your priorities straight.

What are your priorities? Everyone should have a list of short-term, medium-term, and long-term priorities that they track and adhere to religiously.

When things get tough, we often slip into survival mode—the first things that get the axe are our medium and long-range priorities because we’re focusing on the day-to-day tasks. Even when the future looks bleak, avoid this at all costs.

3. Think outside the box.

Creative thinking is where it’s at.

Schedule time weekly to think of unique, creative ways to solve your problems, advance your career, be more profitable—whatever. Question your assumptions and consider possibilities.

The ideas will come, and many will be rejects, but occasionally something brilliant pops up—if you let it. Never taking the time to brainstorm or mindmap guarantees you won’t come up with earth-shattering ideas any time soon.

4. Delegate.

CEOs don’t do much at the micro level—they’re operating at the macro level.

Being a micromanager hurts you in the long run. Training your subordinates to handle tasks independently and responsibly will help you make time for the bigger picture.

5. Learn the job above you.

To demonstrate you’re ready for additional responsibility, learn the job at the level above you.

No one will train you for this function—you must take it on and learn it yourself. Don’t assume you’ll learn it when you get there because you won’t get there if you don’t know the job. Waiting for a promotion without working toward it is not being the proactive leader you aim to be.

Thinking and acting like a CEO means slowly molding your habits into the routines and practices that any CEO follows.

Study your leaders and emulate their best behaviors while discarding their worst. Focus on how you could do a better job and take copious notes so that, if and when you’re asked for your opinion, you have a cogent and complete answer.

Being the CEO may not be within your grasp—for now—but there’s no point limiting yourself for the future. Get ready, start these habits now, and prepare, prepare, prepare.

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