A CSO or a Chief Strategy Officer is the executive who communicates, executes, and oversees the development and corporation’s strategies. The CSO works with the CEO to create sustainable, long-term goals for the future development and success of the company.
But, what exactly does a CSO need to be a successful leader in the industry? While CEOs have their hands full with the overall running of the business, a Chief Strategy Officer will be responsible for providing insights on the CEO’s strategy, supporting process planning, taking various initiatives, facilitating the key initiatives, etc.
Chief Strategy Officers work closely with fellow executives, project managers, department heads, or directors. And according to PayScale, 66% of the CSOs have more than 15 years of professional experience, while 44% have more than 20 years. In this article, we’ll focus on the essential qualities a CSO needs to have to become the best in the field.
A leader must have managerial skills. An essential quality of the CSO is the delegation and management of people since they are responsible for the business plan execution. The Chief Strategy Officer might work on other tasks as well and execute strategies to achieve the goal.
Every person in upper management needs to have great communication and negotiation skills. The CSO will work closely with the other departments to ensure simultaneous work in all the spheres toward achieving the same goal.
Communication skills are crucial when the person needs to give an oral presentation so the message is conveyed accordingly to the rest of the team and other employees. When the CSOs don’t communicate effectively with the rest of the team, issues like misunderstandings, lack of interest, arguments, and delays in plan execution might happen.
CSOs need great written communication skills as well. They need to be able to envision the company’s plans properly and highlight the objectives properly. One way to do this is via letters, emails, reports, statements, or memos.
CSOs are the first people in the chain when it comes to delivering company insights that reflect market challenges and conditions. They are the go-to people when it comes to creating a coherent strategy on all business levels.
When a Chief Strategy Officer has an advising role, he needs to solicit the company’s strategic choices and perspectives, articulate a comprehensive result and outline the path to success. This type of leader needs to socialize with key stakeholders and executives to build consensus on crucial points.
Understand Company’s Priorities
Understanding a company’s priorities and how the company works overall is relevant when applying certain strategic points within the marketing. And since every CSO has a different agenda and timeline, their perspective might collide with other managers’ strategies and opinions regarding certain company matters. In this case, it’s important to understand the priorities and work toward achieving the result.
People without vision often do not succeed in leadership positions, and that’s a fact for most industries. One of the major qualities of a CSO is the concept or visualization of the result of where the company is heading to. The CSO needs to put the company in the first place and motivate the employees so they focus on achieving the best results.
The Chief Strategy Officer needs to have a clear vision of the business processes and the company’s goals. And must be able to think outside of the box. People with creative thinking and innovative ideas are those who qualify for a CSO position.
A good CSO will understand the importance of creativity, visualization, and vision and find multiple ways of achieving the goals. Additionally, the Chief Strategy Officer needs to be open to suggestions and hear thoughts and ideas from other employees and subordinates.
Take Advantage of Challenges
The CSO should routinely monitor business trends so they can keep up with the most relevant events and implement proper sentinel strategies. The Chief Strategy Officer needs to interpret the organization’s implications and create competitive scenario plans and perspective ideas that will be used coherently in the long run.
Depending on the industry and niche the CSO is working in, they often will be responsible for the implementation of the strategy. So, this strategy needs to be formulated accordingly and many times, the CSO will work as an engineer and monitor the strategy execution within the company.
Is This Enough?
While many CSOs struggle at the beginning of their career in such a position, it’s important they look at the bigger picture and perform the necessary measures to achieve the company’s results. For more information regarding managerial positions, tips how on how to be more productive in the workplace, and similar content, visit our blog.