A leader fit for the C-suite has an invaluable set of skills that have been honed to grow, develop and optimize a business.
But, like every leader, an executive’s career is unique — and so too are the qualities that he or she brings to the job. Some executives encounter opportunity and luck throughout their career, which ultimately leads them directly to the upper echelon of business. However, others must work to overcome adversity and countless obstacles to fight their way to the top. Regardless of the differences, there are several common denominators that make for great C-suite leaders.
These are the seven primary skills all great C-suite executives have:
True leaders set aside time to lead. This means continuously learning and evolving to refine their leadership skills. Some people are naturally born with leadership qualities, while others develop the ability to be a good leader over time. Natural leaders have an innate confidence and an allure that inspires trust and a following – but it is a skill all executives are constantly building upon, whether through experience, education or a combination of the two.
Leadership, in all regards, is the cornerstone quality to get into the corner office.
Big-picture thinkers and strategists are why executive positions exist.
#3: People Management
At a fundamental level, good executives are good at managing themselves first.
#4: Business and Financial Knowledge
Great C-suite leaders know and understand the various disciplines of the business. This allows them to make predictions and informed decisions about what needs to be done next.
#5: Technological Knowledge
Another skill that continues to top the job descriptions of today’s executive positions is familiarity with technology. A CNBC article published in January found three of the 5 most in-demand hard skills in 2019 are: UX Design, Artificial Intelligence and Cloud Computing. Good executives will surround themselves with experts to fill in knowledge gaps within the company. No business today wants an executive without plenty of tech knowledge.
The importance placed on technology skills continues to rise. Executives need to not only know how to utilize technology, but how it impacts the business.
#6: Change Management
In all facets of business and in life, good executives harness the constant change happening around them. Their commitment and thirst for continuous improvement serves them well as they take advantage of all of the different types of changes happening.
An executive is an executive in everything they do – from their knowledge, to their skills, to the way they present themselves, to how they communicate with others. Soft skills and other intangibles – like the being a good relationship builder and the way an executive carries him- or herself is – important to overall presentation and influence. This ‘skill,’ while basic, has a strong ‘je ne sais quoi’ factor about it, but it often comes down to how an executive makes those around them feel.
In business, presentation is everything.
Are these skills you have and want to hone in on to become a better business leader? Find an MBA program that will get you there.