Companies today value executive skills such as leading, negotiating, and making decisions. These skills have become increasingly important over the last decade and are likely to become even more important in the next decade. Here are the traits you need to succeed in the C-suite:
Companies are increasingly looking for executives who are good at change management as the business world becomes more diverse and dynamic. Change management generally refers to the ability to deal with constant change and flux rather than large-scale transformation.
An organisation looking to bring about change requires an executive motivated by a desire to constantly improve the organisation and status quo. Often, firms seeking this type of change will look to an external candidate, as they can bring new skill sets and experience that can lead to valuable change and growth.
The ideal candidate for a C-suite position should be able to persuasively present to a variety of stakeholders, both internal and external, to the organisation. They should be able to do this in a way that is Board-ready and influences the direction of a business.
Good presentation skills are essential for success as a C-level executive. This is because you often have to communicate with people outside your company, such as shareholders, regulators, and the media. It is important to be able to present information clearly and concisely, as well as be able to understand and synthesise the information that you are given.
The most essential skills for CEOs are those that allow them to lead effectively. This includes humility, inspirational leadership, working well with other executives, and strategic thinking.
Ethical leadership is also important. The type of leadership that companies seek out varies depending on the company's specific needs. Often, when a company is starting a new venture or growing rapidly, it will look for a visionary leader who can take charge and drive the company to new levels of performance, efficiency, or growth.
A good leader is a team player, working with teams and developing team members. A world-class leader must create a strong leadership team. It's impossible to be a successful leader if you're just a one-person player focused on your own career and personal results. Today's executives need to focus more on developing their teams.
The modern executive cannot simply sit in their office and give orders; they must be able to work well with others, handle multiple tasks at once, lead without relying on their title or position, and stay calm under pressure. They must also ensure their employees do not become overwhelmed and burnt out. All of this must be done with a positive attitude and a growth mindset.
C-level executives need depth in the body of knowledge they are responsible for, such as law, finance, or technology. Many respondents noted the importance of understanding how technology impacts their organisation and how to use it to their advantage. Financial acumen and industry-specific content knowledge are also necessary. Technical skills are not declining in importance, contrary to popular belief, however they need to know how to leverage the right people in their team to solve the right challenges.
In order to drive transformational change, executives need to be resilient and strong. They need to focus on human connections and inspire others through their positive behavior and actions. When times are tough and change is needed, it's up to the executives to lead the way through effective and transparent communication. They need to be able to stay the course and keep their team motivated. People are more likely to buy into a change if they feel like they're part of something bigger, connected and learning. They need to feel like their voices are being heard and that they have a stake in the outcome.
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