• Mel B. Cook

Be An Exceptional CEO

Startup CEOs deal with an incredible amount of responsibility. It requires them to take risk, remain innovative, and make decisions during uncertainty. To be an exceptional CEO they must embody the traits of entrepreneurial leadership. Entrepreneurial leaders influence a collective to achieve a common objective. Entrepreneurial leaders are phenomenal at taking advantage of opportunities, but they are aware that they do not have infinite solutions to their challenges. As a result, they will need to collaborate with others to effectively grow their business. Therefore, an exceptional CEO practices entrepreneurial leadership.


I have served as a startup CEO and currently serve as a COO for a small business. My lifetime of professional experience supports that CEOs are exceptional visionaries. They are great at knowing what needs to be done and how they want their business to look. However, as high-level thinkers, most startup CEOs are not aware of how they will get it done and what discreet steps need to be taken Often, the vision does not come with a blueprint, so its imperative for exceptional CEOs to seek wise council and develop a team that’s connected to the vision. This is a standard part of entrepreneurial leadership.


When I first signed on as the COO of Grindation and Kendall Ficklin and Associates, it confirmed two things. One, that Kendall did an amazing job with influencing the team, exemplifying resilience, increasing the organization’s visibility, and communicating his vision, but the day-to-day operations were overwhelming. It was impossible for him to operate in his gifts and talents while maneuvering through the weeds. Frequently, Kendall would get tangled in the pastures. As a result, he was unable to take advantage of the mountain view and effectively keep his eyes on the moving parts of the business. Secondly, we need to fully leverage our team and networks to eliminate blind spots optimize our growth. Consequently, adjustments needed to be made to do more of worked well and address what could be better.


Once we partnered and I joined his council, we have been able to operationalize our goals with excellence and Kendall focused on being an exceptional CEO. Why? Because he employed the traits of entrepreneurial leadership to reach the objectives of the business.


Those traits included:

  1. Resiliency

  2. Strong Communication Skills

  3. Trusting the Team

  4. Collaborating with Brilliant Minds

  5. Using Story to Gain Influence

  6. Creating an inclusive culture

  7. Remaining honest and transparency

  8. Leading through curiosity

Exceptional CEOs practice entrepreneurial leadership to solidify their greatness, maximize their vision, and secure their profits. Will you be an exceptional CEO?

I would love to hear all about your CEO chronicles and ways I can keep you at the head of your game. Please feel free to join the team and I every Saturday morning for coffee by registering at coffeeqanda.com.


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