What is the CEO Mindset, and how can you apply it in your business endeavors and life as a whole to achieve your goals and dreams?
“We are the CEOs of our own lives, so make the decisions and choices that will serve you best.”
The CEO Mindset is a certain quality that an individual has who possesses what it takes to seize control of their life and business and steer it towards success by providing the vision for the future and leading others to realize that vision.
As I reflect on my path in life, I believe I had a CEO mindset from a very young age. Like many CEOs, I had an innate knack and possessed many of the qualities needed in a CEO. However, I also had to “pay my dues” and learn many valuable skills and lessons on my way to finally being appointed captain of the ship.
The good news is that anyone can learn the attitudes, skills, and traits of successful CEOs and apply them in their life and work – whether they intend to be a CEO or not. This mindset is valuable in any situation as it teaches the traits of effective leaders in any domain.
This inner mindset served me in rising to the top of a billion-dollar real estate company and the same qualities that have served me well in transitioning to a solo entrepreneur who advises CEOs and business leaders of all types.
In this article, I would like to share with you the 7 Keys to the CEO Mindset.
The 7 Keys are:
- Be the CEO of Your Own Life First
- Have Gratitude and Learn From Mentors
- Always Look At The Big Picture
- Choose to See things Positively
- Always Bring Your Best & Offer Value
- Believe In Yourself & Know That You Are Worthy of Success
- Bring Out the Best in Those Around You
1. Be the CEO of Your Own Life First
Before you can become the CEO of a company, you must first fully take up the responsibility of being the CEO of your own life. This means making the decisions and choices that will serve you best and applying the seven keys to your personal life as a whole.
You can look at yourself and your life as if it were a company. Just as you would do for a business, there are certain things you need to look at and make sure they are serving to propel you to success and happiness.
Things such as:
- Are you creating value?
- Are you treating the people in your life well?
- Is everything in your “organization” running smoothly and effectively, or are there areas out of balance and need attention?
Every successful CEO, business leader, or entrepreneur has to first become the CEO of their own life. They then have a solid foundation to create success in their vocation.
2. Have Gratitude and Learn From Mentors
Gratitude is one of the essential IGI Principles from my newest book, and in the book, I cover how it is vital, both for our happiness and our flourishing in business.
I somehow knew that I couldn’t get to the next place in my life’s journey without fully experiencing gratitude in each moment.
Far too often, people get stuck in a state of being that is always looking to the future and is dissatisfied with the present. They become utterly oblivious to the great abundance and gifts they already have.
The way the universe works is that you always receive what you put out. If you put out dissatisfaction and ungratefulness, then the universe will serve you up reasons to feel more of the same. However, by simply counting your blessings and recognizing how much you already have, it opens you to receiving grace and all the benefits you deserve.
In addition to my attitude of gratitude, I made sure that I learned from mentors and other people around me throughout my career. These can be individuals you know personally or people you have never met or are no longer living.
Someone like Napoleon Hill, who through his book “Think and Grow Rich” was a profound mentor for me. I also have mentors with whom I have a personal relationship, such as Brian Tracy, Mark Thompson, Marshall Goldsmith, and many others.
Mentors are those who have been down the same road as you and are perhaps a little more experienced and wise and therefore can be an invaluable help and resource for their knowledge, guidance, and support.
3. Always Look At The Big Picture
Looking at the bigger picture is an integral part of any person who has the CEO Mindset. Whether they be the CEO of their own company, the CEO of a large company, or of their own life.
I’ve always looked at the bigger picture. I saw the world in a visionary way about what was possible the next month, the next year, and the next three years, and I had high ambitions about how I could start materializing to make that happen.
When I eventually became the CEO of a company, I made sure that I dressed up and showed up. I did the work with passion, and I did it with heart. I kept a bigger picture in mind about what I had envisioned for that particular company and did things to reflect that in some way every day.
As the CEO, you are the one holding the vision for everyone else to follow. You hold this clearly for yourself so that other people can believe and perceive your vision and take action upon it.
How do you paint that picture with thoughts, words, actions, deeds, and activities that allow people to feel your vision is possible? How do you keep them on board with a sense of enthusiasm that you are proceeding towards your goals? This is sometimes a stepping stone process, and together you and your team can make those things happen. Getting to that higher level is a long process, but at each level, you need to find ways to add value regardless of your current level. Helping sell the vision is key in any role.
When I stepped into the CEO role of Prudential, it was the fifth-largest real estate company in the United States, so it was already materializing a pretty big vision internally and externally. But I had an even bigger vision about the possibilities of where that company could go. As CEO, you and your company must always have a bigger picture vision beyond the present. An individual or company that stops growing is already dying.
4. Choose to See things Positively
There have been many times in my life, especially in my early days, when I didn’t enjoy the conditions I found myself in. There were years when I struggled to pay the electric bill and rolled quarters to get gas to bring myself to work. At times I worked three jobs, taking a bus between jobs because I didn’t have a car. But I was still always a happy person. I was always focused on the thought that maybe this was not the most fortunate situation, but it was temporary, and it could be changed.
We always have a choice. How we look at any situation and how we view the world is always our own choice. We have the power to choose what we can do to make a difference in each moment, in each situation, and each day.
Nothing is permanent—everything changes. When I was waiting tables, when I was in low-paying jobs, or when I was in positions that I didn’t want, I knew that this too would pass. I knew that I had to make an effort to learn from what I was experiencing in those moments.
