The Top 10 Fastest Growing Skills Among CEOs in 2023


February 6, 2024

In order to navigate the complicated heights of modern-day business leadership, today’s CEOs are having to hone and adopt a host of skills to keep pace with their competitors. These range from perfecting the day-to-day operations of a business, to effectively handling customer relationships, and all are essential for driving organisational success and shaping the course of a sustainable future. Let’s take a look at some of the fastest growing skills among top leadership figures.

1. Operations Management

Up 96% since 2022

CEOs are increasingly recognising the value of being operationally proficient. This vital skill has secured its position as the number one fastest growing skill among CEOs according to LinkedIn data. Compared to 2022, 33,596 CEOs now list operations as a skill—an increase of 96%. Seamless operations management requires an in depth understanding of process administration ensuring that every aspect of the business operates with peak efficiency.

Smart resource allocation, strict quality control, and effective supply chain management are also crucial. Successful operations management entails using sophisticated problem-solving techniques, cultivating a positive team atmosphere, and competent project management. CEOs with operational skills must constantly innovate, modifying their operational plans to satisfy the changing needs of their companies. Being an operations master means guiding the business towards long-term growth and profitability, not merely keeping things as they are.

2. Digital Strategy

Up 39% since 2022

It’s so obvious now that it’s hardly worth pointing out the choke hold that technology has on our industries, our commerce and our everyday lives. It is now critical for CEOs to have a strong understanding of digital, which is why digital strategy skills have seen a 39% increase since 2022. CEOs possessing this skill are able to create and carry out digital plans that directly align with their company’s objectives and goals. This involves following online trends, making use of cutting-edge technology, and incorporating digital tools into a range of company functions, from operations and product creation to marketing and customer interaction.

A CEO skilled in digital strategy can identify opportunities for digital innovation and lead their company through digital transformation. Integrating certain software programmes into business operations can revolutionise various areas of the company. For example, Salesforce is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform hosted on the cloud that brings together components of a business, such as sales, customer service, marketing and analytics that enables transformation by streamlining these aspects into one system. If this software is effectively implemented into a business, it can transform the company’s consumer interactions by providing a more individualised and effective experience.

3. Marketing Management

Up 36% since 2022

Marketing management is an essential skill which has seen a 36% uptick amongst C-suite professionals since 2022. CEOs involved in marketing management play a critical role in shaping the company’s public image and messaging, often optimising marketing campaigns to heighten brand awareness and drive sales. The ability to analyse market trends, customer behaviour, and competitor activities enables them to make informed decisions that enhance the company’s market presence.

A CEO with marketing management skills also allows them to effectively collaborate with marketing teams, providing guidance and insight into product development, pricing strategies, and promotional activities. They also leverage digital marketing tools and analytics to measure campaign effectiveness, adapting strategies for maximum impact. This skill is crucial for CEOs to ensure their company’s marketing efforts are cohesive, targeted, and effective in achieving business growth and customer satisfaction.

4. Analytical Skills

Up 34% since 2022

A CEO needs to be able to analyse and comprehend a wide range of data sets, deconstruct complicated problems, and draw actionable conclusions, hence the 34% increase in analytical skills since 2022. With these abilities, a CEO can make well-informed strategic decisions and demonstrate foresight by analysing financial information, market trends, and performance indicators.

These skills encompass more than just data interpretation; they also involve the precise application of analytical insights to support the company’s strategic goals and guide decision-making. A CEO’s capacity to use analytics to formulate astute business plans provides a crucial competitive advantage in the era of big data. It gives them the ability to predict changes in the market, streamline processes, and match choices to the long-term goals of the business, guaranteeing long-term success and growth.

5. Technical Support

Up 27% since 2022

A CEO’s ability to provide technical support, a skill which has seen a 27% increase since 2022, involves applying their knowledge of and proficiency with technology to advance organisational objectives and address problems. CEOs don’t have to be computer experts to make strategic decisions; they should, however, be able to communicate effectively between technical and non-technical teams and understand how technology may improve processes, services, and goods.

