CEO Skills: Experience (and This Guide) Are Your Best Teachers

CEO skills are learned, but it takes years and plenty of patience. Get a head start by reading about key traits and tactics.

ceo skills

Ben Horowitz, co-founder and partner at Andreessen Horowitz, knows that it takes years for anyone in business to develop CEO skills, and it can be “extremely difficult” to spot those CEOs who will actually “make it.”

“Being CEO requires lots of unnatural motion,” Horowitz says, and “you must do many things that will upset people in the short run.” Horowitz points to a set of CEO skills that are helpful in becoming a success story, including a method for opening employees up to more feedback by sandwiching tough words with compliments before and after. He also suggests that CEOs must “elevate beyond a basic technique” like the sandwich tactic and “develop a style that matches your own personality and values.” He offers a list of key traits that can help you sharpen your CEO skills throughout your career.

photo by: Fabio Aro

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