Individuals who have the drive to get into the C-suite league need to plan how they're going to get there. The journey to achieving an executive position is often both challenging and rewarding. Getting there is about more than just hard work and experience.
Individuals may need to practice certain soft skills that are essential in executive-level positions, like communication and listening. Successful executives often hold themselves to a high standard of behavior and expect the same from others around them.
Candidates for C-level roles who don't make it often lack communication skills. They may end up talking too much about themselves, talking for too long or using complex vocabulary in interviews. Improving their high-level communication skills could help them to achieve their coveted position.
Good communication skills are important at every level, but especially at the top. Communication has to be done in such a way that makes everyone buy into the goals, vision and mission of the organization. It has to be clear and transparent.
Completing a Master's in Business Administration can help candidates to develop the communication skills they need. Find out more about doing an online MBA at https://online.carrollu.edu/mba-business-management/.
C-level executives can help connect people to their goals and unite them to help achieve business goals. They build strong relationships and encourage collaboration. They are prepared to deal with conflict rather than avoiding it or creating it and hope to learn something in the process.
They can delegate responsibilities, make clear plans for solving difficult problems and persuade others to participate in solving them. They are known for keeping everybody informed, showing up on time, and holding themselves personally accountable in every situation. They don't expect others to do what they don't do themselves.
Executives often have to make decisions quickly, even when they don't have all the information they need at hand. They know how to get input from their teams and give other people a voice when it comes to decision-making. Most importantly, they build systems and structures that allow teams to participate in decision-making by using clear frameworks.
C-level executives are not afraid to make decisions to change direction when a situation warrants it. They have executive presence, which means they project self-confidence and know that they need to be decisive in handling difficult and often unpredictable issues. They are prepared to carry the consequences of their decisions.
Emotional intelligence is an executive leadership quality that can be developed. This is the ability to manage emotions. Important aspects of emotional intelligence include empathy, self-awareness and social awareness.
Individuals do not have to be perfect to be C-level executives. If anything, they need to recognize that they aren't and that they will make mistakes. If they are willing to be vulnerable, they can see where they're weakest and keep improving their capabilities.
Self-awareness and willingness to keep learning and growing can provide an example to others and help them to succeed. Being open to constructive criticism and practicing listening skills can help individuals to grow emotional intelligence.
Strategic thinking skills
Senior executives need to identify opportunities for making innovations in a company. These are not the continuous-improvement changes that move the needle a few percent but those that can have a significant impact on an organization.
To have the time and bandwidth to identify innovations and think strategically, executives need to build management teams and work with peers. This is the only way they will be able to effectively implement important changes throughout the organization.