CEOs that possess this ability are better equipped to plan and manage technology expenditures, foresee and reduce technological risks, and foster an innovative culture. Their ability to bridge gaps, convert technological ideas into business strategies, and use technology for competitive advantage is facilitated by their understanding of technical issues.

6. Financial Analysis

Up 22% since 2022

For CEOs to make well-informed decisions regarding the financial health and strategic direction of their organisation, financial analysis is an essential skill, which has seen an increase of 22% since 2022. In order to make strategic decisions, a CEO adept in financial analysis can study financial accounts, evaluate the performance of the firm with accuracy, and decipher complex data. To be able to identify risks and possibilities, this requires assessing investment prospects, comprehending market trends, and examining rivals.

Additionally, having strong financial analytic skills helps CEOs anticipate and plan for future financial results, which ensures the long-term viability and expansion of the business. They are more competent at managing cash flow, allocating resources, and guiding the business through changes in the economy.

7. Business Management

Up 21% since 2022

Being able to handle multiple facets of an organisation, such as resource optimisation, operational efficiency, and strategic planning, is a critical competency for CEOs. Possessing good business management skills enables CEOs to identify growth possibilities, adjust to changes in the market, and effectively determine the company’s long-term direction. They make crucial choices that affect the course of the business and guarantee that day-to-day operations are in line with strategic objectives.

CEOs that are skilled in business management also succeed in developing and leading teams, which fosters a positive and effective work environment. They oversee financial matters such as investments and budgets, preserving the financial stability of the business. Their understanding of market dynamics is also essential for creating marketing plans that increase brand awareness and increase sales. Essentially, business management skills help CEOs successfully combine different company operations, which promotes overall organisational success.

8. Customer Relationship Management

Up 21% since 2022

For CEOs to maintain and improve company-client relationships, customer relationship management (CRM) is an essential skill, one that has seen a 21% rise since 2022. CEOs with CRM expertise put the needs of their customers first since they know how important they are to their company’s expansion and image. They guarantee that the company’s products and services meet the needs of the client and establish a customer-focused culture throughout the entire organisation.

CEOs with experience in customer relationship management (CRM) also use data and analytics to comprehend consumer behaviour and preferences, guiding customised experiences and targeted marketing. In order to maintain and grow the firm in a cutthroat market, this ability is crucial for both bringing in new clients and retaining existing ones.

9. Accounting

Up 21% since 2022

For CEOs, accounting is a critical skill that forms the basis of solid financial management and decision-making. A CEO with accounting expertise is more likely to make well-informed strategic decisions since they have a thorough awareness of the company’s financial situation. They can provide insights into cash flows, profitability, and financial risks by interpreting financial statements, budgets, and balance sheets.

A CEO with strong accounting skills may also provide openness and bolster investor trust by communicating financial facts to stakeholders in an efficient manner. They may supervise budgetary planning, control spending, and guarantee regulatory compliance—all essential for the long-term development and prosperity of the company. This skill is especially crucial for steering the business through tough financial times and seizing chances for growth and investment.

10. Information Technology

Up 19% since 2022

CEOs need to have a strategic understanding of technology in order to use it to promote innovation and improve business performance. CEOs that are IT savvy can incorporate technology into their business’s operations and culture to maintain competitiveness in the digital age.

These competencies empower CEOs to supervise the deployment of effective technological platforms, improve client interactions, and support data-informed decision-making. They ensure that investments in technology are in line with corporate objectives and that the business is ready for new technologies. Furthermore, an IT savvy CEO can manage cybersecurity concerns, safeguarding the company’s data and brand. This understanding is critical for operating a modern organisation that can adapt to rapid technological and market developments.


In summary, these skills reflect the evolving demands of modern leadership. Our executive search services find leaders who embody these qualities, ensuring your organisation is guided by the best towards success and innovation. Partner with us to connect with visionary executives ready to propel your business forward.

Published on 06-02-2024