The Key Traits for the C-Suite in 2018

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Predicting the Future

There are some skills and credentials that are evergreen, some may be obsolete in just a few years and others rise in prominence and become a critical part of the skillset for leaders and executives. Businesses need leaders who can respond effectively to changes in technology and accepted business practices and these needs set the agenda for what will be demanded in 2018 and the future.

Entrepreneurial-ism versus Automation

Future of work experts and AI scientists describe a future in which there are fewer full-time, traditional jobs and more jobs working for and with “thinking” machines. Advances in technology have created many new jobs that didn’t exist even a decade ago, and the technology changes won’t slow down anytime soon.

For executive this means those that succeed in the C-Suite will need a flair for navigating new environments and driving vision in transitional business contexts. It’s the same ability to break new ground that predicts entrepreneurial success, and in many cases it’s a better gauge of an executive’s potential value than his or her hard skills.

Remuneration by Performance

Annual growth for executive pay has outstripped general pay over the past decade, causing disquiet in many regions. This concern around remuneration is pushing a greater emphasis on performance related pay, be it stock awards or other short and long term incentives. The balance has grown to account to as much as 75% of over compensation in some cases and this is likely to grow as investors and shareholders look to see justification by way of KPIs on earnings per share, ROI or cost reductions. So while future earning potential is good, executives will need to deliver.

The Death of the Luddite Leader

Digital is no longer the future; it is the here and now. In the past, leaders and executives have been able to “leave the technical stuff” to subordinates and specialist teams. Businesses that want to thrive will require leaders who can cast clear vision, pivot quickly in response to change, and identify potential growth opportunities in the context of the digital world, understanding SaaS, the threat of cyber attacks and how they market their wares by social and digital marketing.

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