What it takes to be a C-Level Executive

There are many paths to make it into the C-Suite. All of them take an immense amount of ambition, hard work, and leadership skills. Becoming a C-Level executive is every bit as tough as you would think and for good reason. Those who have made their way into top leadership have all worked extremely hard to get there. Each individual’s determination and efforts got them to where they are, but each and every one of them possessed a certain set of skills. Some of these skills are listed below. If you aspire to entering top leadership of a company, see if you have some of these very skills within you.

Bridge Building

Working at the top of the leadership team requires quite a bit of bridge building in order to be successful. Managing business relationships requires a significant understand of forming and maintaining them. You have to build the bridge in order to form new business opportunities. Once you have built the bridge, the connection is there for both parties to work together and achieve common goals.


Having a vast knowledge base to draw from is another essential trait to possess. In order to lead a company, you have to know the industry and the business inside out. This positions you to speak from authority to investors, new hires, and every person who comes in contact with your company. People are going to look to you for answers, so it’s very important to be equipped with the knowledge to provide answers and solutions.


Accepting a C-Level position also requires a fair amount of natural abilities. The innate talent and intuition of leadership is hard to come by. All successful C-Level executives have a bit of leadership engrained into their DNA. It’s who they are – natural born leaders. Obviously, this drive and talent are not the only thing one needs, but it is the magic spark that sets these individuals apart from the pack.

People Management

Finally, people management is another key skill needed to break into the C-suite. When taking on a role in top leadership, that inevitably comes with the responsibility over a large group of people. Having excellent people management skills is vital to your success within top leadership. You’ll inevitably have to navigate difficult situations, make tough calls, and oversee hiring. In all of these situations, your people management skills will be the foundation of how you navigate them.