Speaking: From Zero to CEO

From Zero to CEO

Pioneers explore the next frontier of life and work. Find out the five characteristics that set apart successful entrepreneurs and leaders. Looking a variety of leaders –from executives of multinational firms to start up founders, from political leaders to sport leaders, I was fascinated on how in times of crisis great leaders reinvent themselves and their organizations. In this presentation, I will share a collection of decision-oriented, field-based business cases that illustrate best entrepreneurial business leadership and management practices.


Faith in yourself. Inner motivation is usually portrait as inspiration, but it can also take the form of desperation. Unsung heroes learn how to keep psychologically fit to stop the downward spiral that often follows after adversity. They find in adversity a paradox for personal transformation. While they face present trouble, they are confident and optimistic about the future. They create a personal narrative of constructive self-disclosure where they are the staring star. They fabricate heroic tales that link events in such a way that their story becomes positive over time.


Risk taking: Risk is on the eye of the beholder. From their own point of view, there is no real risk because they are visionary -see what others can not see. They trust their skills and find the needed resources. With a “can-do” mentality, they show confidence in their ideas, plans and principles. They do not see problems to be solved but opportunities to be harnessed. They invest in both innovation and tradition. They revolutionize to stay and become a classic.


Patience for success.  Even in the most difficult circumstances, entrepreneurial leaders keep the vitality to move forward. Patience is not an overstated characteristic. Long term and future orientations sustain their perseverance in the face of difficulties. They learn to delay rewards by pursuing not only their own benefit  but rather the long lasting impact on next generations. A sense of ownership, emotional attachment, and personal responsibility cling on to their leadership role.


Aspiration: Some entrepreneurs are successful inventors and founders but they do not have the required passion and sustain attention to grow their ventures. A fully-rounded entrepreneurial leader aspire to make their venture bigger. During this entrepreneurial process they re-negotiate their professional roles. They have a strong learning orientation that moves them up from zero to CEO. With a clear disposition to learn, they have a humble attitude and care for others. Unsung heroes never do it alone, the mentality is to play in a team.


Resilience. Entrepreneurial leaders build mental strength and have the ability to adapt to the new circumstances as life comes.  They articulate life principles that communicate others how to live. A successful CEO who started from zero told me about the principle he follows: “live within our means looking to the future.” They develop a systemic view of their company and the industry in which they operate. This overall picture gives them the required flexibility to adapt and progress.