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5 Key Traits of a Leading Executive


October 23, 2019

Top talent that can help pivot an organisation towards greater success.  With the ongoing political uncertainties in the UK, together with local and international pressures, it’s worth bearing mind some of the key traits that can help develop your executive career and for executive search and selection firms begin to approach you for new opportunities.

  1. Seeks continuous improvement

One trait all highly successful people share is that they continually seek to improve themselves and everything around them. Growth generally comes because of finding better and more effective ways to do things, and the right executive will never stop working to make a company bigger and better than it was before.

  1. Takes calculated risks

It can be very tempting for an executive to play it safe and not take many risks. After all, risk means you could potentially lose money, lose your good reputation, or lose opportunities that you otherwise could have had. But playing it safe means you will lose other things. Often that means losing opportunities to grow and develop. It’s important that executives aren’t reckless but instead that they take calculated risks in order to propel their company forward.

  1. Learns from mistakes

If you take enough risks, it will probably lead to some mistakes along the way. Mistakes are not necessarily detrimental. The important thing is that an executive learns from their mistakes so they don’t repeat them. It’s often possible to come back stronger from mistakes if you’re able to learn the lessons they have to teach. An executive who learns quickly from mistakes will be an irreplaceable asset to your company.

  1. Handles adversity well

In interview situations, no one really wants to talk about their failures or the hard times they have gone through. It is, however, crucial for your executive search consultant to know what you, as an executive, have found challenging and how you overcame these difficulties.

  1. Approachability

An executive without communication skills is not likely to get very far, but communication skills is a broad term that covers a lot of ground. One aspect of communication is interpersonal in nature. An executive that is approachable will avoid the ivory tower mentality that can make them lose touch with the people who really make the company work.

About Brendan Catney

Brendan is Principal Consultant at Forde May Consulting. Brendan has vast experience working on projects across multiple functions including Finance, HR, Operations, Commercial, Marketing with a strong focus on new Technology developments. Passionate about innovation and change, Brendan has worked with large multinational, growing SME’s and PE-backed organisations that are experiencing fast growth and transformation.

Brendan holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Civil Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA). 

For a confidential conversation about how Brendan can help your organisation attract the next generation of industry leaders, you can contact Brendan by email on Brendan@fordemayconsulting.com or by calling on 02890 628877