January 18

6 Critical C-Suite Skills All Executives Must Have

Do You Have the C-Suite Skills You Need to Become an Executive Leader?

It’s a great question. You need to know you’re ready, because no one does or should care more about your ability to be promoted than you do. And if you want to be a C-Suite leader, you need to realize this is a whole new level of leadership that requires preparation and strategy.

What Skills Do C-Suite Leaders Need?

If you want to move into the C-Suite, then you need to understand what being in the C-Suite means. The C-Suite is the top tier of leadership. This is as high as it goes in an organization. Each member of the C-Suite holds a vital role and uses their skills to successfully and strategically move the organization, the entire organization, forward.

This is an exclusive club and requires a unique set of C-Suite skills beyond those that make you a star in your current role. 

  1. Self Awareness – A leader possesses the confidence and vulnerability to understand your weaknesses, blind spots, and the ownership to work on both.
  2. Strategic Leadership – A leader needs the ability to see beyond the success of your own division. You must lead for the success of the entire organization.
  3. Conflict Resolution – A leader has the skills to solve problems and issues quickly and effectively. You have mastered getting along and gaining influence with difficult people.
  4. Network Developer – A well-connected leader needs to have strong relationships inside the community, the company, and industry.
  5. Results Driven – No matter the obstacles, challenges, or issues, leaders find a way to get results.
  6. Growth Mindset – A leader must constantly be progressing, learning, and looking to what is next in terms of advancement. A leader must understand the value of every employee at every level, and is in constant learning mode.
  7. Influence – A great leader is well-respected, liked, and admired by their peers, direct reports, and other leaders.

So, do you think you’re ready? Or do you have some work to do? Probably the latter, we all do. In fact, if you don’t think you have work to do, you are probably not C-Suite material. Here are some ideas to get you ready for the C-Suite.

How to Build The C-Suite Skills To Become an Executive Leader

Emotional Intelligence

Do the work, introspection, and deep dives to understand your emotions, learn to control them, and control the emotions of others.

Business and Financial Acumen

Get to know the business, the entire business. This includes how you make money, the product flow, cycle flow, sales process, human capital needs, expenses, and, in essence, how the business works.


Invest in mastering the art of communication. You must know how to speak effectively, actively listen, influence others, and motivate people to take action. Learn how to use communication to influence rather than direct others. Learn to communicate how others want and need you to communicate.

Public Speaking

Like communication, but a bit more. Learn to command a room, share a message, and inspire others to take action.

Strategic Relationships

Develop a list of who you need to know, and who needs to know you inside the company, your industry, and your community.

Decision Making

Learn how to effectively assess situations, determine the risk vs. reward, and make decisions.

Being in the C-Suite is about so much more than mastering your current position. You need to be ready to help the entire organization succeed. If your goal is to move into the C-Suite, then start getting ready now.

Find mentors, get a coach, and take some courses. You’ll not only become a great C-Suite leader, but you will turn all of this uncertainty to your greatest competitive advantage .

Meridith Elliott Powell

Voted one of the Top 15 Business Growth Experts to watch by Currency Fair, highly engaging corporate motivational keynote speaker Meridith Elliott Powell delivers a cutting-edge message, rooted in real-life examples and real-world knowledge. Meridith’s presentations are full of powerful content, highly interactive, and fun. She helps her clients learn the leadership development, sales and business growth strategies to turn uncertainty to competitive advantage.

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