Having worked with outstanding leaders as a Navy SEAL in combat and built high-performing teams in the business world, I have developed unique insights into the leadership qualities necessary for being successful as a senior executive.
As part of a new interview series, I have been collecting feedback from other senior leaders across many different organizations and industries to share their perspectives. This article is for senior executive leaders and those who aspire to climb the corporate ladder and lead teams to greatness.
"What does it take to be a great CEO or senior executive leader?"
1. Accepting Change
"The most important skill for a business owner to have would be the acceptance of change. Every day there is a new technology out there that will change the way the current workload is done and you need to be able to embrace this change and use it to your advantage to increase productivity."
Nick Shirk, COO at SomethingGreek.com
2. Desire to Lead
"Business owners or CEOs require a number of qualities, but the most important of them all is their desire to lead. Since you are at the top, you must wear a leader's cloak. And you cannot be a leader unless you wish to be one. When you have that fire inside of you, you'll be more determinant than ever to move ahead. And that's exactly what you need."
Rocky Ghoneim, CEO at American Wealth Advisory
3. Understanding the Business
"The most important quality of a business owner executive is to understand what the business truly is. Understand the nature of the product or service, understand the customers and also the employees. Only when you sync all these, do you get a successful executive leader."
Trevor Gerszt, CEO at GoldCo Precious Metals
4. Sound Judgement and Strategic Initiatives
"What seems to attract job interviews for my CXO clients is a combination of metric driven accomplishments combined with trust building components that communicate a leader and mentor personality. Creating consensus with their executive team and across companies is key and becomes even more critical when leading corporate transformations, reorganizations or turnarounds. CEO's and COO's need to demonstrate sound judgement developing strategic initiatives, picking the right executive team leaders to initiate them, good management of P&L and ability to advise the board and meet the board's expectations."
Mary Elizabeth Bradford, Executive Resume Writer for C-level Executives
5. Ability to Sell
"The ability to sell is one of the most important skills a business owner can have. Being able to convince and persuade people to take action and get them to buy in to your company or product is the foundation of any successful business. Without sales, there is no company."
Randy Soderman, Founder of Soderman Marketing a Phoenix SEO company
6. Articulating the Vision
"The ability to have a vision. A vision of where the company is headed, a vision of how to get there and a vision of the people or resources you will need in order to get you where you want to go. It is also important not to lose sight of your vision during the "hustle." If you start to feel burnout, make sure you do something that will restore your energy and passion. For me, that is emerging myself in the community and inspiring others through motivational speaking."
Kristy Dickerson, CEO of STARTplanner
7. Empowering Talented Employees
"A great business leader encourages creativity and independent solutions. Let the ideas flow, empower talented employees, and success will follow. It also helps to communicate well."
Leslie Glass, President and CEO of Reach Out Recovery
The great thing about gathering the opinions of those that are in the trenches leading great organizations is that you can see certain commonalities as well as variance in opinion. Great leaders often agree on what it takes to successfully drive a team to achieve results, but their opinions on the most important aspects vary.
What do you think the most important aspect is for being a great senior executive or business owner?