How can I tell if I'm executive management material? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Misha Yurchenko, tech recruiter, on Quora:

Ask yourself the following four questions about performance throughout your career and more recently over the past 3 years. In doing so it should be a good starting point to assess yourself objectively and get some sense of where you're at compared to others.

#1 How did your performance compare to the previous year's performance?

You can talk about achieving X and Y, but it's hard for to grasp what this means without understanding the previous years. If you achieved 120% above your target for the past 3 years and are talking about achieving 100% in your third year, then this is actually a decrease in your performance. What happened? Were the targets higher, were there other factors that influenced this? Is that a good result? How does it compare?

#2 How did your performance compare to your peers?

If you did 200% better than the rest of your peers and are an A player, then you should make that very clear. If you were in the top 10% of performers in your company, then you should make it clear. If this number changed over time, then explain it. Showing a trajectory of positive growth and improvement can help. Even if you did not achieve your target or hit your goal, if you constantly improved every quarter for 2 years, then that means you are growing.

#3 How did your performance compare to the plan?

Every company has some sort of goal or plan they set forward. Whether it's extremely specific, like 3-month targets to pass your probationary period on the job that are composed of a dozen different measurable actions, or a single, straightforward goal like "achieve X in sales" or "launch this product by X time" or "increase customer satisfaction by X percent." What was your result compared to the plan that was set forward?

#4 How does it compare to the industry?

This might be more difficult for you to answer without the data, but it can be extremely valuable to know. It shows a strong sense of commercialism if you can compare yourself across industry standards. Also it serves as a good benchmark to assess your own value. For example, if you're the only person in the entire software industry to have stricken a deal with X company, then that's quite impressive. It's much more impressive to say than saying "I closed a big deal." You can do a bit of digging to find this information.

In summary, once you compare yourself to other executives on these points and find that you are doing well or exceptionally well, that's a good sign. But if you have been struggling then you can ask yourself: what do I need to work on to exceed expectations in those 4 categories?

Good luck.

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Published on: Apr 13, 2018