Nikola’s CEO reveals his best advice for entry-level employees who want to run a company one day (NKLA)

  • If you want to become a CEO, you have to be open to any assignment you’re given and be proactive about finding ways to expand your skill set, Nikola CEO Mark Russell told Business Insider.
  • “Prepare yourself for a lifetime of being willing to do whatever you are asked to do, and then seeking greater opportunities and challenges, and seeking to learn more and expand your capabilities constantly,” Russell said.
  • You also have to be willing to move to a new city if doing so will put you in the best position to advance your career, he said. 
  • Are you a current or former Nikola employee? Do you have an opinion about what it’s like to work there? Contact this reporter at mmatousek@businessinsider.com, on Signal at 646-768-4712, or via his encrypted email address mmatousek@protonmail.com.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

There are no shortcuts that will take you from an entry-level position to a CEO role. To make that leap, you have to be open to any assignment you’re given and be proactive about seeking ways to grow your skill set, according to Mark Russell, CEO of the electric-truck startup Nikola.

“If that desire is really sincere, then prepare yourself for a lifetime of being willing to do whatever you are asked to do, and then seeking greater opportunities and challenges, and seeking to learn more and expand your capabilities constantly,” Russell said in an interview with Business Insider.

You also have to be willing to move to a new city if doing so will put you in the best position to advance your career, he said. 

Russell, who joined Nikola as its president in 2019 (he was named CEO in June), said it wasn’t easy to become a CEO, but, ultimately, his persistence paid off.

“I certainly started out with a desire to want to make a difference and to lead if I could,” he said. “It was much harder and took a lot longer than I thought.”

Are you a current or former Nikola employee? Do you have an opinion about what it’s like to work there? Contact this reporter at mmatousek@businessinsider.com, on Signal at 646-768-4712, or via his encrypted email address mmatousek@protonmail.com.

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