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These are the four skills you should highlight on your CV, according to top CEOs


According to a group of top CEOs, there are four skills that recruiters look for in future business leaders.

In a post published on LinkedIn Learning, Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post and Thrive Global, Bill George, longtime CEO of Medtronic and currently a leadership professor at Harvard Business School, and Ryan Holmes, CEO of HootSuite, shared their thoughts on the challenges that will face tomorrow’s leaders, and the skill set they will need to succeed.

Ready to smash that glass ceiling? Scroll down to discover skills that you should highlight on your CV. And if you want more career advice don’t miss this year’s Stylist Live, where successful entrepreneurs will be sharing even more advice from our Grow stage (if you’re thinking about changing careers, we recommend the 12:30 talk on Friday 10 November – ‘How to break into a business you know nothing about’).

1. Purpose

“One of the most important skills for a CEO – and one that is only going to increase in importance – is finding and maintaining a sense of purpose,” says Arianna Huffington. “Many people think of purpose as something that’s fixed, but purpose is actually a skill, one that can be built and nurtured throughout an organization so that everyone within the company has internalized what the company stands for beyond profits and growth.”

“Millennials and Gen Xers only want to work for leaders who are authentic: open, sharing, true-to-their-values, compassionate, committed to a clear sense of purpose and, most importantly, possessed with courage to make bold decisions,” adds Bill George.

Read more: 9 books you need to read to boost your career, according to successful entrepreneurs

2. The ability to empower employees

“CEOs have to learn how to recruit and manage talent to keep pace with rapid change,” says Reid Hoffman. “Rather than focusing exclusively on salary or perks, make your organization the best possible launch pad for amazing careers.”

According to the report, today’s employees want ownership over their roles, purpose in their work and learning opportunities to advance their career – and if those expectations aren’t met, they will start looking for work elsewhere.

Arianna Huffington adds that setting examples of a healthy work-life balance and wellness are equally important factors to consider, since research proves that professionals do their best when they are able to enjoy both plenty of sleep and time away from work.

“We’re overwhelmed by technology, and that’s only going to increase,” Huffington said. “Technology allows us to do amazing things, but – if we let it – it also accelerates the pace of our lives to the point where it consumes our attention and our ability to focus and be present. And it’s going to be those CEOs who are able to truly disconnect – and reclaim the time and space they need to be creative, to innovate, to access their own wisdom and intuition – who will win the future.”

Here are the most desirable skills for future CEOs

3. A willingness to learn

In a world that’s moving forward at an unrelenting speed, future CEOs need to be comfortable with one major thing – change.

And in order to react to that change, aspiring business leaders must be willing to keep learning.

“As a CEO, you need to become an infinite learner to make yourself more adaptable,” says Reid Hoffman. “The world of business is changing, and you can't rely solely on your previous expertise, no matter effective it has been until now.”

The report suggests looking towards successful CEOs who dedicate time each week to learning, and gives Mark Zuckerberg and Oprah Winfrey as key examples.

Read more: Why the quietest colleague in the office may have the last laugh

4. Being active on social media

According to Ryan Holmes (the CEO of social media tool Hootsuite), 61 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs have no social media presence at all – and that’s a mistake.

The business leaders who are active on social media – Holmes, Hoffman, Huffington and George among them – have a platform from which to share their message directly with the world, not to mention an opportunity to showcase their purpose and attract the best talent to their company.

“For CEOs, social media is, in no uncertain terms, a core competency,” says Holmes. “Those who are able to master it tap into the most dominant communication platform today. Those who ignore it risk having the competition eat their lunch.”

Stylist Live brings everything you love about Stylist magazine to life across three days of experts, interviews, comedy, food, beauty and fashion exclusives. 10-12 November, Olympia London. Find out more at live.stylist.co.uk

Images: iStock



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