top of page
  • Writer's pictureTony Richards

The 3 Most Needed Attributes In A Successful CEO

How would you answer the question: "Who is the most important person in your life?" Very seldom do I get the correct answer. People tend to answer with an external individual, rather than giving the correct answer which would be: ME!

For those who have seen any of my seminars and workshops or been a coaching client, you know my model, The Galaxy of You. The premise of The Galaxy of You is that your personal and professional world is a vast network of important pieces which surround you and are constantly expanding. You are at the center of your own galaxy, with wide and varied relationships, your organization and other organizations, communities, and cultures. The important point to establish firmly in your thoughts and feelings is that the center of your galaxy never changes while the rest of the components of your galaxy are always changing, morphing, transitioning, and growing. While positionally, your position in the center designates the fact that you are always priority #1 because, without you, there is no galaxy. Your position in the center does not change, and at the same time, your capacity hopefully is always growing. Your abilities are always expanding.

Everything about you as far as change and growth in capacity always begins within you. Our outer world (our galaxy) is simply a reflection of our own personal inner world.

Let's zoom in even further and look to the core of you. The center of you contains your self-image, otherwise known sometimes as your ego. The condition of your self-image and your ego is so crucial. I find it amusing when people say someone is great because they have no ego. This is so erroneous. You cannot function without an ego and you certainly will not accomplish all you are capable of without an ego. The question really is, what is the condition of your ego, is it healthy or unhealthy? Today, let's examine what I consider to be the three most desired attributes in the condition of a successful CEO's self-image in order to maximize elite-level performance and success.


I define humility with my coaching clients this way: Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it's simply thinking of yourself less. Some people say humility is putting others' needs before your own. I believe this is dangerous. All good intentions have dangerous consequences if not held in check. Postponing the fulfillment of your own needs while giving attention to others' needs taken too far will eventually leave you unfulfilled and frustrated because not everyone in your life will hold this same principle, leaving you without getting your need fulfilled. This leads to an ugly situation where you are obviously trying to satisfy yourself.

Those who have a healthy amount of humility get their needs met in a healthy way. There is not enough room in this space to list all the variables in this, so I'll just cite one example. Let's say the CEO I am working with has a natural propensity in their behavior to address issues head-on, they have no problem expressing their feelings on topics and they do not allow issues to sit and fester, they speak up about the elephant in the room. These are all very healthy things for this person to do. What does unhealthy behavior look like? They say things in a manner & tone they will regret. They overpower others and get too aggressive or they may become unfocused on the issue and become overly dramatic. Having the proper amount of humility would allow them to do the healthy behaviors to their credit while if denying themselves their own needs for too long, the humility diminishes and the unhealthy behaviors I provide begin to surface. You can imagine the compounding that happens to the original issue gets that needed discussion and decision.


A healthy amount of confidence usually gets cultivated through strong commitment and courage. These two things empower a person to face their fears and to stop procrastinating on key issues. Remember, how you think of yourself and how you feel is a direct result of your state of mind about yourself. If you are perpetually stressed and anxious, you are living and functioning in a depressed state and everything in your life and work is going to feel as if it's stuck or not going in the right direction. During this state, your thoughts and feelings will tell you that you can't do much right and your confidence is going to slowly erode. In this state, something usually will happen, you will avoid engagement and decision on important matters because you are defeated before you begin. So, let's not begin!

On the other hand, if you utilize gratitude, love, and joy, your state will re-balance itself into one of confidence and positivity. If you really dig in and grab on to this state, I call this being relentlessly positive, so then not much that comes at you will bother you much at all. You take it all in stride, knowing that you are going to have wins and losses in life and the wins are to be celebrated and received in gratitude, while the losses are tremendous learning opportunities. This is a consistent state of someone who has confidence in a healthy measure. Not to say that grief and sadness may occur during life's challenges and losses, and at the same time, we must engage them with a healthy approach and authenticity for an appropriate period then get back on our confident track.


Having a healthy amount of discipline in your ego and life goes back to your firm commitment to yourself. Being disciplined means you make the right and healthy decisions with your well-being in mind as your first priority. Whether that means you keep yourself inside your own circle of competence, these days it's popular to say, "stay in your own lane". As Warren Buffett said, "I am smart in spots and I stay around those spots". It can also mean resisting temptation and not putting yourself into situations where you know you might get weak and do the wrong thing at the wrong time. It can also mean doing things at the time they are supposed to be done, the way they are supposed to be done, and in the sequence they are supposed to be done.

If you haven't picked up on it yet, disciplined people take better care of themselves all the way around, in every area of their life. Professional, personal, physical, emotional, financial, etc. Disciplined people do not think of themselves as having a professional life and a personal life and a physical life and so on. No, they know they have one life with several segmentations of focus, and they make sure to take care of themselves in each of the areas of their one life, with a list of priorities in each segment. First things first and other things second. Disciplined people know where the boundaries are, and they do not trespass them while constantly improving their daily routine and rhythm to maximize their well-being and the results which come from prioritization, focus, practice, and repetition.

What can you add to the discussion and the 3 attributes I have here? Participate and put your comments in below!

47 views0 comments


bottom of page