Ask any number of CEOs how to succeed in business and you'll get an equal number of insights and great advice. But upon further review, the 72 answers I got back could be boiled down to 10 categories of behaviors.

To up your Entrepreneur Quotient, compare your skill level with the 140-character CEO responses that follow in each category. Then implement an EQ-improvement plan, starting with your weakest category. Enjoy!

1. Work on yourself first.

  1. "The key to success is to expand as a person and take the necessary action to make the lives of those around you even greater." --Tony Robbins, chairman and CEO, Robbins Research International
  2. "Solve big challenges. Become the expert. Listen, learn, create and blog your expertise with everyone. Then persevere and pivot." --Jeff Mankoff, CEO, vPromos
  3. "No one is appointed to the role of leader. It's earned by doing something that has such an impact that others are inspired to follow." --Deanna Mulligan, president and CEO, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
  4. "You've got to walk the talk when you're in any business advocating behavioral change, which may mean facing certain demons, owning up to them and changing your ways." --Celia Stokes, CEO, eDriving
  5. "Be a STAR: Straightforward, Thoughtful, Accountable, Resolve. Practicing these four attributes will make you a better leader in any organization." --Subir Chowdhury, CEO, ASI Consulting Group
  6. "Your level of energy and the energy you give to your audience is the most important tool your presentations will ever have." --Tracey McCormack, CEO, McCormack Media Services
  7. "Never ask anyone to work harder than you do. Put others' interests first. Recognize effort, but reward results. Laugh a lot and leave the drama at the door." --Scott Carter, CEO, PMCapital
  8. "True power and growth come from making and keeping commitments with yourself, your employees and your clients. Never take this for granted." --Corey Blake, CEO, MWI
  9. "Cherish your productive hours. Ask yourself: will that coffee meeting, cool conference or browsing Twitter help you succeed?" --Alex Wayenberg, founder and CEO, ShapeScale
  10. "Approach every day with gratitude and humility. Listen with an open mind. Ask relevant questions. Disrupt, or prepare to be disrupted..." --Patrick Spear, CEO, GMDC
  11. "Entrepreneurial leadership is the tenacious yet chaotic balance between: digging deeper, ferociously learning, building, caring and a dash of some crazy fun!" --Angela Keaveny, founder and CEO, Rowdydow bbQ
  12. "Introspection is vital. Understand your strengths and weaknesses to successfully lead others. Identify the people that can augment your weaknesses and empower them." --Trey Holder, CEO, The Solutions Network
  13. "In a company, leadership is ground zero. Culture, focus, ambition, all ripple from the exemplary role of a leader." --Chase Thomason, CEO, GoSkip
  14. "A leader is one that stands on principles, leads with action, and speaks with his heart!" --Eric Sutter, CEO, EMS Barcode
  15. "Always keep your passion for learning new skills. Adapt and grow, or risk becoming irrelevant." --Robin Jowett, CEO,
  16. "One, take ownership for your mistakes and learn from them--that's the only way to grow. Two, build relationships that last. Three, have a strong sense of purpose." --Sam Sinai, CEO, Deco Lighting
  17. "If you want to be in the middle of the action, sit in the middle of the action. Don't bury yourself behind an office door." --Sanjay Beri, CEO, Netskope

2. Be honest, have integrity.

  1. "Put integrity at the center of everything you do. So much more important than what you do, is how you do it." --Scott Harrison, founder and CEO, charity: water
  2. "Keep it real, keep it honest. Foster authentic dialogue to bring the right solutions to key issues." --Bernard J. Tyson, chairman and CEO, Kaiser Permanente
  3. "Compromise wisely to meet group objectives + never compromise character (i.e. integrity, commitment, loyalty, dependability, etc.) = success." --Graham Doxey, CEO, Knōd
  4. "Smart CEOs know they can't solve ALL issues they face, and they can't solve ANY unless they face them openly and honestly with their team." --David Corbin, CEO,

