Someday I want to be CEO

For the next few blog postings, I want to answer some questions that I’ve received numerous times over the years. Let’s start with the big one: What do I need to do to reach my goal of being a CEO?

Some young people have the goal that they want to run some big operation someday and they ask me how they can get there. I tell them it’s by not worrying about getting there. Be the best at what you’re doing right now. You don’t get promoted because you’re thinking about the next position and what you’re going to do there, you get promoted because you’re doing a tremendous job at what you’re currently being asked to do. People will notice that, and then they’re going to give you opportunities. When you do get the next opportunity, your focus needs to be on that opportunity—how can I be the best at doing this job?  And gradually, over time, if you give your best efforts to everything that is asked of you, you’ll be amazed at how steadily you make it up the hierarchy. And someday, you’ll be running the place—not because you’ve got power, but because you’re somebody who’s a good performer. And people will believe in you because, just maybe, you can help other people perform well, too. So there’s nothing wrong with setting goals, but remember—live in the present, not the future. Do the best you can do at the job you have and new opportunities will present themselves.