What Are the Ideal Qualities of an Executive?

From biotech and machine learning to cryptocurrencies and ride sharing, our economy is evolving like never before. To invite some measure of safety to this tumultuous economic environment, it’s critical to recruit executives that possess the proper qualities to steer businesses through uncharted waters. Above all else, resilience is needed to successfully navigate the market’s changing tides with unwavering poise, confidence, and creativity.

What is resilience?

Resilience is cultivated in leaders who’ve been battle-tested on the front lines of mergers, acquisitions, turnarounds, and growth periods. Additionally, solid mentorship and powerful life experiences as a youth also develop this quintessential leadership quality. Tough executives can roll with the punches and take their occasional hits, yet always bounce back to drive their team forward.

A successful CEO has the experience to see the opportunity on the other side of any challenge. In maneuvering through trying times, they know when to take charge, and when to step back and strategize. No matter how many moving parts are at play, resilient CEOs always instill confidence in their shareholders and staff through their wealth of wisdom and experience.

Resilience is an amalgamation of many virtues learned through years of real-world experience. Not only are top executives tough, but they're also vulnerable, transparent, and creative. These leadership traits build trust, respect, and buy-in from the rest of the company’s members.

 

Business Resilience

When a leader lacks resilient qualities, his or her business typically follows suit. Ineffective executives who harbor avarice and other negative character traits often propagate organizations with high attrition rate, disorganization, dissension, and lack of alignment. What inevitably follows is a noticeable sense of cynicism, distress, and frustration among the company’s staff. With these conflicts rampant in the workplace, business resilience and sustainable growth is often impossible.

Thankfully, on multiple occasions, we’ve seen such troubled organizations transform to become stable and financially secure by hiring competent leaders with the resilience to raise a sinking ship.

These effective executives who save enterprises have a calming effect on the company, not to put them asleep, but actually to wake everybody up to the fact that there are positive ways to deal with issues.

With their eyes on the prize, emotionally resilient CEOs inspire their staff towards a healthier outlook and alignment with company goals.

 

How to Be Resilient

If resilience isn’t your strong suit, don’t worry. There are many ways to develop resilience. To get started you should:

  • Always approach crises with a positive outlook and can-do attitude.
  • Accept that change is a part of living.
  • Always be open to learning.
  • Move steadily toward your goals.
  • Take decisive actions.
  • Seek opportunities for self-discovery.
  • Nurture a positive view of yourself.
  • Keep things in perspective.
  • Gather extraordinary forces around you.

Practices such as keeping a keen eye on current events, maintaining key relationships, and always making educated decisions need to be a part of an effective leader’s routine. To recruit and retain top executive talent, executive search firms identify executives who embody these traits. Just as the most tenacious athletes train for countless hours each day to come out victorious, psychologically resilient executives must constantly be improving on the professional front.

In an era where economic paradigms can shift in minutes, businesses must recruit and retain leaders who are unyielding in their efforts and resilient enough to adapt to changing times. With these leadership traits in tow, their organization will be the disruptors, rather than the disrupted.

For more information, read our ultimate guide to recruiting and hiring top executives.

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