ART of thriving in a Leadership / Executive / C- Level Role

In one of my earlier articles, I had penned down a few inputs about the “Preparation Tips to Crack an Interview for Mid to Senior Level “IT product development” Professionals” -…nt-professionals/

In this article, I would like to discuss some of the major skills which would be helpful for thriving in a Leadership / Executive / C-Level role. An Organization looks at these critical skills while hiring any Professional for a top Management role. Here, I will discuss how these Professionals can set themselves apart with a few rare qualities that elevate them from the rest of the workforce. The career pyramid gets very narrow towards the top, and as such, only the exceptional and best can reach the top of the ladder. To get into these roles, you need to have skills, vision and drive in abundance, but you also need that extra-special creative spark.

The Industry has seen a drastic change from a decade that proves that these skills are most valued in any Organization today. These Skills carry a lot of weight-age along with the core Technical skills. In today’s time Strategic / Creative / Innovative / Problem Solving skills have overtaken management / Interpersonal / Decision Making / Communication skills.

Let’s look at the critical skills to get expertise for the role.

Creativity and Innovation skills –

In today’s scenario, Creativity and Innovation skills have become the hot selling cake in any organizational hiring whether it may be a start-up or any big MNC. It has become the no.1 in the list of criteria for hiring and without this skill, no one can even think of getting into such a special and exciting role.

“Creativity is thinking of new things and Innovation is developing new things into reality”.

Creative thinking is not a talent; it is a skill that can be learned and executed. It empowers people by adding strength to their natural abilities which improve performance, productivity, profitability along with teamwork.

The qualities of the people who carry the skill are-

  • They are visionaries who see a future of possibilities and opportunities, demanding innovation.
  • They can adapt often and swiftly, learning from failure and are comfortable with change.
  • They are curious, questioning and imaginative in their approaches and also ready to experiment, open to extensive learning, put imagination into work, taking risks to make things happen in all possible ways.
  • At the same time, they are able to lead and inspire others & to explore their own creative potential in jointly achieving organizational goals.

This is the reason why they stand apart from others. On a survey, this skill has 97% weightage on hiring prospects.

Leadership and Strategic Thinking –

The skills cited as most indispensable for C-level executives—not just CEOs—are those that jointly constitute leadership. This skill has become the no. 2 as a parameter for hiring board leaders or at top Management levels. These are few types of leadership skills which have gained importance over time as an important aspect for the hiring purpose and companies expect to implement the same into the system to grow as an Organization.

To list a few –

  • Inspirational / Influential Leadership.
  • Own-it” Leadership – To drive an organization or function to a higher level of performance, efficiency, and growth.
  • Strategic Leadership – the ability to influence others to voluntarily make decisions that enhance the prospects for the Organization’s’ long-term success while maintaining long-term financial stability.
  • Visionary Leadership – is frequently mentioned when a Company is on a new path, adopting a new strategy, or at a peak of its growth
  • Ethical Leadership- directed by respect for ethical Beliefs and Values and for the dignity and rights of others.
  • Strategic thinking counts on as the individual’s capacity of thinking conceptually, imaginatively, systematically with respect to the attainment of success and objective in the future.

The combination of both Leadership and Strategic thinking brings-in collaborative success to an Organization. The person should be able to develop his thoughts & skills and work together to achieve the vision and imagination as amiable profit. On a survey, this skill has 93% weight-age on hiring prospects.


A world-class leader must be able to hire and develop an exceptionally strong leadership team—They cannot succeed as a brilliant one-person player. For this reason, the skill is the third most important parameter required for hiring. To attain this skill, the leader needs to be well versed in coaching & developing their team and bring in a high team spirit, capable of demonstrating continuous multitasking ability. Collectively this person should be able to –

1.     Create a collective vision – Your shared vision will set the stage so you can implement new processes that effectively engage everyone in a company-wide synergy

2.     Support collaborative transparency – Transparency across teams is crucial to bring in innovative ideas and lack of collaboration affects productivity and revenue. Team transparency means there is a clear, real-time way to measure each one’s productivity.

3.     Giving Accountability – Giving employees a means to demonstrate value will encourage accountability and it will ultimately lead to increased leadership opportunities within an organization. It helps reward those who do strive toward higher productivity and revenue while improving overall employee satisfaction and retention.

4.     Monitor Process Adherence – Adopting a new way of doing things is an iterative process. The first effort may have made a significant improvement. Build in opportunities to reconfigure with your executive team. After you implement new practices and technology, review internal and external feedback. This is the time to examine what’s working and identify which of your teams are leading the pack. The process with absolutely necessary to think critically about business workflows, processes, systems, and technology.

To create a work environment that solidifies your company’s culture of collaboration and productivity. That kind of culture starts at the top, but it’s sustained by engagement at every level of your organization. On a survey, this skill has 95% weight-age on hiring prospects.

Change Management –

Change-management skill is in high and growing demand in the current scenario. There is a rising demand for an executive who is a “change driver,” able to “lead a transformation” and capable of “driving transformational change”. Person needs to be motivated by a continuous-improvement mindset, a sense of always upgrading organizations, building better processes and systems, improving commercial relationships, increasing market share, and developing leadership. This has become the new skill set that can lead to significant change and growth. The importance of skill is to enable organizational adaptability, flexibility, and innovation through significant improvements in business processes, policies and procedures and reporting which will lead to –

1.     Increase profitability of Organizational success

2.     Manage employee resistance to change and bring in adaptability process

3.     Build competency

There is a notable quote which states – “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change and adapt themselves for reaching the goal– Charles Darwin”. This is the reason the skill stands on 4th on the parameter of hiring and has weight-age of 93% in hiring prospects.

Problem Solving and Getting into Details-

Every hiring of C-level has a great importance of “problem-solving” skills and they look forward to a strong and relatively high thought as a problem solver and provide solutions instantly without consuming much of time, however it has taken the place of 5 in hiring criteria but the weightage is high as 97%.

  • It is the ability to meet difficult challenges head-on and make the right decisions under pressure that separates them from other co-workers.
  • It is their responsibility to identify opportunities and risks, anticipate future trends and outline the strategic direction for their organization.
  • Making the right decisions on hard times so they must be strong in decision making.

Senior executives require the vision and clarity of mind to identify the challenges and the project a few as-

  • what obstacles are likely to stand in the way of success?
  • How to overcome hardships in delivering projects with limited resources on time?
  • How to scale the system while migrating the project from legacy to advanced technological platform? Then select the course of action that delivers the most favorable outcome.

With these thought process, the top business leaders are able to quickly detect potential problems, carry out the necessary research and analysis, and then come to a decision. They must have great business instincts and courage in their convictions. But they must also be practical enough to realize they will not always have the answer, and there is a need to seek assistance in this process.

Senior executives may be able to competitive technology solutions to improve the decision-making process. In the digital age, organizations are collecting and storing increasing volumes of data, which can be analyzed to draw business insight and intelligence. It is up to decision-makers to interpret this data and plan the appropriate course of action accordingly. They need to use the resources available to them – including data and the expertise of other people – to shape their decisions, but sometimes their main asset will be their own skills, judgment, and instincts. Over time, they will be assessed against the outcomes of their actions or inactions.

The above-mentioned skill sets are most important for the business executives to act on instantly at any given point of time and always thrive to make things happen in any critical situations. As they are the strong pillars of any business or organization.T hese skills add value to their responsibility and act on any situations fearlessly and bring success constantly. This is the reason the CEO or the Board Executives look for such critical skill sets into the candidates as the company growth, success, productivity, profitability as everything becomes their responsibility and they have to act on with right decisions with their critical thoughts.


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