How To Get Promoted to C Level
How do I Get A Chief Role?
If I had a euro for every time someone asked me this question! The answer is really very simple, but requires a lot of courage. Most people I know have not got what it takes to get to a Chief role, whether CEO, CFO, COO, CTO etc. They like the idea of running the show and all the benefits and, presumed, ego rub that come with the position but they are not the right fit.
You need to assess whether you have what it takes.
Ask yourself these questions:
How did you get on with those questions? Leading a company takes massive amounts of courage because nothing is plain sailing. Answering yes, to these assessment questions, is a good indicator your aspirations may not be just dreams.
Now, think about your career. Maybe you are currently at a Director level or Managing Director of a division. That is great because that is where C-Suite are bred. But ask yourself these six questions:
Having owned an Executive Search Firm for seven years I know that C-Suite is not all about positive high achievements. It is knowing what to do when things go wrong, backfire or even explode in both ways. Having the theory of what to do is no match for having the experience.
If you are still gunning for C-Suite what have you done in the last three years, which can provide impressive answers to my six questions?
Yes, you may well have produced excellent results, but at this level expect questions like my six above. Have you got great examples to answer these? This is what makes a great C-Suite person and explains why so many high performers get leapfrogged by their grittier, varied experience, junior reports to the top table.
I know at the top level it is hard for people to find C level jobs, if they have only worked in a perceived easy company, or trendy company.Companies, such as Big Tech, Social Media, Big Pharma. These companies are just not attractive hunting grounds for C leaders because the perception is they will have no experience of turning around a business or working with lean budgets and breaking into new markets.
You will need to get way out of your comfort zone to prove your worth to most regular companies. If you are currently in a 'popular' company, I know these big budget companies often like to see varied C level experience and sometime take back former senior employees, after they have taken a diversion for a couple of years, to practice their leadership on someone else’s payroll!
If you need guidance and an assessment on whether you have what it takes to make it to the C-suite let’s have a call. I will be honest.
If you have the experience, and are preparing for upcoming interviews, we have a great Executive Interview Coaching Programme for these interviews. I can help you develop outstanding answers, which will pitch you perfectly for your chosen C level role in your interviews.
If you have the desire but are still lacking in the right rounded experience, I will be able to provide an actionable plan to get you on the right path using my Promotion Coaching system.
Book in a 20 minute call today to discuss your needs.
Clare Reed is a leading global expert Interview Coach with over 24 years global interviewing and coaching experience.