By Debra Benton (President, Benton Management Resources)
Sometimes people say to me, “I’m not sure I want to be CEO.”

My response: What! Why not? That’s the best job in the company!

Most everyone wants to be the top dog, the honcho, the chief; but most feel it’s unrealistic, so they turn it around and act like they don’t want it anyway. But they wouldn’t turn it down if offered!

It’s going to happen to someone; it might as well be you.

You don’t have to be the company’s top record producer, an alumnus of the best B-school, have the highest IQ. You can come from any walk of life. You can be tall, short, attractive, and not so attractive.

If you’re going to work anyway, you might as well go for the top job. I say, “If it’s not going to happen in your company, go to another company, or start your own!”

Because the top job is the job where you can:

  • Turn things around; make things happen.
  • Make a difference.
  • Select the people you’re around.
  • Do something about the problems you complain about.
  • Make your own decisions.
  • Minimize doing things that you think are stupid.
  • Choose the chances you’re going to take.
  • Make decisions that can make the world a better place.
  • Help more people.
  • Do what you think is right.
  • And control your own destiny.

A CEO friend of mind said, “I figured I’m as smart as others running the show plus I didn’t like busting my ___ as a good soldier and corporate stooge. I decided to be the boss that I always wanted to have.”

Aside from the benefits mentioned, being the top dog, you’ll make more money sometimes 40, 50, and more times what entry level people make in the company. And if that offends you, you’ll just have more of it to give away. In my opinion, the main benefit of making more money is that it provides you the freedom to not have to do things for money.

Plus as the chief, you have the most direct route to help humanity. In addition to leading the organization as you see fit and you can take on a socially responsible position to put resources towards solutions in: global climate change, energy challenges, clean water in developing countries, the world economy, global peace, chronic hunger and poverty, humanitarian relief, corruption, IT access for everyone, wellness and health issues (HIV, malaria, etc.), education initiatives, and, at the very least, an equal opportunity for people to grow and prosper.

That kind of stewardship is a gift not many people get to have. You need influence and resources and that can come only from being a leader and a chief.

Editor’s note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below.
About the guest blogger: Debra Benton is President at Benton Management Resources. Her focus is to “help you work differently and be different at work; to take you from promise to prominence.” Her expertise has given her front-page coverage in The Wall Street Journal and USA Today (Money) and made her a welcome guest on the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN – and interviewed by Diane Sawyer for CBS. Follow her on Twitter at @debrabenton.