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Jun 21, 2023

AI won’t get you in the C-Suite

Sponsored Content provided by Holly Segur - Strategist, Coach, Accountability Partner, Lead Intuitively – Corporate Coaching

I recently attended an HR conference with around 25,000 professionals and one of the speakers mentioned that he used ChatGPT to create his entire presentation. To say that this was terrifying may be hyperbole, but the thing is, a lot of the content produced by AI is not all that accurate, or...interesting.

The appeal of ChatGPT is easy to see. AI is taking hold because people love a crutch, an easy fix—a shortcut. But it cannot replace experience, competence and intuitive behavior - all of which are necessities for landing a role in the C-suite.  

As a retired senior executive from a Fortune 300, I understand and appreciate the drive and ambition it takes to ascend to senior leadership.  And while you can influence the pace of your career, you cannot short-cut the required behaviors that are necessary at the top. 

Here are the critical competencies decision-makers are looking for when assessing your readiness for senior leadership:  Get experience outside your current responsibility. Work on projects that are going to drive the corporate vision. The role of an executive is to contribute to the well-being of the company, not just a department.

Seek out opportunities to participate in strategic projects that drive change, solve problems, or meet new customer demand.  I know, your schedule is already full! However, it’s important to show your willingness to drive change and improve the performance of the company. So make time. Consider it a classroom in corporate strategy. You will learn big picture thinking and appreciate how your function contributes to corporate success. It will also teach you about the inner workings of the company, and give you visibility to the stakeholders who will one day make the decision on your promotion.

If you aren’t in a position to sit on a strategic project, then take a more self-directed approach to assessing and understanding your knowledge of broader corporate information.

Start by asking yourself the following:

  • Do you know who your customers and key suppliers are?
  • Are you up to date on the current state of the company’s relationship with them?
  • Do you have a solid grasp of company operations that extends beyond your department and/or job role?  Do you have relationships with your peers in these operations?
  • Are you able to articulate your department’s successes/failures to other areas of the company?
  • What is your comfort level with financial information, such as P&L statements, balance sheets and annual reports?
  • What do you know about the industry in which your company operates? Do you read trade journals or websites? Are you a part of any broader industry associations?
  • Do you have a vision for the team you lead today?
By demonstrating a broad knowledge of the many different aspects of the company, you can increase your chances of being promoted into executive positions significantly. 

There are, of course, many other ways that you can increase your marketability to the leadership and this article is only scratching the surface. If you have your sights set on a C-suite position and want help preparing for the role, reach out to me at email: [email protected]; or LinkedIn:

Holly Segur is a 30-year veteran of the corporate world with experience navigating C-suite reporting. A retired senior executive from a Fortune 300 company, Holly positions her clients to attain the best possible work/life balance ‘sway' and understand the emotional choices required to ‘have it all.’ By helping her clients develop short- and long-term strategies for their personal and professional lives, Holly helps her clients achieve their goals with relationships, health and passions intact.

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