Every employee is important, but C-Suite hires are the most critical of all for the success of your company. You need cohesive, visionary leadership in order for your organization to compete and thrive. While specific needs will vary, there are certain qualities that contribute to long-term success:

Shared Values

Creating and maintaining a strong, consistent corporate culture is vital. Every addition to your leadership team must be a strong cultural fit. Look for shared passion, values and style. This will hold your culture together and provide the foundation for continued collaboration and growth.

  • Communication skills also are critical – and successful communication starts with a healthy culture that promotes and models the same value system from top down. Your leaders must clearly define your organizational values and the expected behaviors of employees at all levels.


Leadership has many attributes including personality, diligence, humility, ethics and the ability to inspire. Your C-Suite hires are responsible for driving your organization to higher levels of performance, efficiency and growth. They should be defined by:

  • Strength in team building and working collegially.
  • The natural ability to hire and develop teams. They should be more interested and skilled in developing their team versus being self-oriented.

Organizational Focus

Exceptional strategic thinking and foresight are non-negotiable in C-Suite hires. Organizational focus also requires a capability to put the business first and one’s own career second.

  • The smartest individuals recognize that success results from doing what is right for their company at all times, regardless of the situation.
  • You do not want to hire yes men or women, but you also do not want full-blown dissenters. The ideal candidate knows when to challenge others and chart a new course while sticking to business goals and objectives.


Anyone can be strong when times are good. The leaders you hire should be those who maintain strength during even the most severe adversity. They take this a step further by seeking out work that no one else wants to handle and executing it successfully.

  • A leader who will not take action because they fear failure can appear to be effectual but may actually be holding your company back. Sometimes it comes down to making a decision even when there seems to be no viable course of action. This is a key ingredient for C-level success.


Tenacity and resilience are core strengths for every hire, but especially for C-Suite executives. The best ones view setbacks and failures as learning opportunities. They are patient and persistent in spite of obstacles that emerge along the way.

  • Emotional intelligence matters. Rapid, disruptive change is today’s business norm. Leaders must be agile and able to absorb complex change in order to cope. Studies show a link between EI leadership and employee engagement, client satisfaction and the bottom line.


The executive search consultants at BrainWorks can help as you define your ideal C-Suite candidates and then attract and successfully land top talent. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.

Share this article