Welcome to the C-suite: advice for your first C-level role

By Robert Half on 5th September 2018

Taking on your first board-level role can feel both lonely and empowering all at once. The experts at Robert Half have been responsible for helping countless professionals find and conquer their first c-suite role. They share advice on how to get things off on the right foot, how to continue growing within the role, and ways to beat any nagging self-doubt.

Set the expectation from day one

From the moment you step into your new role, you start as you mean to go on. This means having a clear vision for the team, setting clear roles and being candid about expectations and processes.

A study by Gallup showed that half of employees don’t completely understand what is expected of them within their roles. Managers who make an effort to both clearly outline job descriptions and help their employees reach goals saw an increase in engagement and productivity.

Remember to listen

Articulating clear objectives is one thing, but listening is still just as important. Whether it’s other members of the senior management team or your employees, learning to maintain an open dialogue with great listening skills will help you become a better leader. It’s a key ingredient in team-building and remains the best method for making informed decisions.

Have confidence in your abilities

Beginning a new role is always a learning process, regardless of how senior the position is. If you’ve started a new executive role but find yourself plagued with imposter syndrome or doubts about your abilities, it might be time to take a step back to appreciate the skills and knowledge you’ve picked up along your career journey. Continue to trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to ask your senior management team for help when you need it.

Related: 5 ways CFO and CIO collaboration can be good for business

Trust in your team

As a C-suite executive, it’s your job to build a world-class team of empowered top performers—something rarely achieved through constant supervision, hand-holding and micro-management.

A recent survey by Robert Half into happiness at work showed that when employees feel empowered to take ownership of their work, they are more engaged and more productive. Furthermore, those that feel ‘free’ at work are 2.7 times more likely to be happy than those who are micro-managed. With this in mind, make an effort to inspire and empower your team to strive for their own success, as well as the teams’. You’ve worked hard to cultivate a dream team, so trust that they’ll perform for you.

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