KC Rottok Chesaina discusses ‘The CEO X Factor’

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Once you make your first million dollars, the second million becomes inevitable,” Canadian American motivational speaker Brian Tracy says. “It is not becoming a millionaire that is important, it is the person you must become to become a millionaire. Once you develop these qualities as you earn your first million dollars, getting that second million becomes much easier.”

There are two reasons I find this quote so apt. First, putting together my first book Masters of Money was a difficult mission. Conceiving the idea, securing the publisher, reaching out for interviews, writing the content and sourcing imagery was difficult. But once I developed the qualities to surmount these obstacles, writing a second book became inevitable.

The CEO X Factor by KC Rottok Chesaina

The second reason is because the quote reflects why I wrote The CEO X Factor: Secrets for Success from South Africa’s Top Money Makers. The book aims to divulge some of the main characteristics of South Africa’s top business leaders. I seek to uncover the CEO X factor — those unique personality traits, values and business principles that have made them the dynamos that they are.

The CEOs featured have developed the required character to become the dollar millionaires Tracy has in mind. They are accomplished individuals who are highly paid for the work they do; some as much as R5m per month.

They may be intelligent, but much of what they have achieved is thanks to first-hand experience, a level of emotional intelligence and a willingness to learn. Beyond wits, they have developed certain attributes that enable them to lead South Africa’s most successful companies, and on top of that earn so well. These are the attributes that I have sought to identify and document.

CEOs of major companies generally wield considerable power. Take for example the accounting scandal involving Steinhoff’s former CEO Markus Jooste that led to a 93% decline in the company share price and hundreds of job losses.

A less depressing example of influence which I feature in the book is that of Chris van der Merwe, founding CEO of the Curro group of schools and Stadio tertiary education which have provided a platform for affordable high-quality education for more than 70,000 pupils and created many jobs.

Each leader in the book can write their own book; some already have. Such books tend to offer only that individual’s perspective, while The CEO X Factor brings together the lessons of 31 business minds from a variety of companies and industries, providing a broader perspective. They gave me practical examples of how they have applied the principles they advocate for.

In speaking to these moneymakers, I was surprised to learn a lot about business in South Africa, including interesting information on the motor industry three-year cycle, the making of a fully digital mine, the can versus glass war, hotel management contract complexities, airline route profitability, tech hackerthons and much more.

Interestingly, despite their lofty positions at the upper echelons of business, CEOs are like many of us. They are bad cooks, make corny dad jokes, have two left feet and binge-watch soapies such as The Wife.

The CEO X Factor is available at the following retailer:

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