Another friend, Feyzi Fatehi, bet on himself, and left a very cushy job at HP. Today his company, Corent Technology, is a leader in cloud computing. Feyzi believes in asking yourself, “If I don’t do it now, will I regret it later?” If you wait for a perfect moment to take a big risk, or make a big change, you might wait forever. Or worse, the rest of your industry might jump on the next wave and leave you behind.

4. Be Courageous

Hard decisions fall on the CEO’s desk every day. You have to have the courage to make them.

You might have to set a Huge, Outrageous Target that seems a little crazy, and then rally your team around it.

You might have to move on from a popular long-time management member the company has outgrown.

Or you might have to own up to a mistake.

My colleague and good friend Michael Maas built a company up to $175 million in revenue before some bad business decisions threw it into a near-death situation. It was humbling to tell the stakeholders how deep the troubles were, but by having the courage to be honest and transparent, his team won their support. A few years later: $300 million in revenue and a nine-figure sale.

5. Maintain the Right Attitude

It’s easy to be in charge when money is rolling in. Adversity is the true test of a CEO’s attitude.

Leading through a crisis doesn’t mean walking around the office with a smile plastered on your face when everyone knows there are layoffs happening down the hall. Leading is choosing your words to send the right message. Leading is embracing optimism and positivity instead of pessimism. Leading is gratitude for what’s great about your company, not envying someone else’s company. Leading is cultivating your key business relationships when you need them the most. Leading is thinking through a decision rather than letting fear or frustration lead you down an even darker path.

So: show confidence, take risks, be courageous, maintain the right attitude, and above all, think BIG. Organize around these five leadership traits and you won’t just start thinking like a world-class CEO, you’ll start acting like one too.

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