🚀 Breathe.


The 10 Essential CEO Skills for Leadership Excellence in 2024

Learn all about the important skills and qualifications that successful CEOs need in 2023 and beyond here!

By Hannah Ross  •   January 30, 2023  •   7 min read

2023 has the potential to be one of the most pivotal years to date for chief executive officers (CEOs). Coming off a global pandemic, 2023 possess the perfect opportunity for you to ramp up and put your business on the map. While the new year comes bearing opportunity, there are also numerous challenges that must be overcome to achieve success. In this article, we’ll detail 10 skills that CEOs need to have in 2023 to succeed. Keep reading to see if you have what it takes! 

10 skills the top CEOs need to have  

1Clear communication 

Learning how to communicate clearly is one of the most prominent skills among successful CEOs. When you prioritize transparency and communicate clearly, you leave little to no room for miscommunication or misunderstandings. In addition to communicating objectives and values to your team, you’ll also be responsible for educating consumers on your product offerings or services, teaching stakeholders about your business, and guiding your entire organization through successful triumphs and turbulent times.  

Luckily, tools like Fellow make prioritizing clear communication a breeze. With Fellow, you can host meetings that are built on transparency. In addition to allowing you to leverage collaborative meeting agendas that can be easily accessible by all informed teammates at any point, Fellow also makes it possible for you to centralize key information. Say goodbye to unproductive meetings and empower your team to build great meeting habits through collaborative meeting agendas, real-time note-taking, and prebuilt templates.

Run efficient meetings, come to a decision, and get back to work

Level up your meeting habits to boost engagement and productivity with a collaborative meeting agenda. Try a tool like Fellow!

2The ability to attract and retain employees 

Attracting and retaining top talent will do wonders for your organization. CEOs who are able to recruit and retrain star employees are more likely to increase productivity and efficiency. Your organization will not be able to reach its full growth potential if you haven’t taken the time to cultivate an engaged team. 

While attracting talent is one thing, retaining it is another. Numerous tactics such as offering signing bonuses, competitive salaries, and the promise of work-life balance can be used to attract talent; however, your effort should not stop there. To retain star employees, you’ll need to cultivate a positive work environment that empowers employees to do their best work.  

3Market and customer knowledge

As a CEO, it’s your job to be a champion for your product. As a result, you need to be well versed and educated in your respective market. By this we mean having an unmatched understanding of your product market fit and how your product bodes against competing products. You also need to have an in-depth understanding of your ideal consumer. What does your ideal customer look like, where can they be found, what are their pain points, and what mediums do they use to seek out your product? Creating customer personas or profiles to gain an in-depth understanding of your intended consumer is recommended. 

4Strategic thinking and decisiveness

CEOs are responsible for creating a clear path forward. As a leader, having the ability to think strategically and make effective decisions is crucial. These skill sets are both necessary to lead and develop effective plans that align with organizational objectives while taking the present economic landscape into consideration. CEOs who are able to think strategically and make skilled, informed decisions will be able to set goals, determine priorities, and plan for the future with ease.

5The ability to delegate

Delegation is key—not only for CEOs, but also for managers of any kind. As a CEO, you’ll constantly be pulled in opposing directions. It’s important to understand that you can’t and shouldn’t do everything on your own. Instead, you need to surround yourself with skilled team members who can support you in their respective areas of expertise. Successful CEOs are expert delegators not only because they recognize the importance of teamwork but also because they believe in building up those around them. Prioritizing delegation is an excellent way to empower those around you to step up and hone in on their craft. 


Being approachable is the foundation of building strong relationships, which is why it’s so important for CEOs to master the skill of approachability. An approachable CEO is one who is reliable and consistent. To be approachable, you need to welcome conversation and practice active listening. An approachable leader will help people feel comfortable and at ease, enabling everyone around them to connect, communicate, and collaborate without fear. Whether it be with your colleagues, your peers, stakeholders, or even customers, being approachable will help you cultivate and strengthen relationships. 

7Financial knowledge

CEOs need to be well rounded, so it’s important for them to have an understanding of all aspects of business, and with this comes the need for financial knowledge. A successful CEO will understand their respective organization’s financials and have an understanding of how one element impacts another—for example, how profit builds equity and how that equates to the growth or demise of your organization’s overall financial position. As a CEO, you need to understand your gross margins, overhead costs, assets, liabilities, and how money moves through your company. 

8Attention to detail 

As a CEO, you need to prioritize the details and be committed to scrutinizing every aspect of the business. A detail-oriented CEO should be able to provide their undivided attention when necessary to catch mistakes or errors before they grow to have negative implications on the business. This level of quality assurance is a crucial skill for successful CEOs. You also need to be willing to speak up and make your opinion known when you believe that the quality you expect is not being upheld. Identifying errors or mishaps is one thing, but solving them before they fester is another. 

9Creativity and innovation 

Creativity is arguably one of the most important leadership qualities. CEOs need to constantly be pushing boundaries and be willing to explore alternatives. As a result, creativity and innovation are a must. As a creative and innovative CEO, you’ll need to take risks and encourage those around you to do the same. Creative CEOs are those who take risks and encourage those around them to drop outdated practices or processes that don’t lead to innovation. 

10Growth mindset

Possessing a growth mindset means you’re constantly willing to grow and evolve as you meet new challenges. This means that you’re willing to improve through effort, learning, and persistence, and you approach challenges or budding opportunities with an open mind. Where others may back down in the face of adversity, successful CEOs will take the bull by the horns and move forward with confidence. Those who possess a growth mindset are less likely to become discouraged in the face of adversity as they have the tools necessary to reframe adversity as an opportunity to learn or grow. 

The impact of a CEO 

1Influences the company culture

Culture is built from the top down, which is why it’s so important for CEOs to lead with their company’s culture in mind. Excellent CEOs will provide the organization with a shared vision, a constant source of motivation, a sense of purpose, and inspiration. All of these elements work together to create a company culture that you can be proud of. As a CEO, all eyes are on you at all times. Your colleagues, employees, and peers will look to you to set an example.

2Acts as the decision maker

While CEOs hold a great deal of responsibility, one of their main duties is to be a decision maker. As your organization’s CEO, you’ll always need to take an unbiased approach in an attempt to make the decision that benefits your organization. Being able to make effective decisions under pressure is crucial. 

3Impacts business reputation

CEOs are responsible for being the forward-facing representative for the business. By this we mean that as a CEO, you’ll be the main point of contact for both internal and external communications. As a result, you need to prioritize professionalism and be diligent in your approach to uphold the reputation of your organization in both your personal and professional life. You need to be a champion of your organization and recognize that you’re an extension of your organization’s reputation.

Make 2023 the best year yet! 

Do you have what it takes to succeed as a CEO in 2023? If you’re lacking in one or more of these areas, it’s time to put your head down and get to work! Sharpening your current skill set or taking the time to learn new skills will bode well in your career for years to come. Time invested in yourself is never time wasted, and luckily, you still have time to hit the ground running and make improvements!

  • shopfiy
  • uber
  • stanford university
  • survey monkey
  • arkose labs
  • getaround
  • motorola
  • university of michigan
  • webflow
  • gong
  • time doctor
  • top hat
  • global fashion group
  • 2U
  • lemonade
  • solace
  • motive
  • fanatics
  • gamesight
  • Vidyard Logo