Whether you’re hiring, looking for a new role or simply trying for some professional self-improvement, it’s worth thinking about the personal qualities of great executives that you can look for, cultivate in yourself, and have Executive Search agencies look for when they are finding candidates for you.
Your executives are your main decision makers. In order to make the best decisions for your company they need to be information gathers, building a knowledge base specific to your company’s circumstances. If they’re more inclined to make their decisions based on generalities, or received wisdom, they won’t be making the very best choices for your company.
To build this knowledge base, they need to be passionate readers around your subject, with an interest in trade papers and relevant websites and blogs. If you’re not already subscribed to some relevant publications to read on the commute, it’s worth doing a little research to find some good ones and start boosting your knowledge.
Your executives also need to value the knowledge gleaned from the people reporting to them: if they don’t respect that knowledge, they’ll make bad managers and also lack a key source of information that will feed into their decision making progress. If their curiosity doesn’t extend to the expertise of the people working under them, you’ll be paying a high salary to a senior executive to ignore the experts in the field they work in!
However good they are information gathering, your Executives won’t be taking your company to the next level unless they’re able to turn that knowledge into results: quantifiable, valuable results are how you measure success in business and you need your executives to be justifying a high salary with results.
If you’re trying to cultivate this quality in yourself, look at recent projects and initiatives you’ve spearheaded, and do some work to quantify the results they’ve had. Don’t just look at profits: it can be equally valuable to prevent loss, or increase efficiency.
If you compare the cost of enacting a new process with the money it saves or earns you can see roughly how efficient your efforts have been. This doesn’t just give you an idea of your performance to date it also helps you make future pitches for actions more convincing. You can point to your record, and also give a more accurate assessment of the impact of your efforts, making it easier for your executive colleagues to buy in!