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11 Shortcuts to Becoming a CEO

November 27, 2009

Today we have a guest post from fellow Work-Faith blogger Leon De Rijke. Leon is Dutch, which I think means he’s from Holland or Amsterdam, or one of those quaint European countries. In any case, his introduction here speaks to the tremendous international reach of my Blog, which is my main concern. Plus, Leon has got some great ideas on how we can do a better job of integrating our faith into our work!

*                   *                     *

 So, you want to become a CEO?

I’ve got 11 real fast tips and tricks you can work out today in order to get your seat in the boardroom.

Okay, here we go:

  1. Give a cake to someone who got promoted instead of you.
  2. Put all your promises on your to-do list and don’t leave before you’ve met them all.
  3. Buy really beautiful flowers for your team member’s birthday instead of a gift card.
  4. Put a little encouraging note in someone’s drawer.
  5. Work late for an hour to listen to your colleague who lost his father recently (or fill in an other bad situation).
  6. Solve a conflict by acknowledging your own fault (regardless the faults of the other).
  7. Give everyone you run into a well-meant compliment.
  8. Don’t call your ill colleague, but visit him/her instead. Peel the apple from the fruit basket you brought. (Bonus points if you peel the orange too).
  9. Approve every project proposal without reading it, return it and say: “Go for it!”
  10. Call your largest competitor and congratulate them with that big assignment they won and you lost. (Bonus points if you call them after a month again to check if things work out)
  11. Give each team member a sponsored child (Compassion/World Vision), and teach them how to write a letter to them. Don’t publish a press release for this.

You won’t be able to do all eleven today. But try one or two. You’ll see how quickly you become great in encouraging people and empowering them to encourage others.

You’ll see how quickly you will be seen as the Chief Encouragement Officer.

So, which ones are you going to do today? Do you have ideas for any other shortcuts  into the boardroom?

Leon de Rijke is a Dutch blogger, trainer and coach and helps people to connect their faith with their work. You can find more about his blog on faith at work and marketplace ministry here.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. November 27, 2009 8:04 am

    We should start a movement to change the “E” in CEO to “Encouragement.” Great lesson here.

  2. November 27, 2009 10:45 am

    Wouldn’t it be lovely if . . . every CEO followed this path?

    Thanks for an upbeat post.

  3. November 27, 2009 1:53 pm


    Great to see you over here at The Shrinking Camel. I love your blog, even if I have to use Google translator to read it (I love that tool by the way).

    I love your suggestions above. In fact, I wish I would have read this post before I published mine today so I could have included some of these.

    It’s a wonderful way to bring our faith into the workplace. These suggestions show true humility; that is, thinking of others instead of ourselves.

    Great post! Thanks for the suggestions.


  4. November 28, 2009 9:20 am

    Even if you don’t necessarily want to make it to board room, this is a great list of items for everyone in the workplace.

  5. November 28, 2009 1:18 pm

    very tricky to slip encouragement in the “e” slot.
    i like it.

    be a ceo for God’s glory, baby!

  6. November 28, 2009 1:39 pm

    Hello, Brad Harmon.

    A friend of mine just e-mailed me a link to your “Camel” blog, and I have really enjoyed exploring it. Great stuff!

    I gather that you are somewhere in Great Britain. Perhaps I’m wrong. It doesn’t matter. I’m in Seattle, Washington, USA.

    It is amazing to me how many people the Lord is raising up these days with a passion for making relevant and intentional connections between the workplace and authentic Christianity. May many more be raised up!

    If you would care to add one more voice to your list of “Work-Faith Blogs,” you may add mine. The address is

    I am the Founding Director of an organization called “Worldview Matters,” and we help followers of Christ to “bring meaning to their work as the work of God.” (

    God bless you!

    • November 28, 2009 2:47 pm

      Hello Christian – Thanks for dropping by. Now for a couple of clarifications:

      1. I am Bradley J. Moore, not Bradley Harmon. That’s another Brad with another good Blog.

      2. I am not in Great Britain, but in Pennsylvania. (Did my accent fool you? That’s a common problem around here…)

      3. Yes, I will indeed check out your Blog! Welcome to the club!

  7. November 28, 2009 2:50 pm

    So sorry, Bradley! (My apologies to both Bradleys…)

    Yes, must have been the accent.

  8. November 29, 2009 5:39 pm

    Marcus, Now who would NOT want to make it to the boardroom?? Sheesh!

    I must agree with Glynn, Nancy and Maureen – this is a very unexpected, upbeat twist on the “CEO” thing – Encouragement should be a requirement for promotion to the exec suite!

    Bradley, thanks for pointing out that cool translator thing at the bottom of Leon’s blog, where you can be instantly multi-lingual with the click of a button. VERY cool function.

    Don’t forget to visit Leon’s blog and ENCOURAGE him!!

  9. November 30, 2009 4:08 am

    Thanks for your responses, everyone! I really like the idea of starting a World-Wide Executive to Encouragement Movement (or maybe we should think of a better name…) and bringing encouragement into every executive’s job profile!

  10. November 30, 2009 4:13 am

    Oh, and just for the record: “Dutch” indeed means that I’m from the Netherlands. I live in a city called Eindhoven, in the South East. It is the hometown of Philips and soccer club PSV. 🙂

  11. November 30, 2009 8:36 am

    This is an awesome post!

    I will admit: you tricked me with encouragement officer thing…good switch!

    God Bless!

  12. December 1, 2009 2:31 am

    I see that Leon’s posts are as worthwhile as his tweets. Glad to know I should read more of him.

    Since my ministry is already about Edification (literally, “Building Up”), can I still use that “E” without changing the name? ;D

  13. December 1, 2009 3:31 am

    Michael, thanks!

    Anne, sure you can! The Encouragement part is certainly not missing in your posts!

  14. Michele Corbett permalink
    December 10, 2009 11:37 pm

    I love number 9 – and think about how much time it would save!

  15. June 17, 2010 3:18 am

    Interesting points here from The Ladders…

    In a study last year, executive careers site found that the average term of a Board level executive in the UK is 21.7 years. After surveying its senior management members the site discovered that nearly all of its CEO level candidates had 21 years plus experience.

    Derek Pilcher says ‘there is no exact time when any business person will reach board level, there are a variety of factors involved including experience, qualifications and the company. But it’s clear that you do have to earn your stripes to join the club and this is something only gained through time and hard work.’


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