I certainly did not feel like I always was one. I knew that it takes years of hard work, dedication and experience to achieve the level of competence to successfully fill that role.
How did I know that?
When I was growing up, my father was an accountant. He worked for a major accounting firm in New York City, on Wall Street.
He had some very cool responsibilities (from my 4 year old perspective), like being the Guy who audited the New York State Lottery when they called the numbers on TV to make sure they didn’t do anything below board (my sister and I would often be hanging out behind the set on live TV as they were drawing the balls.)
His job title kept getting more impressive, and he kept working harder and harder at different companies as years went by until he reached the position of CFO of a large bank in New York City – pretty big deal.
Through this time his attitude changed as well. As I was growing up, so had he matured. People at work (in the few times we visited) treated him differently, and he treated them differently. It was a major shift in personality from accountant to CFO.
There was a time where, when he was a CPA, my 7 year-old self accidentally slammed my father’s hand in the front door, breaking it on the day of his CPA exam renewal. He had to take the test with the wrong hand, and he was in unbearable pain the whole time, using his anger at to fuel his way through the test.
If I had to name one of the turning points in his career, I’d have to say it was that incident, as it helped him to realize he now had the experience, so he was ready for more.
He eventually retired as a CEO, after taking his company through the then-largest IPO of a private bank in the US.
Having my father as a role model, I knew that in order to be an executive, and to take on a C-Level title, you need the experience and gravitas to back it up.
Originally Posted: https://www.quora.com/Do-Executives-or-CEOs-feel-like-they-were-always-one-before-they-became-one
Originally Posted On: 2016-01-21