Regardless of where you start your career, your goal could (or should) be CEO of that company or some other. For startups, this can be a reality a lot faster than the more traditional.

We talk a lot about leadership at Tech Collective, as you can see with some of our articles. We’ve covered stories like skills that CEOs should have, traits of modern-day leaders, why smart leaders fail and 5 signs of a bad leader.

This article focuses on the factors that make a great startup CEO based on our research, experience and the insight from some of the top CEOs in the region.

Being able to take calculated risks

Being too risk averse or risky can be detrimental to a company’s growth. However, leaders need to take risks if they want to get rewarded, so taking calculated risks are crucial.

person holding black ace and king spades playing cards on poker table

CEOs are often responsible for the strategy and future of the organizations they lead. While a CEO must maintain stability within an organization, they also have to take risks that can result in both short- and long-term pay-offs. This is likely where the lack of fear of failing will come in handy, as you navigate and learn through your mistakes to make the right decision at the right time.

Communication matters to you

Communication is an underrated leadership pillar. Being able to motivate and keep employee morale at a peak, is often determined by how well you’re communicating as a leader.

According to SYNC PR CEO, Terng Shing Chen, communication is an integral part of creating and maintaining employee satisfaction as a leader. As a CEO, a critical component of approval is employee satisfaction. According to a study it is lack of communication and uncertainty that is the biggest stress point for employees, so a leader that communicates well is crucial to building a happy company.

You have emotional intelligence

Ambition is nothing without emotional intelligence. Being decisive is detrimental without the emotional intelligence to back it up.

Leaders need to be thoughtful and make decisions that take into account the impact it would have on the company. Therefore, having emotional intelligence is crucial to being a well-rounded CEO.

Creating the right core team

While a CEO is often the face of an organization, the support group is just as important in making sure the job gets done. CEO potential often means being self-aware enough to know what you’re good at and also what you lack. This is where building a team that complements the areas you need help in is part of being a great CEO. This can create a strong well-oiled machine where every part is crucial to the startup’s wellbeing.

Lead from the front lines

silhouette of people on hill

CEOs have to be people who you trust can get a job done. However, CEOs are also good managers and delegators.

Being in charge of projects can be a great way to actually be a great way to hone your leadership skills. Employees start to see their leader down in the trenches with them and as CEO you gain stock and respect from the people in your team.

Be forward thinking

CEOs have to be visionaries for the organizations they lead. Identifying trends and following is great, but as a startup, you often need to be at the forefront of that trend and in some cases start that. Have a strong vision and the will to translate that into actual tangible success where you can.