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C-Suite executives represent a company’s vision and leadership. They play an integral role in communicating the company’s message to various internal stakeholders, investors, and the general public, while also leading the transformation from within. One of the fundamental elements of their role is fostering innovation across different company verticals which requires them to consider and evaluate new and different perspectives.
Both collectively as well as individually, the vision and attitudes of each member of the C-suite has a profound impact on the way a company charts its innovation journey and has been demonstrated as being integral to the success of numerous companies over the decades – from the visionary innovations of Henry Ford in manufacturing to that of Steve Jobs’ zealotry for human-centric design – innovation is a top-down phenomenon.
Here are three key lessons every aspiring C-suite trailblazer should know:
- Hire the Best
Leadership is all about working with people. Effective leaders make it a point to hire the right people for the right jobs. This may even require some people to humble themselves and acknowledge they don’t know everything – and that’s alright. Innovative leaders often surround themselves with people who’re smarter than them and in some cases, who also disagree with them. This openness to hire the best and be prepared to challenge themselves defines their success in the C-suite.
- Foster Passion
Innovative leaders ensure that their people are driven by a common purpose – from the newest intern to their boardroom colleagues. Effective leaders create an environment where excellent people connect their own personal success with that of the company, using it as a source of passion in their day-to-day work. Moreover, this form of leadership fosters deep engagement between workers and the company, and leads to a happier and more productive workforce.
- Vision and Grit
As is the nature of things, periods of uncertainty and toughs in growth can prove difficult. The rarest breed of leaders are those who can steer the ship through the storm. Such leaders demonstrate key qualities of resilience, grit, and undying vision, which is essential in keeping the pulse alive from the employees to the shareholders. By developing a perspective on the industry and the company’s role in the long-term, innovative leaders can quell fear and foster hope even during the darkest times by sharing their strength and faith in the capabilities of the people and their true value.