The Job of the CEO
– A Lifelong Career Guide
CHAPTER 4: Self-Assessment Tests
If you have read and understood chapters 1, 2 and 3 you should now have a good understanding of the CEO job, the characteristics, skills and career paths of people who become successful CEOs. And you have learnt which challenges you will face on your way to the top job.
INTRODUCTION TO FIVE SELF-ASSESSMENT TESTS
Whether your dream is to become a CEO or whether you are not certain, if a CEO career is right for you, it is now time to get an understanding of your potential to become a great leader. You should therefore carry out the self-assessment tests, reflect on the results and make a decision about your career. Whatever decision you make, it will have a major impact on the rest of your professional as well as your private life.
The self-assessment tests are entirely empirical. They are developed by the author based on his long career as a global business man with extensive CEO and chairman experience. The tests are meant to give you guidance. They will not give you black and white answers.
The tests are designed for potential global CEOs. But as we live in a global world, even a local company is likely to have customers, suppliers, staff, shareholders, etc. who are ‘foreign’. If you are determined to stay local, your career tests are still relevant, but you may be a little soft, when you evaluate the results of some of your tests.
Whatever your dreams are, we suggest that you sit down with a person, who knows you really well, and work through the five self-assessment tests. This person should be a mentor, a senior colleague or a search consultant with whom you already have established a relationship. Your partner should also have a say. The people who help you with this assessment must be brutally honest, frank and objective—and you must be honest with yourself. If you cheat you only cheat yourself and this is not good for your career and for your family life. Embarking on a CEO career without having what it takes, without support of your partner and without being willing to do what it takes, can only lead to frustration.
We suggest that you print the chapter 4 from our website www.editoravaldemar.com. The tests are not an Excel or analytical exercise where you calculate your results with 3 decimals. They are judgement tests.
The combined result of all your assessment tests will probably fall into three categories:
PASSED: Every indication is that you do have what it takes to become a CEO
MAYBE: The result is not clear
FAILED: It is very clear that you do not have what it takes to become a CEO
Even if you ‘fail’ in one or more of the self-assessment tests, we recommend that you complete all of them. Completing all tests and evaluating the results together with your mentor will be valuable for your future career, even if you decide not to pursue a CEO path. Reflecting over the results you may well be able to improve on some of your weak spots once you become aware of them.
THE SELF-ASSESSMENT TESTS
Self-assessment test 1
Why do you want to become a CEO?
This test is not for you if you are certain that a CEO job is not what you want. But it is good for you to know about this test when you start your business career.
If you honestly feel that you are a Type A person, you have passed the test.
If you are a Type B person, we suggest that you complete all remaining tests and at the end seriously consider your options. If your prime motive is money, power and recognition, you might be able to get a CEO job; however, chances are that you will not become a long-lasting and successful CEO. You may be better advised to become a deal-maker or a serial CEO in positions with limited time-frames such as private equity owned companies or companies where a turn-around is needed.
Self-assessment test 2
Are you willing to do what it takes to become a global CEO?
The second test is about ‘sacrifices’ that you must be willing to make. Ideally, you should not see them as sacrifices, because you love what you do and you learn so much.
The list comes as a package. You cannot pick and choose. In other words if you want to become a global CEO, you must ideally find all 10 items exciting and natural to deserve a YES. Just a few MAYBEs is a concern. If you have just one NO, you should carefully consider whether a career as a global CEO career is right for you and your partner.
If your ambition is to become a local CEO, you may have a NO on item 3 and 6.
Self-assessment test 3
Do you have the key characteristics of a great leader?
The third test is about your characteristics and is a very deep and honest assessment of yourself on each of the 10 characteristics of a great leader:
Nobody is perfect, so we do not expect you to score 8’, 9’ or 10’ on all. A few 6’ or 7’ are acceptable: But scores between 0’ and 5’ mean that the CEO job is not right for you.
Self-assessment test 4
Do you have the skills of a great leader?
The fourth test is about your skills and is also a very deep and honest assessment of yourself on each of the 10 characteristics of a great leader:
Again, nobody is perfect, so we do not expect you to score 10×10. A few 6’ or 7’ are acceptable. But scores between 0 and 5 indicate that the CEO job is not right for you.
Self-assessment test 5
Do you have the right EQ/IQ balance?
The fifth test is about the two dimensions of intelligence. Both IQ and EQ can be measured. But for the purpose of this test we suggest that sound judgement is applied.
Our experience shows that great leaders typically have EQ in the fourth quartile and IQ in the third quartile.
SUMMARY OF YOUR SELF-ASSESSMENT TESTS:
Once you have completed and evaluated all 5 tests we suggest that you summarize the results to help you decide whether you have what it takes to be a great leader and to become a CEO with a long and successful career:
If you are in the maybe area, we suggest that you consider planning a pre-CEO career to find out whether the CEO job could be right for you anyhow.
Whatever your results are, it is now time to reflect and decide if THE JOB OF THE CEO is right for you.