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Becoming a CEO often means learning to take strategic risks and being willing to invest in yourself to grow and achieve your goals.

Comerica Bank Women's Business Symposium: Becoming Your Own CEO

November 21, 2018
By Comerica Bank

For many, hearing the phrase "powerful titans of industry" evokes images of individuals who are defined by their professional lives. Perhaps you imagine somebody who seems singly devoted to their profession. However, many leaders wear a variety of hats as their careers progress, something that is particularly evident in the lives of women. With pressure to excel in a wide range of personal and professional roles, women can often benefit from taking on the mindset of a CEO.

A good CEO will build a brand up, establishing a blend of strategies to help a company grow and sustain momentum. When facing pressures from a variety of societal, work, and family expectations, it can be helpful to take a similar approach to achieve your goals. 

Become your own CEO 

The topic of becoming your own CEO arose through a Comerica Bank Women's Business Symposium presentation from Dr. Juliette Okotie-Eboh, and many event guests highlighted it as a meaningful theme for the entire symposium. "My biggest takeaway from the event was listening to speaker Dr. Juliette Okotie-Eboh," said one symposium attendee. "The speech that she gave about being your own CEO, the power of you, having faith in yourself, knowing what you want and stepping out there was the perfect message for me."

When you think of how to become a CEO, you may consider going to business school, getting more experience in the workforce, and making strategic contacts. Those are all great starting points in terms of career growth, but what does that mean for becoming your own CEO?

In many ways, each of those tasks involves taking strategic risks. Going back to school means taking on costs that may or may not pay off. Expanding into new job roles means exploring skills and developing competencies. Networking demands starting new relationships and risking rejection.

“Taking business risks can be intimidating,” Okotie-Eboh explained. She noted that women can be prudent and cautious, as they are often thinking about their kids, themselves, and their partners as they make choices.

Becoming a CEO often means learning to take strategic risks and being willing to invest in yourself to grow and achieve your goals.

Becoming your own CEO

Overcoming fear and worry 

Any leadership situation can be overwhelming as it means relying on yourself to make choices that could have real consequences. Okotie-Eboh emphasized that women don't need to wait until they've figured everything out to step forward. "Everybody is a work in progress," said Okotie-Eboh. "I never stop learning, and for that matter I never stop trying to teach … I want people to feel better about themselves and follow whatever path they want to follow. It's not a tragedy if it works or doesn't work. Let's just keep moving and be happy."

These thoughts aren't advocating a risky lifestyle in which one strives for career growth above all else. Instead, they emphasize that women can take a strategic approach to achievement even with all the life responsibilities they handle.  Comerica Bank can assist with both personal and business services that can help individuals understand risk and plan for their financial futures.   

Comerica’s Wealth Management team consists of various divisions of Comerica Bank, affiliates of Comerica Bank including Comerica Bank & Trust, N.A., and subsidiaries of Comerica Bank including World Asset Management, Inc.; Comerica Securities, Inc.; and Comerica Insurance Services, Inc. and its affiliated insurance agencies.  World Asset Management, Inc. and Comerica Securities, Inc. are federally Registered Investment Advisors.  Registrations do not imply a certain level of skill or training.  Comerica Bank and its affiliates do not provide tax or legal advice.  Please consult with your tax and legal advisors regarding your specific situation.