We’re seeing a change in global economies, international relationships, and a swing towards the values and expectations of younger generations now entering C-suite positions. What skills should you cultivate to be prepared to take on a CEO or similar role? These six aren’t the only skills you’ll need for a good fit in a C-suite position, but they’re a great start.
- Strong networking. At this level, you are expected to add value to your organization with your network of contacts in your industry. This network expands your sphere of influence, gives you resources when you meet new challenges, gives you great referrals for your own position, and enables you to refer people for open positions. Widen, strengthen, and nurture your network at every opportunity.
- Personal branding. You should have a strong, positive digital presence. If your personal brand hasn’t been a focus for you in the past, it’s never too late to begin. A small commitment of time on a regular basis can establish you as a leader in your field and give those who search your name plenty of positive information.
- Data usage. In today’s customer-led markets, C-suite executives manage more than just organizational efficiency and productivity. You need a familiarity with the use of data and analytics in customer engagement in a very digital world. You might consider aiming for your eMBA if you haven’t already, as this will put you on the forefront of integrating technology with the freshest version of best practices.
- Comfort with diversity. It’s a small world, and at this level of business, you are expected to manage an inclusive and diverse workplace as well as having confidence and comfort with different cultures to do business at a global level. An array of races, religions, cultures, disabilities, and four generations are present inside every workforce, are you ready to lead from the front? From a global perspective, you’ll be expected to be flexible and adaptable to all the ways in which deals are accomplished wherever you go, anticipating changes in everything from handshakes to meeting etiquette.
- Communicating. Strong communication skills are a must at any level, but crucial in the C-suite positions. Your personal branding and networking are already a strong indicator to anyone who searches your name, but you’ll be expected to demonstrate that you can lead, instruct, and inspire with your communications skills.
- Flexibility. In a fast-paced and fluid business marketplace, the ability to grow, learn, and change is one of the most important skills you can demonstrate. Mental and emotional agility are valued today, one of the keys to leadership positions. Here, too, an eMBA demonstrates that you are never done learning, and always ready to update your methods, practices, and skills.
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