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Episode #256: Elena Botelho – How To Become A CEO

Episode #256: Elena Botelho – How To Become A CEO

Elena Botelho has been a Partner at ghSMART since 2007. Elena initiated and co-leads The CEO Genome Project® featured in a cover article of Harvard Business Review.  Her recent book, The CEO Next Door, is a New York Times Bestseller. The CEO Genome Project® is an extensive research and client practice supporting CEO’s and executives on the path to CEO. The research explores paths and behaviors that lead to the top, typical setbacks CEO’s encounter and ways to prevent them. Elena is a member of McKinsey M&A Integration Council – an invitation-only forum of senior executives from major corporations to share M&A best practices. Elena is a sought after speaker at leading industry events on leadership and M&A.

Episode #256: Elena Botelho – How To Become A CEO

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The Learning Leader Show

“Charisma is a myth when it comes to success as a CEO. The research suggests introverts are equally or more successful than charismatic extroverts”

Show Notes:

  • How do we define excellence?
    • “Delivering results is how we define it”
  • The keys to excellence (delivering results)
    • Decisiveness – Conviction and speed
    • Adapting proactively
    • Relentless reliability – Delivering consistently — This is the most powerful and important behavior
    • Engage for impact
  • Self assessments
    • The lowest rated among 11,000 people Elena surveyed was: Reliability
  • Why do people struggle with consistency?
    • Consistency is hard across all domains of our lives
  • Reliability – 3 keys
    • Mindset – basic habits. How do we develop the correct mindset? -> Recognize that others need to be able to count on you. This translates to consistent habits
      • Get an honest look in the mirror
    • The WHO – Who are your surrounding yourself with?
    • Process and culture you build
  • The CEO Myths:
    • Need to go to an Ivy League school (not true)
    • CEO’s were destined for greatness (nope)
      • 70% of CEO’s never set a goal to be a CEO
    • Charisma – It helps you get the job, however when you look at results, it’s not the way the ensure results
      • Introverts are not less likely for success
  • Advice to a current individual contributor:
    • Having powerful mentors didn’t seem to help them more than those who didn’t
    • Becoming a mentor to others does show it helps
      • It forces you to be clear and become a teacher. Helps you get in the head of others and lead
  • What are some mistakes first time managers make?
    • “It can be messy”
    • Be clear on what success looks like
    • Is this the right team? Do personnel changes need to be made?
  • What are the career catapults?
    • 25% went to a top business school
    • 97% of them did one of these three sprinters:
      • 60% “went small to go big” -> Took a smaller role at an organization that led to something big
      • They took on a big mess and fixed it
      • The big leap – Take a role well before you’re ready –> Take a risk
  • Adapting proactively
    • Being able to let go of a profitable business in order for long term success (give up short term for the long term)
    • Key learning = the ability let go of the past

“Becoming a mentor to others forces you to be clear and become a teacher.”

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More Learning:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 216: Jim Collins — How To Go From Good To Great

Episode 179: How To Sustain Excellence – The Best Answers From 178 Questions

Episode 107: Simon Sinek – Leadership: It Starts With Why

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