Senior Management Characteristics, Qualities and Skills

Senior management meets often to make final decisions about the direction of the company.
Senior management meets often to make final decisions about the direction of the company. (Image: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Senior management is ultimately responsible for whether a company fails or succeeds in meeting performance expectations every quarter. Senior management positions include the chief executive officer (CEO), the president, the vice president and administrators. The CEO hires and appoints members to the senior management team as advisers, innovators and enforcers. Senior management truly represents the face of the corporation.


Senior management develops business policies, goals and objectives. Senior management develops sound governance practices in conjunction with the board of directors, to whom it reports. The board establishes criteria for senior management, which may include strategic management, risk management and funding management. Senior management uses best practices (looking back) and "next practices" (looking forward) to determine how best to use company resources -- its human capital and technological infrastructure. Senior management articulates the company vision for the public and for the employees.


Senior management must be thoughtful and decisive because its decisions determine the future of the company. Senior management must have integrity, adhere to a high moral standard, have a long-term perspective, be open-minded and manage responsibly. Senior management must have passion about the company and express that with a positive attitude.


Senior management must have the knowledge, skills and experience needed to fulfill the full scope of its duties.


Employees take their cue from senior management, hence the phrase, “from the top down.” Senior management must be adept motivators, fully equipped to inspire employees to perform at the highest level. Managing people often comes with years of management experience and testing different leadership styles until the manager settles on what works best to achieve the best results. Senior management must possess impeccable oral and written communication skills.

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