Characteristics of today’s post-recession C-suite Executive
Pat O’Donnell, Managing Partner of Principal Connections, outlines the most sought after characteristics of today’s post-recession C-suite Executive.
A New Landscape
With Ireland’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) forecast to grow by approximately 6 percent in 2015 and a further 4.5 percent in 2016 according to the latest research released by the Economic and Social Research Institute, it would appear that the coming years will shine brightly for Irish business.
With such economic recovery, has evolved a redefined business landscape, presenting new opportunities and equally fresh challenges. Political change, rising labour costs, cyber threats, and the availability of key skills are among some of the top concerns identified in the latest 2015 PWC CEO Pulse Survey that business leaders may have to contend with as this new era unfolds.
As leaders in senior executive search, Principal Connections is on the frontline; interacting with many of the most influential executives responsible for driving forward Irish business. While technical skills will naturally vary by functionality and industry, there are a number of core characteristics that over the coming years will separate the best from the rest of Ireland’s top business executives.
Passion for the Business
Whether we look to a blue chip multinational corporation, a non-profit entity or indeed a family owned business, there is no doubt that an executive who is truly passionate about the business that he or she leads, is far more likely to succeed. It is this infectious passion that can often invigorate inside and outside the boardroom especially in the face of adversity.
Leading from the front, inspiring and empowering others, as well as recruiting, developing and retaining key employees are amongst some of the most natural associations with the meaning of true business leadership. Leadership excellence in the C-suite can also mean individual sacrifice in favour of the business interest.
Personal aspirations must therefore be put to the side with the focus on achieving the shared organisational strategy. Meanwhile the capacity to analyse risk, demonstrate solid decision making while navigating unfamiliar territory can be the deciding factors between leadership success and failure.
The ability to define, develop and implement plans to realise the strategy of an organisation is fundamental for any executive who aspires to achieve success. However, employee inclusivity and engagement in the development and execution of such plans are now more than ever before key priorities to be addressed by today’s business leader. Where opportunity looms in pastures greener, engagement cultivates commitment and loyalty to organisational goals and values as well as enhancement of employee well-being.
Ireland’s business leaders have just led their respective organisations successfully through one of the worst economic downturns in Irish history. And while remaining competitive in a global context remains demanding, those that embrace a new corporate environment will continue to capitalise on new opportunities, welcome new challenges and shift their attentions to future priorities. Perhaps priorities such as adapting business models to embrace technological and digital advancements as well as innovating new services and solutions will enable capability to respond to real time market demands.
Pat O’Donnell is a Founding Partner and Director of Principal Connections – search & advisory. Named ‘Best in Practice for Executive Search’ at the National Recruitment Federation Awards 2015 – 2016, Principal Connections is Ireland’s leading executive search and headhunting firm.
This article was featured in Business & Finance magazine.