The quicker we can shift our perspective and see the positives in any situation, even those that are challenges and seeming setbacks, the faster we can see the hidden benefit. We can take the perspective that allows us to use situations we don’t prefer in a way that we do because even our worst failures and disasters happen to teach us something significant about ourselves.
If you talk to any successful person, they will tell you about how many of their greatest blessings came to them disguised as their greatest failures. But we must be willing to look at the challenging things, learn the lesson, and use them to fuel our evolution.
5. Always Bring Your Best & Offer Value
My philosophy was to bring my best. Whether I was a waiter, bartender, manager, coordinating banquets, working comedy clubs, or dinner theaters, I put my head and heart into my role and excelled at what I did.
I always carried out my role with more enthusiasm, more energy, excitement, and commitment. I was hungry to make a difference, be noticed, and make sure that I was of value to others.
I had to make the biggest contribution that I could make. I had to create the biggest difference that I could.
I always had a very high drive. I had something higher than myself calling me to something greater. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to do something great with my life. I realized that everything was a stepping stone to something else.
I used that same thinking in my jobs. I would think about what I wanted to do next in my life and what actions or steps I would have to take to get there. At various times I focused on learning better skills, treating people with more respect, working harder, working smarter, or making sure that I was of greater value to others.
All of those factors in my thinking, words, and actions were the reality that created the next opportunity to arise. I always made sure that I was the best at what I could do in that time period.
I felt that I brought value, whether in my energy, my outlook, what I had accomplished, and what I still had to learn. I always ask lots of questions of others more successful than I am. If you are giving value to people and making a contribution to the world around you, this also creates a sense of worthiness.
6. Believe In Yourself & Know That You Are Worthy of Success
Another key point that has been critical to my success is that I have always believed I was worthy. In my mind, this allowed me the right to be worthy, show that I had the skill, that I had the stamina, and that I had the desire and ability to go to that next level.
Anything you are doing in life, whether you are running a business, in sales, an executive, consulting, or an employee in a company looking for better opportunities, you first need to start with the belief and the mindset that you are worthy of your success, that you are worthy of that position.
You may not have the skills, the technique, or the technical ability yet, but you have to believe in the worthiness of the opportunities that could exist for you.
In the early days, there were many times, even before real estate, that this attitude and work ethic led to me being promoted from a waiter job to an assistant manager or a manager position. It also led to going from one restaurant store to another store or taking on larger locations with more opportunity.
You have to believe that you’re capable of doing what it takes to create opportunities within your life. You have to be clear about what you would do to make someone else’s life better if you had those opportunities.
I have many reasons why I could conclude that I’m “not supposed to be worthy.” I did not graduate college. I did not come from a really strong, well-educated family. I came from a great family with a great work ethic, but I didn’t come from a highly educated, college-oriented family, and I didn’t come from money.
Something inside of me knew I was always worthy. I was worthy to my Higher Power, and I was worthy to my parents. I was worthy to myself, and that sense of worthiness really helped me as I grew from becoming a kid to a young adult and then to an adult. I carried that sense of worthiness, and I still do to this day.
In hindsight, I believe this stemmed from my strong spiritual base, which I developed at a young age with my parents’ base help. If you feel in a deep way that you are worthy, then you feel that you have the right to seek out and become anything you want in life.
Too often, people have all the skills and ability to become successful, but the only thing that holds them back is a deep-seated belief in their own unworthiness. This shows us the importance of doing some deep inner work to discover your own beliefs that you were given from a very young age from your environment, such as your family and your culture.
Believe in yourself, and if you want to become CEO of a company or anything else, you can create the path and any desire to make your dreams happen in your life. I found this out many times in my life, like when I had the opportunity to meet people like Mr. Warren Buffett and many other noteworthy leaders. I felt I was worthy of being in the same room, at a cocktail party or a dinner with them. I did not feel out of place, I did not feel awkward, nor did I feel that I wasn’t anything but deserving of being there.
7. Bring Out the Best in Those Around You
On the path of creating this life, there were many times as the CEO I tried to reflect and carry that memory I had of how hard the path to climb the corporate ladder had been as I persisted. I considered how I could carry that message to inspire other people around me.
When I saw other people who weren’t feeling worthy or could tell that people had low self-confidence, I knew those people were not living up to their highest and best purpose or place. I would use my memories and stories of my own path to see if I could help them along their path.
I might do this through communicating, consulting, coaching, group talks, pats on the back, kind words, and kicks in the butt – whatever it would take. I would use skills I had learned to help nurture and bring along other people who I knew who could not only contribute to their own lives by making a difference and letting their worthiness be shown but that their actions and their improvement in their contribution would make a better company and a better environment for others.
So not only have I always strove to bring my best in the pursuit of my own goals, but I have also offered value to others and reached out a hand to assist others. In this way, one participates in the cycle of creating abundance and sharing with others, and helping them attain their own state of success.
As the CEO, you must embody the idea of the “servant leader.” As the leader, your job is to make everybody else around you better and support them in achieving their highest good.
The CEO’s job is not to attain their own success at the expense of others but to be the captain of the ship who guides the whole crew to individual success and best selves.
I’d love to talk to you about being the CEO of your life and of your business. Go here to sign up for a complimentary consultation.
During our meeting, we can create an actionable plan for getting you to the next level and crafting your vision into reality.