Skip to main content

3 Keys To Success For CEOs And Business Owners

Glancing over the business section of any traditional newspaper, trade publication or online site you’ll see the triumphs, struggles and demise of companies coast-to-coast and worldwide. For many business people, understanding how to ensure an organization’s success can sometimes seem as scientific as a day at the racetrack. Business is somewhat of a gamble. It’s about taking calculated risks every business day. It’s essential in today’s highly competitive environment for CEOs, presidents and business owners to keep in mind three keys to success.

A CEO, president or business owner needs to ideally possess three innate skills or qualities in order to be consistently successful. It doesn’t matter if the company has a revolutionary new product, is riding the technology wave, or simply manufactures widgets, the same rules apply.  In fact,  these three keys to success are timeless.

Keys to success


Here are the three keys to success you need to possess as the CEO, president or owner of your company:

1.) Learn to manage your fear.

2.) Have the knowledge necessary to succeed.

3.) Have the will and the drive, to persevere no matter what.


Let’s look at each of the three components which are keys to success for you as a CEO, president or business owner.


1.) Fear.  Perhaps the most persistent obstacle business people face constantly is effectively managing fear. Fear is one of the keys to success rather than failure in business when constructively dealt with. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “fearless leader”. Even someone who is bestowed this title has had to face their fears on a daily basis. The perception of being fearless and actually having fears are two very different things.

There are two kinds of fear – negative and positive.  If you fail to manage your fears you cannot be successful.  In too many cases business people will let their negative fear stop them from achieving their business goals. This negative type of fear can eventually become debilitating. You literally feel locked-up and unable to perform tasks simply because you are afraid. In this situation the fear prevents you from meeting goals, and thus, the fear controls your life – and ultimately, your business.

Positive fear, however, when successfully managed, actually channels itself to motivate and to push someone into action. As a business person you can use this internalized sense of fear to get yourself to move past the anxiety that the fear brings into a situation; and to be more afraid of the result being absolute failure than the actual whole process itself.  Whatever is necessary to achieve company goals is dealt with so the business can thrive.  The key is to recognize the fear and use it to provide positive energy rather than allowing a fear based paralysis to set in.

Usually, if you can step through your fear and get to the other side of a business situation, you will find that you have conquered your fear to some degree or another so the next time you are faced with something similar it will be easier for you as you know now more of what to expect.


Fear is just one of the keys to success. Remember, when you face your fears to:

  • Acknowledge whatever the fear is.
  • Stay present in the situation rather than worry about the future outcome or hang onto the past events of how you arrived at this circumstance.
  • Determine a specific plan of action to work through the situation (and the fear).
  • Once through it, recognize your accomplishment and how it will help you in the future.


2.) Knowledge.  Successful CEOs, presidents and business owners need in-depth, up-to-date knowledge about their respective industry. Today knowledge is everything. In fact, just because you have a degree, an advanced degree, or even multiple degrees, does not mean you can stop being a student of business. Being a student of business continues for a lifetime; learning new things every day is one of the keys to success.

As a business person, you need to determine what, exactly, you are good at, and then continue learning everything about the subject. Take the time to do more than flip through industry publications; instead visit online as well as brick-and-mortar bookstores and libraries, carefully combing the shelves for tried and true recommendations along with cutting edge advice. In addition, take the time to talk to employees, vendors/suppliers and customers, learning all you can to truly understand your business in as many ways as possible. Attend industry meetings and conventions to further expand your knowledge and network.

It is important for business leaders to learn not just more about what they already know, but to be aware of what they don’t know as well. To be successful in business today a CEO, president or business owner must understand what he or she doesn’t know. Then determine what steps will be taken to correct the situation to further your knowledge and understanding; to open your mind to new business opportunities.


For example, perhaps you are technology driven.  But what about sales and marketing?  Human resources?  Accounting?

For those areas outside of your level of expertise it is critical to become educated on the subject to some degree. At least have a “working knowledge” of the department and how it functions within your company.

Take the time to make a personal “Knowledge Plan” for yourself outlining what areas are to be strengthened and how. This will help to move you and the company forward.


As part of the Knowledge Plan, identify what areas you need to refine, and how, exactly these goals will be accomplished.  In some instances researching information on the internet can provide the solution; however, it’s often not as simple as downloading a few articles and assuming the job is done. Unfortunately, for all the beneficial resources available on the internet, there is also incorrect and outdated information that can lead you off track.

In general, you need to carefully evaluate all information from whatever its source. Make sure the information resonates with your approach to business. If you don’t truly believe in the recommendations and advice offered then you will find it very difficult, if not impossible, to integrate the knowledge into your own frame of reference and business practices.

Knowledge is one of the keys to success. Allow it to open your mind to the infinite possibilities with your business.


3.) Drive.  Successful CEOs, presidents and business owners need to have the will, determination and the drive to succeed, to push on no matter the circumstance or the difficulty. Successfully managing any organization is an extremely demanding taskmaster and requires all of your time, attention, energy and patience. That’s why drive is one of the keys to success.

The drive to succeed is an intangible quality that propels you even in the face of failure. If you have the will, the special something inside that says, “I will be successful no matter what,” it will help you push on in the face of any number of business problems, through countless fears until any and all difficulties and challenges are resolved. The result can only be a positive outcome for your business.

When you have the drive to succeed, even the possibility of failure is viewed differently. It is looked upon as a valuable learning opportunity.  An opportunity to do something better the next time. The challenge is to objectively review all aspects of the situation. Carefully evaluate what went right, what went wrong, and why. In fact, in many respects the life of any business can be viewed as an accumulation of mistakes. As long as the same mistakes aren’t made over and over again the company is in a position to develop and grow.


There’s no question running a business can at times be overwhelming – facing your fears, pouring over profit and loss statements, meeting with industry colleagues and, perhaps most daunting, looking failure straight in the eye time and time again. But if you are ready to plan thoroughly and set goals, work tirelessly and follow-through meticulously to ensure the company goals are met, anything is possible. It is your opportunity to truly experience the vision of running your own company with these keys to success.


To your success!


Business expert and strategist, Howard Lewinter, guides – focuses – advises CEOs, presidents and business owners throughout the United States across a wide variety of industries to MORE success – MORE profit – less stress. Business problems? Business issues? Get MORE from your business! Talk business with Howard: 888-738-1855.

Want More Success And More Profit In Your Business?
Sign Up For Free Business Tips And Strategies from Howard.

Your privacy is respected. Will never sell, rent, trade or share your email or information.