1. Senior Leadership Skills
When you are looking to advance into an executive role, leadership skills are essential. Leaders who are able to understand and support people are essential for organizations. Leaders must be able to draw on past experiences and take on new challenges. They also need to be able make tough decisions in uncertain times. Take a look at your leadership experience. What were your strengths? What could you do better?
Although there is always room to improve, effective leadership requires practice. To improve your leadership skills, can you take on additional projects at work? Can you volunteer to take on leadership roles in a non-profit organization if that’s not an option? You can also take a leadership-centric course.
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2. C-Suite Communication & Presenting Skills
Effective senior managers need C-suite level communication skills. They must be able communicate with all levels of the organization. This extends to presentation skills beyond the use of a slide deck. Executives have the ability to influence and persuade others. This should be evident in all communication.
Ask for feedback from your colleagues to improve your communication skills. Pay attention to the communication skills of leaders you admire. You can also take a class in communication and influence.
3. Change Management Skills
Senior leaders are increasingly skilled at managing change. They must be able to recognize opportunities for change and lead their organization in a new direction. Learning about change management is an essential part of executive skills.
4. Subject Matter Expertise
Do not underestimate the importance and value of subject-matter knowledge. You’re likely to have a good understanding of a specific area within your company. How much do you know about other parts of the business? How much do you know about the impact of other departments on organizational decisions if you are a manager of a department? Do you have the experience of managing smaller teams?
Consider the skills and knowledge you have accumulated throughout your career. Are there any gaps in your knowledge that could prevent you from reaching your C-level goals. What skills and knowledge do you need to achieve your goals? The EMBA program is a great way to expand your business knowledge and not have to change your career.
5. Strategic Thinking & Foresight
Senior leaders need to be able develop forward-looking, strategic plans. This is crucial for success in the C-suite and ensures future success of the business. Leaders need to be able factor in all aspects of the organization, not just those in which they are most experienced and knowledgeable. You won’t be able implement change initiatives if you don’t get to know the entire organization.
6. Decision Making
Leaders must make informed and quick decisions, even if they don’t know everything. You can learn from the mistakes and successes of other leaders throughout history. As you progress into higher leadership positions, it will be a benefit to you to develop effective decision-making skills.
7. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence can be developed and is considered a leadership quality. This refers to the ability to manage your emotions and those of others. Empathy, social awareness, self-awareness, relationship management are all important aspects of emotional intelligence. Your emotional intelligence can be improved by listening, accepting constructive criticism and remaining self-aware.
8. Employee Development
Managers who are successful don’t just focus on their career paths. Managers also put effort into building their teams to improve the overall organization. Senior managers are only as good and as effective as their teams.
Consider how your team members might benefit from growth opportunities you find. Make sure that your team is made up of people who have different perspectives and strengths. Encourage members to highlight their strengths and help them improve.
Understand that delegation does not mean offloading work. You should view delegation as an opportunity for you to learn and help your peers. A leader who is capable of delegating effectively is known for being a great leader.