Four Signs You’re Ready for the C-Suite

Beyond having the credentials that suggest you’re ready for a top-level leadership position, there are specific tell-tale signs that indicate you’re prepared to advance to the tippy-top of an organization.

The average age of a C-suite member is 54 years old, as measured in a 2016 Korn Ferry study of the top 1,000 US companies by revenue. Therefore, most C-level leaders have 25+ years of experience. If you’re a leader with 20+ years of experience and wondering, “Do I have what it takes to be top-dog?”, here are four signs you might be ready:

  1. Implementation of your vision is standard. Are you the person who frequently has big ideas? Are you connecting dots that others don’t see? Do you plan high-level initiatives to arrive at the desired destination? If this is you, and your visions continue to be implemented time and again, you’re likely ready to be the “big boss.”
  2. You’re decisive and can course-correct if needed. Top-level leaders spend the majority of their days making decisions. When leaders take too long to make decisions, an organization can languish. The best leaders take in a diverse set of opinions and data points, and then expeditiously determine the course, after assessing calculated risk. When done this way, people can get to work. Then, once given new data, the best leaders will change course as needed and show a willingness to reopen decisions if they were wrong.
  3. You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room. If you relish in hiring people more intelligent than you and don’t see it as a threat, you are properly ready to be in charge. The ability to know what you don’t know, and then find people who do is a superpower mixed with a dash of humility that unfortunately, many C-suite leaders lack.
  4. You put people first. When it comes to decisions about business strategy, company performance, and creating shareholder value, you realize that all of these things are dependent on people. In knowing that all business outcomes stem from the efforts of individuals, you, therefore, prioritize organizational culture, employee engagement, and the overall satisfaction of your people.

In wondering if you’re ready for a top-tier leadership position within your organization, assess yourself on each of the above four criteria using a scale of 1-5 (1 being never and 5 being always). If your total is a 17 or higher, throw your hat into the ring for a C-level position! Then, when you’re ready, ensure you have robust responses to the three most common interview questions which you can find HERE along with response strategies.