The sort of leadership qualities required to reach the C-level is the subject of endless debate. There is much focus in the media on "strategies for success", as if following a 10-step programme can get you to the corner office.
Meanwhile, tales of ruthlessness abound in modern fiction, portraying an image of power-hungry people clawing their way to the top. Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only is the degree of humility required greatly under-estimated, but the stand-out characteristic of an innate ability to get along with potential competitors is overlooked as a critical success factor. "People skills" can mean the ability to influence people and enjoy the company of others. But it also means the ability to fuse a team of people together and get them moving in the right direction rather than just removing problematic people and replacing them with more compliant individuals. "Hard work" is a given, as many chief executive officers, chief information officers and chief financial officers will testify. And of course you really have to want the job.
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