The road to becoming a CEO is long and arduous. People looking to become CEOS often begin developing valuable characteristics early in life. Around age 13, Bill Gates began racking up 10,000 hours learning to program on a high school computer. Edward Lampert, of Sears, lost his father at 14 and helped support his family by working after school and on weekends while still maintaining good grades. Those striving for the top position, obtain a good education – both in and out of school. When natural skills are lacking, being willing to seek a mentor or hire a coach helps put individuals on the path to success. Preparation is key for the tough job ahead.