CEOs Are More Technical, More Social, and More Aggressive: Are You Ready to Lead?

African American Businesswoman on WhiteBy Michelle Hendelman, Editor-in-Chief

A recent infographic released by revealed that the next generation of CEOs could be bringing an entirely different set of characteristics and leaderships traits with them to the C-Suite. These traits include a greater affinity for risk, more social interaction on social media platforms, an increased focus on leveraging technology, and more aggressive growth strategies.

If you are on the leadership track, you should continually be thinking about how to develop the skills and qualities now that will equip you to be an even more effective leader in the future. The traits of the next generation of CEOs listed above are critical components of leadership that you should try to understand and master to be a good leader at any stage of your career.

Leveraging Technology in the C-Suite

The age of high tech is upon us and younger CEOs are harnessing the power of digital and applying technology as a business solution. This means that in order to be an effective leader, you should know when to leverage technology to benefit the company as a whole. According to a recent article published in Financial Times, a lack of technological aptitude in the C-Suite can negatively impact a company’s growth and development.

The key to keeping your technical knowledge sharp is to find networking groups with a tech focus. This way you can stay current so that when the time comes for you to lead; you can do so with the most current technological knowledge and skills.

This includes having a handle on the value of social media. While social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are great for spreading content and sharing company news, the real social media impact for companies is seen in LinkedIn. This legitimate platform for networking helps leaders establish a circle of virtual colleagues to use as a sounding board.

Digital engagement is an inevitable part of the future of business strategy. In fact, many of the executives we talk to have indicated that learning about all of the different ways technology can be implemented to improve business processes and strategies is something that makes their job incredibly exciting and rewarding.

Developing an understanding of social media, its applications, and results can help you be a better leader because you will have a pulse on how your clients and customers view your brand. According to one article, social media is one factor that will permanently reshape the business strategy landscape from this point forward.

Remember, however, it is not just important to know how to utilize social media as a business and leadership tool. You also should be able to measure and prove its value to your business in the short-term and the long-term.

Taking Risks that Lead to Growth

Some studies show that women are more risk averse than men when it comes to making decisions on behalf of a group. In one example, 86 percent of men preferred that their decision be implemented as the group decision, whereas only 55 percent of women wanted their decision to represent the group decision. As a leader, you should be prepared to make a lot of decisions on behalf of the employees and the shareholders in your company.

Taking calculated risks can sometimes separate good leaders from great leaders. The time is now to decide whether or not your personal risk affinity will help you or hurt you in your role as a leader.

Leading a company with an aggressive growth strategy can go hand-in-hand with risk taking. Whether it is expanding your business through acquisitions or performing an internal reorganization to streamline your people and processes, your growth strategy should be well-researched and calculated. One thing to keep in mind as a leader is to learn when to seek advice from board members or other senior level officers whose experience can be beneficial to your decision making process.

By keeping these four traits of the next generation of CEOs in the front of your mind now, you can try to develop and hone with skills required to succeed as a leader at any career level.