3. Deal with reality.

  1. "Respond to events with logic, rather than emotion. Trust facts rather than assumptions. Remain objective." --Steve Luczo, chairman and CEO, Seagate Technology
  2. "Analytic rigor is like exercise for your business--it builds strength and endurance if you sweat the details and push yourself to not just go the extra mile, but to crush it." --Dawn Zier, CEO, Nutrisystem
  3. "Let data be your guide and remember that your people are your greatest asset. Focus on these two areas and the rest will follow." --Alex Yastrebenetsky, CEO, Info Trust

4. Never give up.

  1. "There are plenty of failed yet intelligent and highly educated entrepreneurs. Persistence is the most powerful predictor for success." --Mark Aramli, CEO, BedJet
  2. "Building a successful business is a marathon, not a sprint. Long term success results from endurance and persistence." --Peter Bauer, CEO, Mimecast
  3. "Business and life definitely involve luck. But the harder we work, the luckier we get." --Alex Terry, CEO, Conversica
  4. "Patience has been paramount in my '30-year overnight success.' Nothing happens overnight; instead, it has taken decades of work and planning to succeed." --Walter O'Brien, CEO, Scorpion Computer Services
  5. "There are plenty of times when it seems like the world's against you, but you have to get up, brush yourself off and say 'why not us'?" --Tom Villante, CEO, YapStone
  6. "A solid business model and sound strategy might keep you in business, but only through sweat do you win. Execution is too often underrated." --Aaron Allred, CEO, Acima Credit
  7. "Everyone wants to lead during the good times, but it is only during adversity that true leaders emerge and stand apart from the pack." --Mike Sarraille, CEO, Vetted

5. Give customers what they want.

  1. "If you can solve a big problem, you can build a big business. Don't worry about a competitor copying your model. Just don't let them exceed your passion and execution." --Tom Zgainer, CEO, America's Best 401k
  2. "I believe that you can have anything in life you want, if you help enough people get what they need." --John Rush, CEO, C7 Device Recycle
  3. "Always keep your customers' needs in mind. Concentrate on building solutions, and you won't have to worry about growth." --Malik Zakaria, CEO, Field Engineer
  4. "Listening to the customer is key. Pay attention, and make improvements quickly to better serve those who make your success possible." --Lin Dai, co-founder and CEO, Hooch
  5. "Chatbooks works because we make life easier for busy parents (our customers), who set up automatic photo books once, and get new volumes as they live their lives." --Vanessa Quigley, CEO, Chatbooks
  6. "The key to sales and marketing holds true for successful leadership: understand others' needs. Therein lies the path to the win-win." --Steve Matthesen, president and CEO, Acosta
  7. "Give people what they want but never thought they had access to. Then democratize it--offer it to the masses." --Benjamin Nowak, CEO, Cinamaker

6. Build your team.

  1. "If you surround yourself with good people, instill them with ownership, and provide loyal support and honesty, you're being a strong leader." --Greg Farrar, CEO, ECRM
  2. "Surround yourself with passionate, detail-oriented perfectionists who strive every day to build a better today then yesterday." --David Harouche, CEO, Multimedia Plus
  3. "Building the right team has led us to multiple, successful exits. Strategic entrepreneurism requires that the team, not just the CEO, build what strategic buyers need." --Jon Fisher, CEO, CrowdOptic
  4. "I make my people famous in their industry. They do the hard work anyway, and public recognition is amazing for motivation and loyalty." --Sol Orwell, CEO, sjo
  5. "You are the result of those you spend the most time with. Surround yourself with people that are smarter and more successful than you." --Matthew Dunn, CEO, Dunn Orthodontics
  6. "I create a sense of belonging to a bigger purpose for my employees by transferring to them my passion for what I do, and then by setting the example." --Sean Hopwood, CEO, Day Translations
  7. "The secret is the team. Empower them with a clear mission, to be delivered with values like fierce resolve, integrity and one-company collaboration." --Himesh Bhise CEO, Synacor
  8. "A trait of a good leader is that when you leave, no one notices because you've instilled leadership in the other managers." --Julie Aiken, CEO, Ameritech
  9. "It's all about the trusting relationships we build with the people we serve. That's what makes it work. Transparency. Keeping promises." --Wayne Hamilton, CEO, National Processing
  10. "Focus on enhancing the progression of individuals through meaningful relationships." --Jonathan Ord, CEO, Dealer Socket
  11. "Build a team of equals who love what they do, who produce superior results, and who place service at the top of their list of priorities." --Amy Cook, CEO, Osmond Marketing
  12. "Stick with what you know. Create a team that complements your strengths, and collaborate regularly with an ecosystem of trusted partners." --Brad Walters, CEO, Monnit
  13. "Build a great team and then get out of their way so they can achieve greatness together. Culture and values are everything in a startup." --Monika Kochhar, CEO, smartgiftit
  14. "I've found that business success starts with the people. It's incredible what can happen when you combine the right team with the right vision." --Scott Smith, CEO, CreditRepair
  15. "Building a team of people you trust is important to success; trusting yourself is even more important." --Jan Walden, CEO, Topazery

7. Create confidence through preparation.

  1. "Demonstrate trust in your smaller actions. The resulting confidence is key to real innovation." --Geraldo Thomaz, CEO, VTEX
  2. "I take advantage of opportunities long before they arrive by being prepared. That way I can move quickly to make the very best of them." --Gavan Thorpe, CEO, Boostability
  3. "Always spend less than you make. This way, you will be prepared for opportunities that will come your way. This is my definition of luck." --Manuel Fragoso, CEO, GSTrackme
  4. "We teach the economic value of certainty. Drive, focus, core values and a ruthless commitment to results build confidence." --Michael Isom, CEO, VaultAIS

8. Find a compelling vision and purpose.

  1. "Disrupting any industry is not for the faint of heart, but if true change is what you're after, you must have a clear aspirational goal and never lose sight of it." --Ron Packard, CEO, Pansophic Learning
  2. "Clearly establish a foundation of core values and missions. Then make decisions and stay focused on the purpose of your business with them." --Eric Bandholz, CEO, Beardbrand
  3. "We have been able to grow and succeed because of a hyper-focus on particular initiatives, and the ability to execute swiftly and decisively." --Nicholas Coleman, CEO, Shipsticks
  4. "Have a clear vision, hire great people, hold them accountable, be disciplined, embrace change, focus on your customer and celebrate success." --Josh McKee, CEO, Atlas Staffing
  5. "Give your employees a vision, high performance standards, resources and respect. Then watch them excel." --Thomas Olds Jr., CEO, Generations Healthcare
  6. "Forget carrots and sticks--only inspiration drives lasting change/growth. Using vision, courage, know-how and tenacity, leaders inspire." --Jennifer Silverberg, CEO, Smart Commerce
  7. "Believe wholeheartedly in what you've created. Stop at nothing to tell the world. Then over-deliver like they can't believe." --Steve Overton, CEO, Plansight

9. Execute a solid strategic plan.

  1. "Selling a business is not only a financial and legal matter, but also a sales and marketing matter--just like selling a product or service." --Bob Goldsmith, CEO, BCMS
  2. "Adapt to what works. Find out what other successful people are doing in your industry and make it better. No need to reinvent the wheel." --Tyler Copier, CEO, Likewise Marketing
  3. "You need to make 1,000 right decisions for every 10 wrong decisions." --Patrick Nelson, CEO, Nelson Brothers Professional Real Estate
  4. "Stick to your plan. Identify reasons and gaps stopping you. Don't re-plan, resolve. That and relationships are how we've never lost a customer." --Keith Barr, CEO, Leading2Lean
  5. "Become legendary in your field by never settling for anything but the highest quality. Quality employees, quality products, quality service." --Shaun Alldredge, co-founder and CEO, Legend Solar
  6. "Two ingredients; one easy, one hard. 1) Easy. Believe deeply, and care absolutely about your product. 2) Hard. Make the right decisions the majority of the time." --Paul Chapuis, CEO, OnQ Solutions

10. Stay curious.

  1. "Insatiable curiosity ultimately creates opportunity." --Arne Sorenson, CEO, Marriott International
  2. "We are always a Diad: half teacher half student. Our goal must always be to become hopelessly curious to a broader scope of our world than the mere limitations of our vertical career." -Jay Abraham, CEO, Abraham Group
Published on: Jun 19, 2017