Are you executive-ready?

Are you executive-ready?
November 25, 2022 Linda Murray

If you’ve been a manager for some time, the next goal on your career plan is likely to be an executive-level leadership role. So, how do you know if you’re ready for it? You may be confident in your skills as manager, but there’s a different level of demand and expectation of leaders.

Do you have what it takes?

Strategic focus

Managing and leading has a strong focus on people and your people skills. While they are always important, an executive must be strategy-driven.

Are you able to step back from the day-to-day functions and look at the big picture?

As an executive, you will be responsible for driving the business forward. You’ll need the ability to see and understand the wider workings of the business and how it will be affected by external factors like the economy, politics or even the changing expectations of society.

Strong network

A successful executive is one who can get things done. I don’t mean doing them yourself, although you must be able to discover and open opportunities for your people to work through: You need to know the right people and have the right support and championship to power your decisions.

At executive level, you will rely on the strength of your network as you pull the business forward.

Understanding of culture

A true executive understands the culture of the organisation – what drives it, what beliefs are entrenched, what its people embrace and what they resist. The ability to work within the culture and influence positive change is critical for organisational growth.


We all know how important it is to understand ourselves, our behaviours and why we act in certain ways. Becoming an executive means many of those things will change. McKinsey & Co report “More than half of executives say they spent too little time preparing themselves for the demands of their new roles.” To succeed as an executive, you need to own the role straight away. If you’re not prepared, you risk losing credibility.


Are you prepared to accept responsibility for your own failings as well as for those of the business? The buck stops with you and you need to be willing to put the company first. You’ll need an inner strength to accept the responsibility and the ability to turn it into a way to move positively forward.

Becoming a leader requires willingness to work smarter. It takes a mix of skill and experience, along with willpower. If you want to become a leader people will want to follow, you can improve your chances by working with an Executive Coach. Develop the critical skills you need, build the beliefs you need to support you, and prepare yourself in every way to be a successful and confident executive. Learn about my Executive Coaching program and let’s see if it’s right for you.

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