Top 8 skills every successful C-level executive needs to have

Headhunters and recruiters have a challenging task when it comes to finding a C-level executive that really fulfills the expectations of the important position a company is needing and looking for. Although there are probably several options already identified in the market, that appear to be just the right fit for the specific description that is required, some of them may lack a few, or many skills that are truly necessary, not only for the right C-level executive candidates to have, but more importantly, for becoming a successful C-level executive.

It’s true that it is very easy to see a great potential in many people. Not only a good CV and a well written recommendation letter are necessary. Sometimes there is more to it. Actually a good conversation will give recruiters unimaginable notions of the set of assets a person can have and if it matches the high performance organization needs the recruiter has been assigned to find out there. Great expectations is what normally rules these recruitment processes.

These are the top eight skills and characteristics every successful C-level executive should have as part of their personal portfolio and tools in order to achieve the challenging job of being in the top of any organization.

1 . Leadership

Leadership is one of the most desired skills among C-level executives or high category profiles for management and leading functions.  One of the things that stand out the most when looking for leadership skills is for the leader to have the ability to inspire and to guide their team without being authoritarian.

2. Strategic orientation

This skill mainly refers to not only strategic thinking but also strategic execution. The ability to execute what has been envisioned and planned is actually not as easy as everyone thinks. The candidate in this case needs to show clear prove of being able to lead in the most integrative way, the operation and strategic direction of what will make the company achieve their goals on a global basis.

Project scope on the move_jason hanold_C-level executive_CEO

Image courtesy of angeline veeneman at Flickr.com

3. Commercial orientation

A person with commercial orientation will always identify a business opportunity no matter where it is, or who it is with. Having commercial orientation involves to be always open to listening, asking and discussing endless and unexpected information in order to transform it into business possibilities. C-level candidates with this skill will most likely be interested in public relations and networking.

4. Communication and presentation

A C-level candidate must have communication and presentation skills. It is the only way to achieve a credibility among the team, the customers and practically everyone that surrounds him on a daily basis at work. The ability to be persuasive is also very important when it comes to speaking in front of an audience. It should be very natural to them to synthesize lots of information and express it the easiest way possible to those who are expecting to receive well explained details at any time.

5. Customer impact

The skill of having customer impact has a lot to do with having the ability of making new and long lasting relationships that will eventually generate mutual benefits. A candidate with customer impact will be able to anticipate the customer needs and maintain a constant interest in knowing what the customer is aiming for. That is the clue of making the long term relationships grow.

6. Integrity

Making ethical decisions and doing things basically the right way are highly appreciated by companies today. Probably more than in the past. Clearly, an ethical behavior is a great way to qualify a person nowadays, but in the past companies were more oriented to the achievement of results, no matter what could happen in the way to achieve them. Today, that integrity also means responsibility and that involves many aspects, including social, financial, political and environmental among others.

7. Management

Administrative skills are always wanted. Having management skills is in many ways understood as having the ability of acting in a responsible way towards decision making in terms of finances, sales, marketing, technology and other scopes that are part of the basic structure of all organizations. Having management skills is in some way the basic necessity every C-level candidate needs in order to maintain a business flow.

8. Market knowledge

Even though this skill sounds very obvious, it is very common that companies hire C-level candidates even though they don’t have the necessary knowledge of the market in which they are going to work. The C-level candidate should ideally have the required experience working in the specific market they are applying for. Having managerial skills that involve general knowledge that apply for all industries is not enough. Every market is different and the way a leading position should act sometimes will depend on what kind of business the positions belongs to.

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