3 min read

Top 3 CPO Skills in 2022

Many people want to climb the corporate ladder, moving from a director-level position to landing that coveted role of CPO. But doing so is no easy feat.

Instead, becoming a successful executive and taking on the responsibility of that significant leadership role takes extra, and specific, skills. We’ll take a closer look at the top three CPO skills organizations need to thrive in 2022.

How Are CPO Skills Evolving

High-level leaders, such as CPOs, must possess the traditional executive skills and competencies crucial to the successful overseeing of their organizations. However, as we move forward into 2022, times are quickly changing, as are the ever-growing expectations—and requirements—for those in executive leadership roles. Simply put: They must be more because they are now required to do more.

As the world evolves—and departments are more interconnected—a CPO is required to wear more hats than ever, becoming a leader that can cross departmental divides to get the job done seamlessly.

The traits necessary for a CPO to be successful in their role have evolved to overlap with traits more traditionally linked to other departments. These include (but aren’t limited to) leadership skills, HR skills, and team management skills.

What Are the Top CPO Skills?

Professionals seeking leadership roles need to foster and possess distinct abilities before becoming effective executives. These are the traits that separate your average worker from those capable of climbing the ladder to reach those high-level leadership roles.

These traits—let’s call them CPO skills—reveal who can navigate the high-pressure circumstances of running a company and effectively lead a team of workers simultaneously. For instance, CPOs have to navigate unprecedented shifts amid the far-reaching complications resulting from COVID-19, to name one (big) example.

So, what are these CPO skills that executive leaders need to truly succeed? While this is not an exhaustive list, a few of our must-have CPO skills and traits include cultural awareness, strategic forecasting, interpersonal skills, and active listening. Also on the list are big picture thinking, negotiation, stress management, and information processing. Let’s discuss our picks for the top three CPO skills for 2022.

1. Big Picture Thinking

A successful CPO should have the ability to see the big picture. After all, an executive’s chief responsibility is to be the leader of the entire organization, which involves shaping and guiding the corporate ship. To navigate these corporate high seas (which, let’s face it, aren’t always calm) requires the CPO to know how the departments and people fit together and where the needs are. They also have to step back and see where the ultimate destination and goal end is—and how they will get there.

The CPO deals with leading their team in the present, but also factors in how changes implemented today will affect where the corporate ship is anchored 5–10 years from now. This type of big picture thinking is required to ensure that journey is (mostly) smooth sailing.

2. Decision-Making

While possessing a big picture mindset is important, it requires more than having an all-encompassing vision and forward thinking. You also need to take that vision and employ the necessary steps to make it a reality. This requires stellar decision-making skills.

What makes for sound decision-making? Confidence, for one. Executives have all the pressure on their shoulders since they make critical decisions that will have far-reaching and long-term effects on their organization. Good judgment regarding timing is also pivotal. There may never be a perfect time to make a decision—which is why executives must be bold and make the tough decisions with the best information available.

Lastly, excellent decision-makers are not afraid or too proud to seek wise counsel. After all, even Steve Jobs was known to surround himself with the brightest minds in the business, often seeking their advice and insights.

3. Team Building

Not to be forgotten is the skill of team building. Collaboration is vital when leading an organization. After all, if your team is divided and not working together, you run the danger of everything breaking down.

The bottom line is this: Your team will follow your lead, as a company’s culture flows directly from the top and trickles down. So, not only is who you choose to hire important, but it’s equally vital that you foster a spirit of cooperation and collaboration among the upper leadership in your outfit. This has a trickle-down effect on the rest of the team.

For a few tips on how to get started and some exciting opportunities for team building in 2022, check out this list of executive team-building ideas.

A successful CPO must possess an arsenal of skills, experience, and many other critical characteristics. Do you have what it takes to be a high-level leader? Let us help you get there. Join the Procurement Foundry today to get started.

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