Find out the top 10 core skills you need to master as an executive director and what hard skills you need to know to succeed in this job.

The executive director is responsible for overseeing the programs, administration, and the strategic plan of the company. He/she also performs other functions pertaining to research, marketing and social corporate responsibility and always reports to the board of directors of the company on any issues relating to the affairs of the company.

Besides that, he or she can perform the following functions; planning and operation of the company's annual budget, review and approve contracts for services, establish collaboration with other institutions, establish administrative policies and procedures for the company, overseeing boards and committee meetings and any other task assigned by the board of directors.

Core Skills Required to be an Executive Director

Core skills describe a set of non-technical abilities, knowledge, and understanding that form the basis for successful participation in the workplace. Core skills enable employees to efficiently and professionally navigate the world of work and interact with others, as well as adapt and think critically to solve problems.

Core skills are often tagged onto job descriptions to find or attract employees with specific essential core values that enable the company to remain competitive, build relationships, and improve productivity.

An executive director should master the following 10 core skills to fulfill her job properly.

Public Speaking:

Public Speaking though closely related to presenting differs in that it is the process of performing a speech before a live audience with the purpose of informing, persuading or entertaining.

An Executive Director must be equipped with good public speaking skills to be able to address an audience through presentations or talks to drive the point home and create a reputable record.

Giving Feedback:

Giving Feedback is one of the most powerful tools to develop employees and improve performance through honest feedback of the work done best and areas that need improvement.

An Executive Director should be skilled in giving out both praise and criticism in a wise way to occasionally show workers where they need to improve and providing them with an observer's insight into the progress of their performance.

Work Attitude:

Work Attitude is one's feelings towards and beliefs about one's job and their behavior that can tell how it feels to be there.

An Executive Director ought to encourage his workers and provide all the requirements for the workplace to ensure a positive attitude is maintained by the employees that can help them get a promotion, succeed on projects, meet goals and enjoy the job more.

Emotional Intelligence:

Emotional Intelligence is the capability to identify your emotions, understand what they are telling me and realize how the feelings are affecting you and the people around you.

An Executive Director should be wise to handle different personalities that carry different emotions presented in the workplace while ensuring relationships are managed more efficiently by respecting your perception and the employee's as well.

Attention to Detail:

Attention to Detail is the capacity to achieve a thoroughness and accuracy when accomplishing a task.

An Executive Director needs to have this prime characteristic and utilize it in a high performing organization that allows both the customers and staff to understand the need to be keen to all the details required to avoid massive costs for overlooked details that are common in the workplace.

Consistency and Reliability:

Consistency and Reliability are the ability to be trusted to do what you do best all the time with or without supervision and without failure to produce results.

An Executive Director is liable to maintain a high level of consistency and reliability by engaging with employees and treating them with respect deserved which produces excellent results in various kinds of reliability coefficients.

Personal Commitment:

Personal Commitment is an obligation that you have voluntarily agreed to fulfill without being cajoled or threatened and are willing to be held accountable for the results.

An Executive Director ought to understand that though adopting new policies and procedures will be met with resistance, the approach by which safety standards are implemented and enforced influences employee's attitudes and commitment towards the organization.

Goal and Objective Setting:

Goal and Objective Setting is the strategic plan that is set and laid down identifying how goals should be accomplished, by who and by what time.

An Executive Director must detect and schedule each employee's goals, strategy, and objectives and keep motivating them to ensure all of them are met within the set time bringing growth to both the company and the employee.

Project Management:

Project Management is structuring a to-do list for your project or company containing tasks and responsibilities as well as creating a roadmap for the execution of those duties promptly.

An Executive Director must place emphasis on the application of the project management methodologies and principles by the staff in the daily functions and responsibilities to foster efficiently as well as create a competitive advantage in the heavily competitive business space.

Knowledge Management:

Knowledge Management is the ability to manage knowledge and information that is presented to the company from different sources without overlooking any of them.

An Executive Director ought to creatively channel all the new information, tools, input, and methodology mean by actively practicing the art of knowledge management within the business by harnessing the organization's inherent wisdom's platform in one place.

Hard Skills Required to be an Executive Director

Hard skills are job-specific skill sets, or expertise, that are teachable and whose presence can be tested through exams. While core skills are more difficult to quantify and less tangible, hard skills are quantifiable and more defined.

Hard skills are usually listed on an applicant's resume to help recruiters know the applicant's qualifications for the applied position. A recruiter, therefore, needs to review the applicant's resume and education to find out if he/she has the knowledge necessary to get the job done.

An executive director should have a good command of the following hard skills to succeed in her job.

Executive Director: Hard skills list

Advertising Promotions
Budgeting Principles
Business Acumen
Business Development
Business Planning
Business Strategy
Cost Analysis Theory
Economic Data
Economic Principles and Trends
Effective Time Management Techniques
Emergency Management Principles
Financial Analysis
Financial Management Principles and Theories
General Financial Analysis
Interviewing Techniques
Market and Customer Knowledge
Marketing Strategy
Merger & Acquisitions
Negotiate Business Contracts
Negotiation Techniques
Operations Management
Organization Management
Organizational Accounting or Budgeting
Organizational Development
Organizational Theory
Principles of Business Law
Project Management
Public Administration Principles
Public Policies and Laws
Public Relations Techniques
Resource Development
Sales Management
Senior Financial Management
Statistical Cost Estimation Methods
Strategy Development
Strategic and Tactical Planning
Strategic Management
Strategic Marketing
Strategic Partnerships
Strategic Planning
Strategic Sales
Social Media Marketing
Numeracy (high level of numeracy)
Strategy Approach
Write Project or Bid Proposals

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