12 Key Traits of Successful Executives

Successful Executives

Executive roles within a corporation require a certain amount of natural ability mixed with learned skills. If you have ever envisioned yourself in a senior role, then it’s important to understand just what it takes. Besides the amount of work experience, reputation, and knowledge you need to climb the ladder, you should also tick off these 12 key traits. 

1: Creativity 

Creativity might not be the first trait you think of for executives, but it plays a key role. Leaders must be able to adapt to situations and come up with new and innovative ways of solving problems, and this takes thinking outside the box. While they needn’t paint masterpieces or compose world-class classical music, executives should be creative in the way they think about solutions. 

2: Confidence 

It takes believing in yourself to thrive within a senior role. Confidence is necessary to gain the confidence of those around, which makes it an imperative trait as a leader. Without it, it’s difficult to motivate others. 

Fortunately, there are ways of learning confidence, so if your goal is an executive role but you don’t quite believe in yourself, there are steps you can take to change that. Sometimes, it takes pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to see how strong you really are. 

3: Quick Learning

Executives must deal with a wave of new problems and solve them quickly. Whether there’s a new technology, idea, or strategy, they will be expected to learn them fast and without too many questions. 

A DBA online is a key part of many executive’s education, teaching them problem-solving skills along with the ability to conduct the necessary research. If you aspire to get a senior role, then a solid education is the perfect ground to build on. 

4: Ambition 

Ambition is an obvious trait needed by executives, but it should be for the right reasons. If you want to improve just for the chance of a higher salary, then the chances are you won’t have enough drive to see it through. What you need is the pure ambition to better yourself and become a leader who can contribute great things to an organization. 

5: An Energized Spirit 

When you think about extremely successful people, you probably can’t imagine them complaining about how early it is or how tired they are every Monday. The fact is, they need to be on the ball at all times, so they cannot afford to spend time complaining. While everybody has their slumps, executives must find a way to push through. One of the ways they do this is by switching off at the weekends – finding time to destress is just as important, if not more so than working hard. 

6: Great Leadership 

Those higher up in corporate must be able to command the attention of the room. Leadership is found in people who can empower others to do the best work possible, which means building people up for their efforts rather than knocking them down for their faults. While some people are natural-born leaders, you can still learn how to be a great one through experience and an excellent role model. 

7: Curiosity 

The most successful people never give up learning. For them, it doesn’t take much to drive them, as they are naturally curious. The curiosity you see so obviously in children should be carried into your later years, but directed toward other areas. There are always new, innovative ways of performing tasks, leading others, and figuring out how to apply a new idea. Curiosity allows for natural research, which is essential for anyone in a leadership role. 

8: Organizational Skills

Successful executives don’t show up late to work with a coffee cup in their hand, in fact, they’re more likely to be the ones at their desk before anyone else arrives. They will usually have a set plan for the day, week, and month, and if anything else is thrown their way, they adapt easily. Organizational skills are crucial for many careers, but none more so than those in high-up leadership roles. 

9: Forward Thinking 

Forward thinking is a natural part of being an executive; leaders assess the organization and think about how it can develop. While some people get stuck dwelling on past problems, executives look forward and come up with ways to improve. 

10: The Ability to Admit When They Are Wrong 

Those who are successful aren’t averse to admitting where they went wrong; they actually see it as a way to improve themselves. Nobody is perfect all the time, not even the greatest leaders, and being able to admit that takes strength. In a corporate setting, nobody has time for blame-shifting, so successful executives take the mature path of being open to criticism. 

11: Communication Skills

Possibly the most important trait executives must hold, excellent communication skills are what sets them apart from others straight away. Those who can speak confidently are instantly more employable as a leader. Communication doesn’t just include the ability to relay information concisely, it also includes being able to listen well to others. With the number of decisions and conversations that go on throughout the day, executives need excellent communication skills to perform their job well. 

12: Motivation

For leaders to motivate others, they must first be motivated individuals themselves. You wouldn’t expect to be told how to be a great swimmer by someone who has never stepped foot in a body of water, after all. 

Motivation cannot just be for the days when they feel passionate; it must also be there when the weekend has gone too fast or the alarm has gone off too early. The amount of responsibility that comes with being an executive means there’s no time to dawdle in tiredness, so they must be switched on and ready for action at all times. 

Becoming an executive isn’t an easy task. It takes hard work, determination, and enough experience to prove you are able to manage. If you have conquered these traits, however, you are the kind of person who would do well high up in an organization.

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