May 3, 2016

How to become a CEO in one year!

Dream Catcher Challenge

Welcome to my Dream Catcher Challenge. How to become a CEO in one year! Dream big they said so here we are. In an ever growing connected world with tons of opportunities to challenge yourself and start a business which add value to the life of others is one of the endeavors I am willing to take on.

Starting from 26 April 2016 till 26 April 2017 I will execute my plan, which is still in the making, to meet and interview at least 100 successful CEO's doing a great job at different companies around the world. This seems impossible right? But then we learned to think bigger and we started with catching our dreams. At least the effort alone will mean something to someone if not for my self.

What is the goal?

Ok! Let's get this out there... of course it would be great if I could become a CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of my own start-up or be hired at one of the worlds greatest companies in the world as their CEO. But what I am aiming for is the experience and the knowledge that I will gain from traveling and meeting exciting and inspiring people (yes they are people). People who think differently, act differently. People who change the world with their ideas and visions. I want to find out what does it take to become a successful CEO? What makes a successful CEO?  What breaks a successful CEO? What skills, knowledge and attitude do the greatest CEO's have in common (if any)?. Can anyone become a CEO? Can we learn these skills, attitudes? Could we find some patterns that would pin point CEO's? A lot of questions to answer but the more excited the journey becomes.

What is the plan?

So after tinkering about what to do and where to start and whether this is a good idea or not, i just started brainstorming with some friends and colleagues. Quickly enough we had a rough sketch of a roadmap and framework. Thanks to some critical questions from the audience we managed to finalize the brainstorm with some important business case issues like finance, risks, added value, time-frame, which CEO's to speak, how to approach them, how to invite them to join me in my quest... tons of questions came to mind but chasing and catching a dream is not about coming up with questions but finding ways to solutions.

Let me narrow down the plan to some bullets:

 

  • Make a list with at least 100 names of successful CEO's (man and women) from different sectors world wide (who inspires me and who do I look up to)
  • Digitally place all CEO's on the world map (we have the tools for that already, right Google?)
  • Decide where to start first (Netherlands probably)
  • Find a way to get connected to or invited for a meeting with a top CEO (referral can help here)
  • Get facilities up and running i.e. camera, software, voice-recorder, etc. (catch everything)
  • Plan and manage travel route and secondary efforts (plan B)
  • Prepare interview questions. Read a lot of books on CEO's, leadership skills, management skills, start-ups, personal and professional development (know your stuff)
  • Find a way to give other people a chance to contribute to this effort (crowd-sourcing and maybe also crowd-funding)
  • Use all (social) media channels to promote, announce, cover, report, interact with the audience
  • Start with a fixed budget (20000 euro) and try to increase this while on the way (crowd funding, sponsors, donations, etc.)

What will I deliver?

If all works out like planned i will have a lots of data that I have to convert into usable information and make this accessible for a broad audience. Yes after reading all the books I could read and could get my hands on it is time to collect, sort, organize and put all this together in a neat new book called, you probably guessed the title: How to become a CEO in one year! So far some of you will think this is an early sabbatical and the trips are all fun an relaxation. Sure why can't these not be part of a serious endeavor like this one.
But ok true we talked about added value. Who will gain anything from this. Besides the fact that we all can undertake this kind of journey and chase the dreams of our lives there will be a serious benchmark between the theory (all the books out there) and the practice (the stories of at least 100 CEO's). I will analyze and keep track of all characteristics, attitude, nature, nurture, behavior and impact of the CEO's and match these with the theory of today.

Yes and of course there are a lot of books on CEO's and papers on who they are, what they do, how they do it but in my quest and challenge the focus is:

 

  • why they do what they do
  • how they feel about what they do
  • how do they achieve their goals
  • would they have done otherwise if possible
  • can they make cross-overs for example can CEO's be successful in any sector or domain at any company?
  • what is it that CEO's dream about?
  • what is it that keeps them inspired, motivated, patient and healthy...
  • do they all have and is there a need to have an expensive MBA to become a CEO?
  • how do their daily lives looks like?
  • what do they enjoy most in live?
  • what do they have for dinner?
  • what would they do if they weren't CEO?
  • ...

So yeah slightly different insights on what we already know. Lets see...looking forward to meet my first CEO. But first let's make a list of successful CEO's that I really admire and who really are a source of inspiration for many young potential CEO's out there.

Sectors - Domains - Industries

  • High-Tech
  • Education
  • Fashion
  • Entertainment
  • Automotive
  • Politics
  • Lifestyle
  • Business
  • Aerospace
  • Medical
Book How To Become a CEO in One Year

List of at least 100 CEO's

The list below is just a compilation of names of interesting and inspiring CEO's. The numbering is random without priority.

 

  1. Jimmy Fallon (Actor, Host) USA
  2. Madhuri Dixit (Bollywood Actress) India
  3. Elon Musk (Challenger) USA
  4. Barack Obama (Formal president of USA) USA
  5. Rafael Raif (President MIT) USA
  6. Daan Kersten (CEO Additive Industries) Netherlands
  7. Hans Fisher (CEO Tata Steel Europe)
  8. Steve Easterbrook (CEO McDonalds)
  9. Paul Polman (CEO UniLever) Netherlands
  10. Mark Parker (CEO Nike) USA
  11. His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum (CEO Emirates Airline & Group) UAE
  12. Pablo Isla (CEO Inditex)
  13. Deepak Chopra (Author) India/USA
  14. ...

Follow me catching my dream

This journey is not something I would like to do solo. I need all the help I can get. Please do share information with me while I am chasing my dream on where to go, who to talk to. Maybe you have some contacts that can help me contact CEO's. Keep up to date about my journey, follow me, comment on it, send me names of CEO's, share it, join me!

Email me: r.abdoel@xrebels.com
Follow me on twitter: @xrebelspd