Traits of an Executive

Working one’s way up the company ladder is a difficult task. It takes hard work, ambition, and a real desire to succeed, but what we have come to learn is it also takes a particular kind of character. We’ve checked out the stats and compiled a mass of research to determine the most important traits that every Executive shares; and with the right attitude, these are traits that can be adopted and incorporated into your own persona to give you the best possible chance of leading a team of your own!

This article will explore the more in-depth characteristics of Executives, as traits such as competitiveness, goal-oriented and risk-taking are to be expected from any ambitious leader. What is more interesting is the value placed in strong ethics and safety in the workplace, with 67% of senior leaders staking this as one of the most important areas of focus. “Your work force makes up the framework of every business, it’s what keeps the wheel turning, hence their safety and happiness is imperative to its success,” said one leader.

Undeniably, those in a position of seniority possess the power to command a room. They have a certain presence which brings with it the respect of their peers and the ability to communicate their ideas. It is the latter that forms another important trait, namely the ability to clearly communicate thoughts, ideas and expectation, something that a staggering 82% of Executives had in common as a social skill. It is incredibly important to speak clearly and precisely when delivering instructions or expectations to your team; it is often good practice to ask yourself every now and then whether you’re speaking too quickly, or using unnecessarily complex language.

PEW Research Centre released a study conducted by Universum, which broadened their questionnaire globally to ensure no cultural bias. The single largest common denominator was honesty: 84% of Executives believe honesty not to be beneficial to, but essential to someone in leadership, prized higher than both innovation and ambition which had a return of 56% and 53%, respectively.

An article within Business Insider revealed that almost half of HR professionals believe a good Executive should be able to empower their employees, yet only 26% of CEO’s share this belief, demonstrating an interesting divide between what would appear to make a good leader, and what seems to in practice. Similarly in the same article, a goal-oriented leader is deemed important by a third of CEOs, when just 24% of HR professionals selected that option.

Another study featured in the Harvard Business Review explored the difficulty of filling Chief Executive Roles noting that between 2000 and 2013, “about a quarter of the CEO departures in the Fortune 500 were involuntary, according to the Conference Board.” They went on to ask, “Clearly, many otherwise capable leaders and boards are getting something wrong. The question is, what?”

A simple answer would be that they lack the skills required to be a successful Executive. A more elaborate explanation would be that awareness of, or the ability to identify, these skills is absent from the on-boarding process too. Recognizing a successful Executive is a skill developed through years of experience in Executive Hires, and is why outsourcing your recruitment processes to experts could save you huge amounts of time and money in training and resources, with a bad hire costing on average 3.5 times that of the annual salary – and so with senior hires there’s all the more reason to get it right the first time!

We’re confident that in taking on the advice above you’ll be sure to give yourself the strongest possible start to your journey up the company ladder. And whether you’re interested in your next Senior Role or receiving further advice on how partnering with experts in Executive Hires can help your business, get in touch with us today! Our team are always more than happy to talk through live roles, career advice and guidance on partnering with FB.