What Motivates a CEO?
The CEO is that visionary and strategic thinker who determines the direction in which your company should go. However, like everyone within your organization, your chief executive officer has to be motivated if she is to perform at her peak. Money is usually not a key motivational tool for this individual; a CEO is more interested in a challenge than a paycheck.
A CEO wants to know that the work she is doing will leave a positive imprint for future generations. If a CEO believes her work may serve as an inspiration to others in years to come, she will do her best to create a lasting impression in this role. Steve Jobs, who served as Apple's CEO, believed that his computing devices would change the world as we know it. His inventions have earned him numerous accolades and a place in the annals of history as one of the most respected CEOs of his time.
A CEO is a strategic thinker. He is always evaluating the best way to solve a challenge. The most pioneering CEOs like walking into a company that is on the verge of disaster and engineering a remarkable turnaround. CEOs such as Peter Cuneo of entertainment giant Marvel Entertainment and Gordon Bethune of Continental Airlines were able to take companies emerging from bankruptcy and place them on a path to success.
If a CEO doesn't love the job or the company, he won't work as hard to be successful. Hiring the right person to fill the role of the CEO is critical for any business. An unmotivated CEO can destroy what a business owner has worked hard to build. The CEO has to share the vision the business owner has for the company or be adamant about pursuing another vision to lead the company to greater success. Either way, a CEO has to be passionate about the job and company so he stops at nothing to make his vision a reality.
Motivation for a CEO can come from the very people with whom she is surrounded. When a CEO believes she has bright minds around her who are as passionate and invested in the company's success as she is, it inspires her to even greater heights. This leader understands that she ultimately will be held accountable for the company's success or failure and that her employees will do what's required to help her execute on her vision. A CEO always seeks the opinion of her peers to see if others are in agreement with the direction in which she is heading. She understands that everyone plays a role in her success in very much the same way that she plays a role in theirs.