Top Tips for Becoming a Successful Executive Leader

Becoming an executive leader can be an extremely rewarding milestone in your career, complemented with an array of different benefits.  You’ve probably spent years cultivating your career, all in preparation for this momentous step up the corporate ladder. However, whilst career progression may have previously seemed straightforward, how do you now make that next step up to executive level? And when reaching this, how can you ensure success in this role? 

As with any new job, it’s vital to learn the ins and outs of what this role demands, and furthermore how to execute these successfully. So whether you’ve just been promoted or are planning on taking the next step into executive bliss, here are our top tips in how to succeed within this leadership role: 

  • Find out if you’ve got what it takes
  • Recognise what your company needs 
  • Refine your leadership skills
  • Establish your presence 

Find Out If You’ve Got What It Takes

One of the key starting points to succeeding in an executive role is finding out if you’ve got what it takes. This involves acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses, seeing how they align with the requirements for the executive role and making improvements where necessary.  Some key qualities for an executive leadership role include having excellent interpersonal communication skills, making a good first impression, and being effective at managing office politics, all with a respectable presence and authentic charisma. 

If looking to apply for an executive leadership position within your company, it can help to let these career aspirations be known to your supervisor. A supervisor can help advise you on precisely what the job involves, and how you can improve to be considered as a candidate for the role.

Recognise What Your Company Needs

As an executive, your accountability will rise to an entirely new level. Whilst it’s important to hold a variety of impressive traits to fulfil a leadership role, one of the more essential of these is prioritising the company. 

Therefore, when considering moving up to this level, it’s vital that you firstly recognise what your company really needs, and how, as an executive leader, you can help cater to these. The Oxford Executive Leadership Programme can help you develop a better understanding of your company’s purpose and your personal leadership purpose, and the skills required to align them.

Recognising these needs, and further the initiatives that would help to meet them, is not only a vital skill to have as an executive, but will also help you to stand out as a viable candidate for this role.   

Refine Your Leadership Skills

Another vital area to focus on when looking to succeed in an executive leadership role is to refine your leadership skills. 

Whilst you may already have extensive experience in lower levels of managerial roles, these will often focus on a more short-term scale than the executive roles. Therefore, when looking to make this leap up to executive positions, it’s important to shift this to a more big-picture mindset, looking further out to the future aspirations of the business, and how you can help make these goals a reality. 

Establish Your Presence 

Networking is an essential part for many different levels of the corporate ladder, particularly when wanting to make the move up to executive leader. 

To help you succeed in this position, it’s important to recognise a vast scope of different areas your organisation comprises of, and make connections throughout these different levels of the business (further information on sustainable finance here). This can help to not only create a more holistic, forward-thinking mindset necessary for this role, but further to establish your presence and build a good reputation of yourself throughout different levels of the company.  

Final Comments

Executive leadership may seem a glamorous and exciting world, however, whilst some of it certainly can be, it’s also an incredibly challenging role to navigate. Even for those currently in these roles, the job requires a lifelong commitment of learning, with new situations continuously arising that put your skills to the test, each one as unique and demanding as the next.

Whilst the tips listed above can all go to help further your success as an executive leader, it’s worth seeking the advice of mentors and other valid sources of knowledge to help gain thorough insight in how to truly excel in this role.