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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Nicholas

From Good to Great to C-Suite: The Actionable Blueprint

I love a great infographic as much as the next person, and I fully agree with the traits listed in this one. But I have a few issues with it…

#1. These traits are not just the domain of the CEO, but I argue all C-suite executives.

#2. These traits are the WHAT. If you are an executive with C-suite aspirations and don’t possess full command of each of these traits, HOW do you acquire the recommended mindset or skill? Where is the guidance for that?

So, I decided to build upon this info with some tactics for developing each trait. 

*Relationship Building: Schedule regular one-on-one meetings with team members, peers, and mentors. Use these opportunities to understand their challenges, aspirations, and feedback. Actively participating in cross-functional projects also broadens your network and understanding of the organization.

*Strategic Vision: Allocate time each week to think about the future. This can be as simple as reading about industry trends or brainstorming new business opportunities. Use this insight to set long-term goals for your team, aligning them with the company's vision.

*Adaptive Innovation: Implement a "fail fast" project in your team where members can propose and test new ideas with minimal repercussions. This fosters a culture of innovation and teaches resilience through adaptation.

*Operational Execution: Identify a key project or process within your scope. Break it down into smaller tasks, assign clear owners, and set deadlines. Regularly review progress in team meetings, addressing obstacles promptly to maintain momentum.

*Inspirational Leadership: Find opportunities to publicly acknowledge individual and team successes, however small. Share stories of challenges you've overcome, focusing on the lessons learned and the values that guided you, to inspire your team.

*Communication Skills: Practice active listening in every conversation. Summarize what you've heard to ensure understanding, and respond thoughtfully. For written communication, draft your messages then revise for clarity and brevity.

*Value Creation: Identify a process or product within your domain that could be improved. Work with your team to develop a plan to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, or improve customer satisfaction. Implement the plan and measure its impact on the business.

*Decisive Risk Taking: Regularly review your responsibilities and identify areas where a calculated risk could lead to significant benefits. Develop a plan to mitigate potential downsides and present your proposal to stakeholders for feedback before proceeding.

For each of these steps, set SMART goals, reflect on your progress and seek feedback from trusted colleagues or mentors.

Remember, mastering these traits is not about perfection but progress – taking action each day. 

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