Being smart, accomplished and talented is not enough to get to the C-Suite. As with any goal, if the C-Suite is where you want to be, you need a plan. And then you need to get the best resources to help you implement your plan.
We recently sat down with Robin Toft, CEO of The Toft Group, an Executive Search firm specializing in placing C-Level executives in the Life Sciences throughout the United States. After many years in executive search, Robin has seen the differences between how men and women navigate their career paths. Robin shared with us what she considers the top resources every professional needs to move into the C-Suite and also shared some observations of how men and women navigate this path differently.
No. 1 Get a Mentor
These are people who are in the roles you want, who can share their experiences with you, provide feedback and direction. Robin mentioned that mentors aren’t just for folks aspiring to be in the C-Suite, but for those who have reached that goal and want to stay relevant, continue to reach higher and share practices.
In many industries men are in the majority of the leadership roles, so having their insight can be invaluable. Likewise, having a sponsor (a mentor who advocates for you) can make a difference in whether or not you are recognized for a role you want by giving you exposure to top management, putting you on projects that showcase your abilities, and helping you get recognition for the value you bring the organization.