Getting to the C-suite is no easy task. The journey to the top requires years of work and professional development. It also necessitates an array of intangible skills. However, five essential competencies stand apart from the rest.

Confident with a Hint of Humility
Business leaders normally make big decisions that carry wide-reaching implications. As a result, confidence is a must-have, The Wall Street Journal reported. Often, executives find themselves staring down a business strategy that presents obvious benefits but also features some major, possibly catastrophic pitfalls. The best can trust their judgment and move forward, despite the risks.

That being said, successful C-suite residents also know where their skill sets end and others’ begin. They aren’t afraid to defer and trust contributors with established, granular expertise.

Curious with a Thirst for Insight 
Business leaders should display unquenchable inquisitiveness, Dave Currie, president of the marketing technology company The List, told Hubspot.

“The most successful new business people are those that can ask great questions,” he said. “Through their professional curiosity they ask great questions and listen with intent toward identifying and truly understanding the issues.”

Additionally, curious executives are especially adept at dealing with sophisticated issues and fluid situations because they operate inside an intellectual space with few absolutes, the Harvard Business Review reported. When crises arise, these thinkers go to work crafting novel solutions for seemingly unsolvable problems.

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Flexible with a Knack for Change Management
In today’s mercurial business world, flexibility is a key quality for both burgeoning and established industry leaders. In select industries, if a business isn’t being disrupting by some streamlined usurper, it’s probably attempting to disrupt an established competitor. As a result, most C-level job descriptions for such organizations include at least one mention of the terms change management or transformation.

Transitional businesses need special kinds of leaders.

“This requires a ‘change-agent’ executive 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,” one senior executive noted during an anonymous Harvard Business Review survey.

Tech Savvy with a Nose for Innovation
Tech skills are essential for all modern professionals, even the select few with corner offices. Most business leaders won’t be required to code programs or create content. However, they should understand how systems essential to business operations work and be able to express at least a top-down knowledge of applicable, industry-standard solutions.

These days, technology is essential to business development. The leaders driving such growth efforts must be, at the very least, tech literate.

Communicative with a Penchant for Transparency
Often, business leaders find themselves sitting across from employees or customers with skeptical looks etched across their faces. It is in these instances, that highly-tuned communications skills come in handy.

C-suite leaders must communicate effectively and candidly. Additionally, presentational prowess is another related ability most seasoned executives possess. They can stand at the head of conference tables and persuade investors or clients to come along for the ride. Such leaders transfer the confidence and quell uncertainty, even in others.

Are you looking to build a robust skill set that includes the attributes above? Contact Team Assess. We offer coaching services and instructor-led training programs for businesses leaders of from all backgrounds.