Want the Keys to the Corner Office? Korn Ferry Reveals Top Competencies of C-Suite Executives

- “Courage” One of the Top Competencies that Differentiates Top Leaders from Mid-Level Leaders -

- Highly Engaged Executives Score Dramatically Higher in Several Competencies than Their Peers -

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- An analysis by Korn Ferry Institute scientists of assessment data from more than 1,100 professionals shows that courage is one of the top competencies needed to ascend to the C-suite. The analysis also points to stark variances in how professionals score in a host of competencies depending on their engagement and job level.

When looking at data across five major industries – professional services, technology, consumer goods, financial services and government – Korn Ferry’s analysis definitively shows that those in the C-suite are 2.5 times more likely to have high levels of courage compared to mid-level leaders.

In addition, C-suite leaders are much more likely than mid-level leaders to score highly on several key competencies. For example, when compared against mid-level leaders, C-suite members are:

  • 14.6 times more likely to score high on Being Resilient in the government sector
  • 4.6 times more likely to score high on Communicating Effectively in the consumer goods sector
  • 2.8 times more likely to score high on Balancing Stakeholders in the technology sector
  • 2.7 times more likely to score high on Building Effective Teams in the professional services sector
  • 2.3 times more likely to score high on Being Action Oriented in the financial services sector

“For many people, certain competencies such as courage or being resilient don’t come naturally,” said Stu Crandell, senior vice president, Korn Ferry Institute. “And while it’s not easy for someone who does not innately possess a specific competency to start exhibiting those behaviors, with proper development and practice, people can improve.”

The Competencies of Highly Engaged Executives

Even if leaders do make it to the C-suite, they may still need to change behaviors to stay there. Korn Ferry Institute scientists looked at the differences in competencies between highly engaged leaders vs. those with low engagement levels. The variance is stark. For example, compared to executives with low engagement, highly engaged executives:

  • In government are at least 25 times more likely to rank high in the self-development competency
  • In consumer goods are at least 25 times more likely to instill trust
  • In advanced technology are at least 25 times more likely to have the planning and alignment competency
  • In financial services are 25 times more likely to be persuasive
  • In professional services are 17 times more likely to be able to manage ambiguity

“There is a direct correlation between high rankings of certain competencies, such as ‘instilling trust’ in the consumer goods industry, and highly engaged leaders,” said Crandell. “There’s a reason this matters. High engagement usually means high performance, so organizations that develop or select leaders with increased levels of these competencies will likely see better results.”

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry (NYSE:KFY) is the preeminent global people and organizational advisory firm. We help leaders, organizations, and societies succeed by releasing the full power and potential of people. Our nearly 7,000 colleagues deliver services through our Executive Search, Hay Group and Futurestep divisions. Visit kornferry.com for more information.

About The Korn Ferry Institute

The Korn Ferry Institute, our research and analytics arm, was established to share intelligence and expert points of view on talent and leadership. Through studies, books and a quarterly magazine, Briefings, we aim to increase understanding of how strategic talent decisions contribute to competitive advantage, growth and success. Visit www.kornferry.com for more information on Korn Ferry, and www.kornferryinstitute.com for articles, research and insights.

Korn Ferry
Tracy Kurschner

Source: Korn Ferry