Being a corporate executive is a dream come true. It is the culmination of years of hard work, determination, business savvy, and personal sacrifice. During these years of preparation and development, several key traits must be acquired to demonstrate that you possess the leadership and personality that companies desire from their executives. Use the following as a guide of some of the most vital traits one must foster and put on public display so to be given their well-earned opportunity at executive leadership. Competency
The best leaders must be seen by your stakeholders, board members, and employees- and the public at-large- as being an expert in their discipline. Unless others see you as highly credentialed, it will be more difficult for you to be as respected, admired, or followed. Therefore, always strive to be the best at your non-executive roles, to stand out as a thought leader and go-to personality in the organization.
Strategic thinking and execution
Strategic foresight is the ability to think strategically. When taking on a top leadership role, individuals cannot continuously be reactive in their decision-making. While quick-thinking is always a valuable asset, executives must possess the ability to set the company’s agenda as well as execute methodologies to make such visions a reality. Executive leadership is much like the game of chess: executives must be able to think beyond the first move.
In today’s modern age of business, technical and technology skills are becoming more and more critical for corporate success. Specifically, executives need to possess a familiarity with the particular body of knowledge under their auspices, where it be legal, financial, or technology. Technology skills and technical literacy cannot be overemphasized enough either. Executives must be able to understand how technology is impacting their organization and how their organizations can exploit technology.
Prominent executives possess the tools of persuasion and excellent presentation skills. Speaking convincingly toward the concerns of varied individuals— whether they are knowledgeable or unsophisticated, internal or external, friendly or skeptical—calls for mental agility and rhetorical versatility. This ability isn’t only useful for individual encounters or small-group settings. Executives must also be skillful at communicating to the masses. Part of this skill set is receiving and synthesizing social cues presented by an audience, and targeting one’s message to best connect with this audience. Presentation skills breed confidence and positive feedback towards what a company is pursuing and how they are achieving this. This is becoming increasingly important as the media, governments, employees, shareholders and regulators are taking an ever-increasing interest in what occurs within the corporate world.
A first-rate leader knows they cannot carry the torch alone. They know that they cannot succeed as a brilliant one-person force. Rather, they must cultivate and lead teams and work collegially. The best executives ensure that their deputies do not suffer burnout, and that morale is kept to high levels.
The definition of honesty varies widely across the business spectrum. Regular, individuals choose to omit information or only tell the truth they think others need to
know. However other executives and leaders need to know they can count on you. If you cannot deliver on your business promises, your reputation will surely suffer. Effective executives can balance the need to be cautious in different contexts while demonstrating they can follow through. Companies are heavily investing in the building and training of leaders within their ranks. By demonstrating the traits mentioned above, you too will enhance the likelihood of promotion to the executive ranks.
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