What Will Make You Succeed as an Executive

To succeed in the top rung of an organization, you need at least two things going for you.  According to Forbes Magazine, you need people skills and measurable results.  If, like me, you feel you may not quite yet measure up fully to these standards, don’t worry.  You can learn anything you desire; you have the power to overcome any obstacle; and you have no true limitations.

But first, for people who insist they or their loved ones have limitations, know that high performance psychology books stress that a mindset that sees infinite possibilities and no limitations is essential for success.  I saw a guy with no legs and no arms doing incredible feats.  I helped a child medically diagnosed as a “vegetable” get a full-fledged education.  The only true limitations we have are the ones we place on ourselves.

But here’s the skills that Forbes says you’ll need.

Leadership skills.  Leadership involves listening skills, empowering your people, and setting clear expectations.  To get these skills, try volunteering on a committee or board.  Alternatively, apply for an AU student council role.  Or take low-cost courses on leadership from Udemy.

Decision-making.  Decision-making is a tricky process because, typically, every decision comes at a cost.  It’s a matter of weighing and researching the best course of action within the limited time available.  Take courses on decision-making to master this skill.  Read biographies to learn how the greats made decisions

Persuasiveness.  Learn how to persuade people with communications that make your idea exciting, even downright thrilling, for others.  One fellow I know is so persuasive, he can make living in a cardboard box on the streets during the Fall sound appealing.  Persuasion is not manipulation, however.  It’s showing people the joy they can realize in taking action that lines up with your vision.  Ideally, persuasion makes the world better for both parties.  Take courses on persuasion to master this trait.

Soft skills.  Learn how to take criticism, how to be supportive and encouraging toward others, and how to set others up for success.  When members of your team grind you the wrong way, it’s important to grow from the conflict, not take slights personally, and focus on the best in others.  I once saw an admirable retail store leader take playful barbs from his staff with such charm that I wished to emulate him.

Product, customer, and company knowledge.  Know exactly what, to whom, and with whom you are selling.  Become so knowledgeable that answers to most any question are immediately available.  People love dealing with an expert, especially when there is a problem they need solved.

According to the Forbes Magazine article, there is a high attrition rate with Chief Executive Marketers.  If they don’t show success in their people skills and their measurable outcomes, their lifespan with a company will be cut short.  Hone these skills as soon as possible to climb the ranks to the c-suite.

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