January 17, 2022

7 Top Priorities of Executive Leadership Development

By: sanjay sathe

Are leaders born or made? It’s always a popular topic of debate. It’s actually a bit of both. At the end of the day, great leadership requires great skills. Those skills need to be consistently nurtured in order to positively impact your effectiveness as a leader of people and your company. This blog helps leaders focus on the seven most important skills executives need to develop in order to achieve success.

7 Top Priorities of Executive Leadership Development

Effective leadership steers your company towards growth and expansion. 

A competent executive requires the perfect combination of management skills and leadership capabilities. Here are some guidelines that highlight the executive skills you need to develop and/or continually improve in order to sustain an executive-level position:

  1. Subject matter expertise – It goes without saying that you need to build up strong domain knowledge to succeed in an executive position. And even though you think you know all there is to know, it’s important to always be looking towards current market trends that might upend the status quo in the near future. Technological advancements have been rapidly changing the workplace across industries. You’ll want to educate yourself on those advancements so that you can make the best decisions for your organization. The ability and interest to think about the future also plays a hand in our next talking point.
  2. Strategic thinking and foresight – These represent an executive’s most essential skills. Thinking strategically and making future-focused plans are crucial to succeed as an executive. As a leader, you need to have the ‘eye’ to see the bigger picture in order to initiate any required change to a specific division or throughout the entire company.
  3. Decision making – Making a big decision might be one of the most challenging tasks for any individual. As an executive, you are expected to make actionable, data-driven, and informed decisions regularly. You’ll also need to make suitable decisions, on occasion, when you don’t have sufficient information. Continual improvement and refinement of your decision making ability will set you up for success.
  4. Change management – This is fast becoming an important skill for all executives. In fact, this single skill can become the key differentiator when a company is selecting an executive candidate. In the ever-changing corporate world, you should anticipate change and prepare your company to take the change and parlay it into an opportunity. You also need to identify opportunities to change and lead the company towards a new growth path.
  5. Communication and presentation skills – As an executive, you need to have impeccable communication skills to interface with internal and external stakeholders. You need to lead discussions with fellow executives, investors, team members, clients, partners, etc. Your presentation and communication skills need to go beyond reciting a deck. Develop the skills necessary to entice, encourage, and persuade your audience. Joining SucceedSmart’s exclusive executive professional network provides access to a unique set of tools to help hone your communication and presentation skills.
  6. Emotional intelligence – This is a key quality that distinguishes the best executives across all industries. To be able to recognize your own emotions and those of the people in your orbit is critical to your executive success. There are five key elements to emotional intelligence and you will benefit from honing each element. The five elements include: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.
  7. Employee development capability – A good leader does not focus solely on their own career trajectories. They aim to strengthen the company by building a brilliant team with diverse skills and perspectives who know their job and practice accountability.

Companies have many expectations from the executives in their organizations, especially in our current phase of globalization, technological advances, and the continuing effects of the global pandemic. Executive development represents an ongoing process. Therefore, when you learn something new, be sure to share it with your team. Successful leaders empower their employees. To embark upon your executive development with confidence, simply be clear with your intentions. 

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