What does it take to be an Executive

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Executives have three core responsibilities: Develop the business, grow talent, and make decisions that drive innovation.

Effective leaders build organisations where customers want to do business and people can do their best work. Leadership doesn’t necessarily come with a title or a status, but the title comes with responsibility and accountability. Leadership requires the ability to take your people to places they wouldn’t have gone if you hadn’t been in the picture. An executive needs to be fairly well rounded in a wide range of competencies.

Team building – An important skill for any executive is getting a management team and varied functional areas working together. The executive’s responsibility is to manage teams within the business in such a way that departments and individuals work together to fulfill the organisation’s vision.

Strategic thinking – Executives need to have an understanding of the organisation, a vision of where to take the organisation, and the ability to put together a workable plan to get from here to there.

Communication skills – This is more than being able to articulate the company’s values and vision. Executives need to have interpersonal communication skills that will help align people and make sure that there is communication throughout the organisation. Executives should be able to communicate job requirements and roles at a very simple level and ensure employees understand how these jobs contribute to the overall success of the business.

Motivational skills – This is a complex competency which requires a different approach for different people. Motivation requires interpersonal awareness, the ability to identify an individual’s wants and needs, and to respond to them appropriately.

Mentoring and coaching skills – This skill goes beyond being a mentor, but needs to have the focus on how to optimise people. Most executives recognise that employees are their most valuable assets, but many don’t put their money where their mouths are. Developing employees includes training, feedback processes, thinking about people in terms of strengths and weaknesses, and their key developmental points. An executive has to be willing and able, to bring people along and help them grow with the organisation.

 

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