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How do I Become a Chief Strategy Officer?

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  • Written By: Elva K.
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2016
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The chief strategy officer's job is to understand not only company product offerings but also to understand market strategy, acquisitions, and how to make the company relevant and successful. The job might entail analyzing business data, asking questions that others may be afraid to ask, corporate strategy, advising the chief executive officer (CEO), and helping make unpopular but necessary decisions. If you aspire to become a chief strategy officer, you generally will need a college degree, a post-graduate degree, and successful experience in the business world.

Getting a bachelor's degree in business is a typical step if you aspire to become a chief strategy officer someday. After college, pursuing a job in the business world for two years and then pursuing a graduate degree are steps you can take. For example, the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree is typically recommended for anyone who aspires to become a chief strategy officer.

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After graduate school, if you want to become a chief strategy officer, it helps if you can become successful at whatever you do while working in the business world. Granted, there are no specific steps you must take because, for example, the steps you take will depend on what company you work at and the jobs you are promoted into; however, it is generally useful if you establish a reputation for being very knowledgeable about business, strategically savvy, and indispensable to the company you work for. For example, if you can show that decisions you made led directly to the company profiting millions or billions of dollars, that is the sort of thing that can be helpful for you if you eventually want to become a chief strategy officer.

If you aspire to be a chief strategy officer, it can be useful to have good social skills and good team building skills. Good social skills will help you adequately represent the CEO and influence others to support the CEO's initiatives. You will need good team building skills to acquire necessary information, generate winning ideas, and implement strategies effectively.

Another characteristic that is helpful to have if you hope to become a chief strategy officer is flexibility. The job of chief strategy officer may not always be well-defined. For instance it is impossible to predict what a chief strategy officer will have to do to enable the company to perform optimally from one year to the next. Thus, it is necessary to have the type of personality where you can tolerate a lot of structure one day and then tolerate ambiguity the next day if that is what it takes to help the company move forward.

Because chief strategy officers sometimes later become CEOs, the chief strategy officer position is a prestigious position. The increasing competitiveness in the global market means that CEOs need help. Strategy is a process that is constantly changing. Handling strategy is a full-time job. That is why there is a need for having chief strategy officers to help CEOs and that is why the chief strategy officer position is such an important position.

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