Source | www.ccl.org
What Skills Do Senior Executives Need?
All new roles come with new responsibilities. But a senior-level, experienced leader face unique challenges that are tied directly to the bigger scope of work.
Whether you’re taking on a top job at a small firm, managing a function of a mid-size business, or running a division of a global company, you must lead in ways that build on your experience, but also go beyond it. To be effective, experienced leader you need specific skills to succeed.
Typically, an experienced leader comes into the role having been very successful leading a specific area. When promoted or the business changes significantly, you need to learn how to skillfully run a much broader, bigger function where the demands are significantly different than before.
Senior executives face unique challenges, including setting a vision and building toward the future. At the same time, a senior level, experienced leader handles very real and challenging short-term pressures.
Organizations suffer greatly when senior leaders falter or fail. In spite of this risk, leader development at this level is often overlooked. But with the right training and practice, an experienced leader can avoid common pitfalls and meet their organizations’ seemingly divergent needs.
Leadership Skills Needed by Senior Executives: The Fundamental 4
First, leadership success at every level is rooted in the “Fundamental 4” competencies of self-awareness, communication, influence, and learning agility. If you’re an experienced leader, you have developed these skills during your career. But as you advance, you must understand how these 4 skills are applied differently at the senior level.
Self-awareness is critical skill needed by senior leaders in an organization. It goes beyond knowing your strengths and weaknesses, your preferences and patterns, and the effect of your behavior on others. At this level, you really need to understand the impact your leadership behavior has on organizational outcomes.
Unfortunately, the higher up the management ladder you go, the less feedback you get. In addition, you may be overusing strengths that were more critical in previous roles which is a challenge for an experienced leader.