In a prior post I whined about the shortcomings of climbing the corporate ladder. What I neglected to mention is that, after years of horrific behavior modification that some call management training, I eventually became pretty good at it. In fact, I was a manager and an executive for more than 20 years.
During that time I developed a pretty good sense, from both sides of the equation, of the qualities that executives look for in up-and-comers. So, if you're one of those gluttons for punishment (and compensation) who seek a place in the esteemed ranks of corporate management, here's some free advice on how best to get there.
One caveat, though. Depending on how you interpret them, these qualities can have different meanings. They can even be watered down into almost meaningless, generic dribble. I've seen that done in dozens of corporate "core value" statements. So I tried to provide meaningful descriptions to for clarity's sake.
Ten qualities executives seek in up-and-comers:
Passion. Driven to get the job done and do it right; passion for one's function, the marketplace, the company's product, work in general; high energy level
Intelligence. There's no substitute for intelligence, with emphasis on insight, analysis of complex problems, deductive reasoning, out of the box thinking
Fearless. Willing to take risks, embrace new challenges, make mistakes, and say what's on one's mind without fear of consequences; opposite of CYA mentality
Leadership. Innate ability to motivate people to willingly do one's bidding, especially when there's no direct benefit for them to do so… Read more