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The Number One Skill Required of the CEO

March 10, 2022

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I assert the number one skill required of the CEO is Attitudinal Competence – the foundation and core skill for improving emotional intelligence as well as dealing with anything.

Attitudinal Competence is your ability to choose and hold your best attitude for what’s happening, instead of adopting habitual attitudes towards the situation.

Attitudinal Competence empowers you to choose your thoughts and feelings, instead of running with the first thought and feeling that pops into your mind and body.

This enables the CEO to think about and respond effectively to what has happened, what is happening and what might happen.

Attitudinal Competence enables you to rapidly improve your emotional intelligence, including the crucial element of empathy, which requires self and social awareness and regulation.

Attitudinal Competence is a readily learnable skill.

CEOs must be expert in connecting with and influencing people, more than technical expertise or strategy, which can be supported by subject matter experts.

Whilst it is ideal that they have both people skills and the other desirable traits of leaders, they must first and foremost be people centred leaders, not strategy and technical centred, because it’s their people that make everything happen.

So, if you are a CEO who has avoided developing a deep and trusting relationship with your direct reports, because you are a thinker who is too much inside your own head and focused too much on the numbers and the outcomes, please consider that you may be better suited to being a thinker, strategist and innovator who can advise and support the CEO who can execute through effective engagement with her or his direct reports.

To be a CEO today, in these times of radical and rapid continuous change, you must be people centred, and you must have a deep and trusting relationship with your direct reports.

You cannot delegate that.

If you don’t have that deep relationship with your direct reports it means they’ll find it difficult to have that type of relationship with their direct reports and so on down the line.

As it is above, so it is below.

The organisation’s culture reflects how the leadership cohort relate and work together.   As you know, culture is crucial and without it being functional and effective, organisational success is even more difficult to achieve.

Are you authentically building and keeping a deep and trusting relationship with your direct reports?

Are you aware that it is a continuous activity, not a set and forget?

Reach out to me if you want help with this.

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