2 Sure Ways to Become A CEO in Nigeria
Everyone knows that a CEO is a title given to someone really ‘big’, although not big in terms of physically body size, but in terms of rank and position. However, most people do not know much about the implications of being a CEO or who a CEO really is. Many people simply think a CEO is the owner of a company or firm, when that’s not always the case. To avoid any confusion, you need to understand that sometimes, the CEO can be the owner of the company but this is not the case all the time.
Apart from the board of directors, the chief executive officer, or CEO, is at the top of the corporate and business ladder. The CEO primarily calls the shots for the company, and his or her decisions can have a substantial impact on its direction. The position is one of great power and great responsibility as well, and it usually offers significant financial rewards. Because of this, anyone researching how to become a CEO will learn that it requires a journey of many steps before being considered for the role.
A CEO is the person that makes many of a company’s decisions and also, he simultaneously manage the company’s overall resources and operations. The scope of a CEO’s responsibility largely depends on the size and structure of the company in question. For example, the CEO of a small business may handle some low-level or mid-level decisions and he will be expected to fill up the gaps that exist within the company when it is understaffed. On the other hand, a larger company’s CEO may solely focus on high-level strategies involving corporate growth while delegating tasks related to day-to-day business operations to other managers. Largely speaking, the overall success or failure of a company is the responsibility of the CEO, hence, it is a huge responsibility which usually require a broad knowledgebase and experience in relevant fields. In some cases, a CEO can function as the main liaison between a company’s operations and its board of directors (BOD). Sometimes, the CEO has a position on the board and may even be the chairman of the board. However, it should be noted very importantly, that the board of directors oversees the company as a whole and has the power to overrule a CEO’s decisions. This presupposes that in a company that has a BOD, the CEO has an obligation to report to the board, meanwhile, a CEO would be the highest and paramount authority, in the absence of a BOD.
How to become a CEO in Nigeria
Generally, there are two routes, and depending on a number of factors, it is good to determine the route to take that will give you maximum success, satisfaction and impact, as a person. A number of factors will determine which option is best for different individuals.
- Start your own company from scratch
This is the fastest way to become a CEO but it can also be toughest, the most challenging and a very delicate approach because if care is not taken and due diligence done, starting a business of your own can end up making you a CEO of nothing! This is because starting a company from scratch is a daunting task and calls for a combination of many skills and tools. To be a successful business owner or entrepreneur, the best route to overcoming many of the default business challenges and find the path that leads to a building a successful company is through learning. By mastering several key skills, you’ll acquire what it takes to succeed in business and you’ll develop a level of confidence to handle issues when they arise – and they sure will. So, what are these skills that you should you possess/learn? There are a lot you’ll need to learn as an intending company owner. First, you need to acquire some general business skills such as
Secondly, you will need to acquire industry specific knowledge and skills relevant to your particular industry or field of play – usually, most people already have this. The only problem or challenge here is that most people go to start their own business, banking on industry specific knowledge only, being oblivious of the critical importance of the generic knowledge and skills that are universal requirements for anyone in the business world.
The foregoing is quite important a discussion because, there seems to be an emergence of a particular class in Nigeria – the class of young “Chief Executive Officers (CEOs). Interestingly the rise of this class is implicit in the high rate of unemployment in the country. Every unemployed person now takes the tag of an entrepreneur or a CEO. If you are tired of sitting at home waiting for jobs, and if you want to join the influential club of Nigerian CEOs, it is important for you to put the foregoing into consideration so that your CEO title will not end up being a mockery! If you get it right and do it well, your CEO will not just be a label but you will be able to build a company that is very successful, and makes your title of CEO very fitting and deserving.
- Pursue a career and rise to the top quickly
The typical first step toward a career as a CEO is to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Except for those who have chosen to start their own companies as we have already discussed earlier, the prospects for becoming a CEO without at least a first degree in the university will take a miracle to happen. The tasks, roles and responsibilities of a corporate CEO (running, managing and seeing a company to profitability and success) require a certain level of development of one’s mind, and the sharpening of certain skills and competencies that are fundamentally shaped secular education. While it’s very possible for someone with a degree in law, sciences or arts to become the CEO of a company (depending on a wide range of interwoven issues, and all things being equal), most people who actually dreamt of becoming a CEO from the onset usually pursue business-related degrees, such as in Business Administration. The coursework for these degrees teaches students about the fundamental areas of business, such as operations, management, economics, and finance. They can also cultivate an understanding of the ethical and legal environments that typically surround the workings of any business.
Additionally, it is strongly recommended for people who are really serious about a future career as a CEO, to pursue a more specific leadership and business courses, such as Organizational Leadership, Project Management, Human Resources Management, etc. Gaining expertise or knowledge in these are can make it easier for an aspiring CEO to tap into the human side of business, which translates to stronger leadership skills – and this is very critical to rising fast to the level of CEO in any organization.
In conclusion, whether you become a CEO by the first approach or the second, a wealth of knowledge in various business areas and the possession of certain skills are paramount to success. Example of some of the skills you might want to pursue after are as follows:
- Financial management
- Marketing and Sales
- Customer service
- Communication and negotiation
- Project management and planning
- Time management
- Problem solving
The list is endless and many of these can be learned by taking online courses.
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