Tag Archives: EI

Ten Ways to Think, Feel and Act Like a CEO


It’s not easy to climb to the top of an organization and it’s even harder to stay on top.

I recently sat down with a group of Presidents and CEOs for a luncheon meeting. It was informal with no hard agenda. The discussion centered on leadership in shifting times. Each of the leaders had weathered significant storms these past few years. Yet, now there seemed to be a renewed sense of energy and optimism among them. They were like veteran generals hungry for a new battle and ready to take on new territory.

As I furiously scribbled notes on all the insights, strategies and business forecasts, one story stood out to me. One CEO began to describe how he had started his business in his garage and from there built himself a multi-million dollar company. His words echoed with authority as he said, “I don’t care who you are. It’s not easy to climb to the top of an organization, and it is even tougher to stay on top.”

My greatest takeaway from our meeting was observing how these CEOs think, feel and act about their business, their life and their leadership.  In order to become a powerful individual, I believe it is important to imitate those who are already on top.

I would like to share ten ways you too can think, feel, and act like a CEO.

  1. Be free to be you – The most effective CEOs are comfortable in their own skin
  2. See beyond turbulence – No one at the table was chattering about what was lost. They were all enthusiastically focused on their new vision.
  3. Be a competitor – All of the people at that table liked to win are and were not afraid of competition.
  4. Listen to good ideas – Everyone was taking notes and welcomed new best practices. They all gleaned good ideas to take home.
  5. Be a talent finder – People still matter. These leaders were constantly on the lookout for talent, networks, and were leveraging their relationships for success.
  6. Make no mistake, you have to know what you are talking about – They were knowledgeable about the economy, business trends, political impact, and financial reports.
  7. Don’t underestimate emotional intelligence – These CEOs understood how their attitude, moods, and emotions affected their company culture. They had strong self-awareness, people skills, and emotional self-management.
  8. Always be a salesman – The people at that table were all persuasive and had their own genuine style.
  9. Think big – Not too many of these leaders spoke in terms of survival. It was all about how to thrive. CEOs feed off big ideas.
  10. Be confident – I did not see timid or weak attitudes. These people exuded a confident presence.

No matter who you are, imitating the world’s most successful individuals will help. You can think, feel and act like a CEO. Let’s go get it. It’s a great day to take on new thoughts, feelings and actions! Welcome to the mind of a CEO.

Photo Credit: www.idemployee.id.tue.nl

Steve’s Favorites: The Hot Seat

This post was originally posted on Steve Gutzler and Leadership Quest’s blog on February 14th, 2012.

I’ve been a part of dozens of corporate and business events and retreats. After a while they kind of blur together. It is the same hotel conference rooms. The same curiously similar buffet tables. Always the ridiculously poor lighting at the podium. But the people, they are who make it special. Yes the people!

Recently I was presenting at a corporate leadership retreat on Emotional Intelligence for Extraordinary Leadership. It was a really great morning of dynamic interaction. The CEO of the organization was truly exceptional; he had stunning leadership execution. But honestly, he captivates you with his people skills. His smile, his wit, and his unique ability to involve each person. You feel yourself elevating in thought and conversation just by being in his presence. Plus, my personal favorite, he had a contagious laugh that you just couldn’t get enough of.

The Defining Moment of the Retreat

On the second day of our retreat (the CEO actually called them “Advances” because his company never retreats) the CEO came up to the front to address everyone in the room. The previous morning I had described an example of a company where they take time each month to place a team member in the “Hot Seat.” When the team member is sitting in the Hot Seat, everyone goes around the room and talks about how that person contributes, shines, makes a difference and works hard to put skin on their goals as a company. It is a “your special. Thank you” Moment.


Sometimes when I share that story I can almost feel people rolling their eyes, sometimes I even see them. Tough minded types don’t like warm and fuzzy moments. Business and leadership is not for the weak of heart. It is a jungle out there and if you can’t step up and perform then you will find yourself in the junk yard!


So here was this CEO in front of his team. He stood and addressed the room stating that he would like to do the Hot Seat activity, but with a little twist. Then he walked around the room, stopping at each person. He literally placed his hand on each team member’s shoulder and talked about the stunning success contributions that each person had made. I kept thinking, “Where are his cheat sheets?” But he didn’t have any. I watched in wonder as the faces of each person lit up at his words. Each person looked newly inspired. I was witnessing the power of communicating personal value. Its transforming power, just those two or three minutes of recognition healed, emboldened, and filled hearts with a renewed courage to continue on!

Emotional Intelligence 401 in action! What a leader. What a magical moment.

And then the Surprise!

If that moment wasn’t enough, he turned to me. Yes, little ol’ me, in the corner taking it all in. He actually said, and I won’t forget the words, “And now I left the best at the end, Steve Gutzler.”

As he walked toward me, my heart started pounding. My eyes moistened. When he placed his hand on my shoulder and spoke glowingly, I melted. I faked a cool demeanor and a soft smile. But inside, I was a puddle. I have those words recorded in my mind. I return to them often because in my world, as I am sure it is in yours, I have many small voices. Sometimes even my own voice is speaking small to me.

But on that day I found myself driving to live up to those words of greatness. Emotional Intelligence can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. For me it is something you experience and I attempt to deliver to one person at a time. One conversation, one smile, one handshake, one leadership moment at a time. I guess that is one reason at the end of my posts I say “You matter to me!”

Tying my best to be emotionally intelligent,

Steve Gutzler

“Leaders understand emotions drive behaviors, performance, and greatness!”

Announcing the Publication of Emotional Intelligence for Personal Leadership!

I am pleased to announce that Steve Gutzler and Leadership Quest have just published a second E-book.

Emotional Intelligence for Personal Leadership focuses on you individually as a leader. It follows the story of a young woman Steve Gutzler and Leadership Quest had the privilege of coaching who was extremely skilled but was holding herself back with her poor emotional self- and team-management. This book will provide you with six weeks worth of coaching insight in six chapters each dedicated to a specific emotional intelligence cornerstone.

Learn to identify your personal areas of emotional intelligence weakness and how to improve them and thus improve your leadership effectiveness. The book includes specific success strategies and competencies for you to practice as you improve your personal leadership.

Download the book from Amazon here!

Chapter Topics include: 

Week One: Emotions Drive our Behavior
Week Two: The Power of Self-Awareness
Week Three: Emotional Self-Management
Week Four: Emotional Management of Others
Week Five: How Leaders Build Emotional Connections
Week Six: Your Personal Leadership Standards

You can read the first chapter of the book for FREE here. 

Also included in this E-book is an additional resource on Emotional Intelligence “Playing Big” which bullets what it means to be an emotionally intelligent leader.

Please let me know what you think of the book in the comments below or, better yet, in a comment on Amazon. Thank you and I hope you enjoy!

Download the book from Amazon here!

Steve Gutzler
Leadership Quest