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What Makes a Top Executive Different?

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on September 1, 2008

What will it take to make it to the top of your company? A McGraw-Hill survey of some 4,000 managers, including CEOs, asked them to rank the attributes they considered most valuable to meeting that goal. The results showed that senior managers outranked their subordinates in five areas:

Responsibility. Executives tend to take on added responsibility and greater workloads through their careers.

Creativity. Senior executives seem more capable of coming up with ideas and solutions to challenges confronted in the workplace than their subordinates.

Stress Tolerance. The study showed that executives outperform managers under stress. Executives also view difficult situations as challenges to rise to, rather than obstacles to be overwhelmed by.

Self-Awareness. Executives are more exact and honest in their assessments of their own strengths and weaknesses. As a result, they are able to improve upon their identified deficiencies.

Communication. Good verbal and written skills are the hallmarks of effective senior executives. They have good ideas and communicate them effectively, they possess strong vocabularies, and they know how to market themselves.

Gene Siciliano
Western Management Associates
Los Angeles

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