In Leadership

To be a successful leader – a Soulful Executive – a member of the C-Suite must have the right character traits, values and attitude for the company culture. 

Turn on CNN or read any of the online news sites and you’ll see stories of failed executive leaders and gasp at the major, unpardonable mistakes they made. A brand can be stellar, employees passionate, and products and services best in class. But an unforgivable business sin is when one of your chief officers or a vice president chooses to overlook signs that employees are being mistreated, has a culture where it is acceptable to lie to vendors or customers, or allows an intolerant, stagnant work environment.

Many recruiters, hiring managers and HR officers struggle with finding the ideal executive, especially when employment laws prevent a prior supervisor or human resources team from sharing anything other than the date range an employee worked. If you are a CEO or HR VP in search of a Soulful Executive to fill a leadership position, you must hire someone who will inspire, mentor and innovate the team while focused on budgets, strategy and of course, growing your business.

Make sure she or he possesses these eight character traits, something I refer to as Exec-itudes:

1) A genuine positive attitude

2) A focused Go-Getter with an eye on making your company the best in your industry or market

3) Friendly Competitor: the Soulful Executive wants to win, but will not cheat, backstab, or speak ill-will of the competition

4) Genuine Kindness (also known as having the heart of a servant, as often mentioned by Southwest Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly, and by Dave Ramsey on his top-rated radio show)

5) A Natural Mentor who can inspire the team – without being reminded to do so

6) Generosity (personally cares about her/his team and is involved with community, organizations, charitable partners)

7) Emotionally Intelligent (this includes being secure enough to let members on your team take chances, give credit where credit is due, and empower non-managers go to other executives for mentoring and idea-sharing.)

8) A Nerd About Your Industry

If you work with or for an executive who possesses these eight Exec-itudes, please give him or her a shout-out in the comment section below, and message me on LinkedIn with their contact information. You, and the Soulful Executive, might be featured in a future article!

Follow Diane Ferraro on LinkedIn and on Twitter @dianeferraro

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