When, at age 24, I told my boss (somewhat tongue in cheek) that I wanted to become a CEO, he nearly fell off his chair. It was 1974; I was a software developer working for IBM. At that time, lowly engineers were not expected to aspire to roles reserved for successful salespeople.
But my boss’ guidance helped me take a hard look at myself and make becoming the CEO a real objective. I eventually achieved my goal 30 years later at Business Objects, but it took a lot of careful planning, as well as focus and determination.
Today, the path to becoming a CEO can look very different, particularly within tech and internet startups. But the skills required to be an effective leader are the same as ever. These skills typically take a life of experience to acquire, but there are ways to overcome that time challenge. Here are three things you should do to qualify as CEO material, even if you are short on life experience -- but still big on energy and bold ideas: