The reality is you have a smorgasbord of these mentors at your fingertips, since many of the world's best CEOs are quick to dish up advice. It's yours for the taking, but how can you figure out who's advice to lean on?
Check out some of the best quote from CEOs for inspiration. While US News has some great advice on how to choose a mentor, it doesn't always have to be a traditional "relationship." Good advice is good advice, whether it's given directly to you or has become a famous line. Check out these wise words that can guide you down your CEO path:
1. Marissa Mayer, Yahoo!
You may know her for famously taking on telecommuting, which she recently addressed with Fortune, but the CEO of Yahoo! has more to dish about than just where employees work. "I always did something that I was a little not ready to do. I think that, that is how you grow. When there's a moment of 'Wow, I'm not so sure that I can do this, and you push through those moments, it's then that you have a breakthrough.
Sometimes that's a sign that something really great is about to happen. You're about to grow and learn a lot more about yourself." Of course, that doesn't mean you should be taking blind leaps of faith left and right. Trust your gut (Oprah has tips on listening to your instincts) and make calculated risks, not foolish ones.
2. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook
Obviously anyone can learn a thing or two from one of the richest men in the world who struck gold while he was still in college. "The question I ask myself, like almost every day, is 'Am I doing the most important thing I could be doing?' Unless I feel like I'm working on the most important problem than I can help with, then I'm not going to feel good about how I'm spending my time. And that's what this company is."
In other words, learning how to triage your work is critical. There will always be more work to do, but are you tackling the biggest and/or more pressing issues first?
3. Jeffrey Immelt, General Electric
"I'm responsible for this company. I stand behind the results. I know the details, and I think the CEO has to be the moral leader of the company. I think high standards are good, but let's not anybody be confused, it's about performance with integrity. That's what you have to do." If you don't believe in your company and act professional yourself, why should anybody else?
4. Larry Ellison, Oracle
"When you innovate, you've got to be prepared for everyone telling you you're nuts." If you're after a safe bet, then nobody is going to bat an eye. You might be able to achieve moderate success doing something ordinary, but if you really want to stand out then push yourself. There's a fine line between crazy and crazy genius, so make sure you lean towards the latter.
However, no CEO can tell you a guarantees step by step plan to being the next best CEO. Every industry is different, every leader is different, and different times call for different measures. There's great tips lurking if you look for them, but they're guides and not black and white instructions.