By Linda Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS, CSMCS, CELDC

Successful executives often have similar behaviors that can be translated into goals for your professional life.

People don’t get to the top of their fields without a few key behaviors that you can emulate in your own work life; the key is recognizing these behaviors and understanding how to apply them.

Check out these successful executive behaviors and learn how you can apply and become a successful executive yourself!

They Delegate

Successful executives know when to delegate tasks and when they should be handled personally.

The ability to delegate requires a trusted and reliable team to delegate tasks and projects to who you trust to deliver on time and within specified constraints.

Micro-managers often don’t rise much farther than middle management because they spend too much time worrying about other people’s tasks and not enough on their own. High level executives know it is just as important to delegate as it is to handle tasks on their plate using the most efficient methods.

They’re Reliable

Successful executives didn’t get where they are by being unreliable.

Being on time or early, completing tasks assigned, and having consistent behavior are all keystones in executive personalities. People who work their way up through the ranks have proven themselves to be reliable and are people that can be turned to in a crisis.

They Let Things Go

There are office politics and conflicts that arise in every workplace. Successful executive behavior includes letting go of grudges and getting over conflict.

Once something is resolved, whether or not they like the outcome, successful executives move on and keep doing their jobs. Focusing on building and growing the company, looking at the big picture, and not getting caught up in the minute details make for a successful executive.

Staying civil with coworkers keeps your working reputation positive. You never know which coworkers can help you further your career path.

They Share Credit

Executives don’t get where they are by hogging all the credit, which may surprise some people.

Very few people complete big projects and handle all the tasks alone and those who share the credit, or give it away completely, are more likely to be seen as humble and good team-players.

A manager whose team is successful is also successful, yes, but a manager who gives the credit to his team who made an endeavor successful is still successful and has the trust and respect of their team.

Accepting credit where it’s due is important but sharing credit when it should be shared is critical.

They Are Independent and Communicative

There’s a fine line between independent and aloof.

The ability to be self-driven and work on their own is an excellent quality in an executive but if no one knows what they’re up to or where their projects are, they can seem aloof or incommunicative.

Worse yet, people may not realize they’re getting anything done. Keeping key people aware of the status of projects without relying on them for input at every turn is a great quality that allows for both communication and independence.

High level executives turn to key people when they need projects done and you’re more likely to get these projects if those executives know you’ll take charge and keep them informed of project status along the way.


Successful executives start out as successful employees.

Applying these successful executive behaviors in your career now can help pave the way for a successful executive career in your chosen field.

Let’s get to work!

– Linda

If you have questions about your executive career search, please contact me at 203-323-9977 or [email protected]