Over the course of my career, I’ve coached hundreds of executives at Cisco and elsewhere who aspired to serve on the top team. And many found their path and succeeded. One chief strategy officer (CSO) I know accepted the top strategy job after bringing his company back from the brink following the 2008 recession. Another, a banking chief financial officer (CFO), relinquished a coveted senior role at a Fortune 100 firm to accept the top finance job at a much smaller organization. Still another, now a young chief human resource officer (CHRO), managed to reinvent himself several times over until he was exactly what the CEO was looking for when she needed to unveil a new talent strategy. Each of these executives expertly managed their careers while also remaining vigilant and scanning for emerging opportunities.
So what are the most relevant capabilities that CEOs, boards, and executive recruiters look for as they identify candidates for the top team?
1. Manage your executive temperament
Landing on the C-suite short list requires the bold moves and confident displays of acumen that arguably typify executive temperament. Yet, once you are under imminent consideration, it will be just as important to demonstrate that your ego is in check.
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