Having a messy, overly detailed resume is no longer the only requirement for totally owning a job interview, even a desk one in the corner office. Cassandra Frangos is a Northeastern University alumna, and not to forget, one of the leading executive coaches in the nation. According to her, as C-suites are getting more crowded, the ability to work in harmony with the people around has become one of the most needed and vital qualities for the CEO these days.
“The C-suite is getting younger,” said Frangos. “We’re seeing more CEOs in their 40s. When Cisco promoted Chuck Robbins to succeed John Chambers to head a $50 billion company, he was 49 years old. Andrew Wilson at Electronic Arts was 39.” Corporations and big shot companies are now looking for CEOs who will be capable of being team leaders and team members at the same time.
“As companies take more risks with younger executives, it’s increasingly important for them to work effectively with a team that rounds out their skills,” she said. “If you’re a visionary, you need someone who is execution-oriented to always be playing devil’s advocate. There is more interdependence in the C-suite.”
According to Frangos, vulnerability is perhaps the most important trait for the CEOs to possess. It is then followed by strong emotional intelligence and followership. She developed this keen intellect in University, when she herself graduated in 1998, with a dual degree, in psychology and business – quite a strange combination. “I was always running across campus between classes because the two departments were at opposite ends of the campus,” she recounted. “At the time, these two fields were polar opposites, but I knew there was a strong connection.”
Her job uses her knowledge of both her degrees since her profession demands her to be a part therapist, sounding board as well as a trusted adviser. “As a talent leader, the essence of what I do is understanding the psychology of leaders and the system around them, so that I can help them reach their potential and beyond,” she said. Teamwork, according to her, is the ultimate key to reach the C-suite.