What to Look for in Senior Executives
For seasoned board members and any other kind of executive, it’s always good to assess what it is that constitutes a dependable, effective senior executive.
Otherwise, it’s likely to rest on one’s laurels and fall into bad habits.
Conversely, newer board members and executives might still be learning what encapsulates a quality member of a senior leadership team.
After all, the Harvard Business Review explicitly states that performance reviews are necessary for boards to function at their fullest capabilities. Being evaluated (even if it’s self-evaluations) keeps people at the top of their games.
Discussed below are the nine distinct qualities that an executive must possess to be considered genuinely valuable in their role.
A Proclivity for Navigation
Much like a captain at sea, senior executives must navigate the murky complexity of pressing issues. Also, they must be able to identify and leverage situations that will affect their organization.
A Keen Strategist
As strategists, senior executives must be able to think in the short and long term. Meaning, they’re able to orchestrate immediate processes that offer a direct benefit as well as positively impacting the company for years to come.
In short, senior executives understand the value of the here and now. However, they’re big picture thinkers and have both eyes on the future as well.
A Zest for Entrepreneurship
Board members and other senior executives didn’t find themselves where they are because they weren’t ambitious.
In such a role, there’s a need to continually have one’s ear to the ground, knowing what kind of product and moneymaking opportunities are out there. Also, there’s a need for innovation and trying to put forth new processes that can increase revenue and productivity within the organization.
Moving and Shaking (Aka Mobilizing)
Members of senior leadership need to display keen skills in building and connection of stakeholders, capabilities, and resources.
It’s through this kind of skillset that vital processes are executed with the utmost efficiency and profitability.
In short, senior executives make things happen.
An Advocate for Talent
Long gone are the days where the top talent is just happy to have a job. Influential executives understand that part of their role is catered to attracting and retaining the brightest minds in their given industry. They take time to understand the various nuances involved in being someone for whom talent will produce at a high level.
A Captivator of the Masses
There’s an intangible need for executives to bring the best out of those around them. Through a strong leader’s infectious passion, others should become as – if not more – enthusiastic and dedicated to reaching and exceeding the goals of the organization.
A Worldly Thinker
Senior leaders should be people who are aware of the world outside of their given corporate bubble. They do their best to be in touch with the world around them. And they assess all perspectives when solving problems—much to the benefit of their organization.
A Catalyst for Change
The senior executives that stand out from the pack are the ones who are constantly questioning what’s around them. They don’t sit back and watch the game pass them by. Instead, they’re continually looking to better themselves, the people around them, and the company.
A Champion and Guardian of Enterprise
Lastly, let’s point out that quality senior executives utilize their courageous decision making to ensure shareholder value. They do this to support enterprise and unit-wide interests.
Senior executives come in many shapes and sizes. This list provides a starting point for what to look for in your next hire.