Do you have your eyes on the C-Suite as a career goal?.

September 28, 2020

Creating relations and building rapport is probably the single greatest thing you can do if you are involved in an organisation and you want it to be successful and if you want to be successful yourself.”  Kelvin Spiller 2020

Do you have your eyes on the C-Suite as a near or medium term career goal?   If so this episode of What Leaders Know is for you.

Kelvin Spiller has been leading from the C-Suite across Government, Utilities and the NGO sector for decades.  

Kelvin unpacks a number of his leadership frameworks, including his Five Pillars of Leadership Development.  These can be overlaid on leadership roles to provide clear steps to success.

Takeaways: Transition Support You Need To Have In Place in Preparation for new role

  1. You need to do lots of reading 
  2. Great deal of prep before you start your new role
  3. Engage a personal coach or mentor

Takeaways: Stepping to new leadership role

  1. Get clear on parameters and extent of authority of your role, the role of Your Chair and role of your team.
  2. Understand the technical aspects of the organisation.
  3. Take time to understand the environment you are working in.
  4. Understand the key leadership styles of your key people. 
  5. Build relationships with multiple people simultaneously.

Takeaways 5 Pillars of Leadership

  1. Qualifications, technical and managerial skills.
  2. Personal development, self-awareness in all situations. 
  3. Emotional and social intelligence skills.
  4. Managerial communication and engagement skills.
  5. Actively manage up down and sideways.

Takeaways: developing your leadership career with intention

  1. Have a conversation with the person you report up to get clear on the perspective of each of your roles.
  2. Be proactive and find common ground - common interests that form rapport intentionally.
  3. Recognise there is a demarcation between the role of a CEO and the role of a Chair - difficulties arise when lines crossed.
  4. Full and open disclosure on everything - no surprises.

Takeaways for when you feel your career has stalled

  1. Re-work your CV.
  2. Psychometric behavioural profile.
  1. Select key words describing leadership and team styles to formulate a brief definition of your leadership style.
  1. Three core interviews questions
  1. Why are you interested in the role - align your values with the corporate values.
  2. What value can you bring to the role - key strategic and then operational strengths. 
  3. What would you do in your first 3 months?
  1. Demonstrate collaborative leadership approach. 
  1. Watch your body language, be personable, and likeable.
  2. Have a couple of strategic questions of your own.

Takeaways for working in local Government Councils 

  1. Acquire very good influencing skills.
  2. Develop high level awareness skills of your leadership style.
  3. Recognise you will not be aligned to everyone at the table, so the ability to influence is crucial to leadership in this space.


  1. Demonstrate good communication and self awareness skills - particularly on that first meeting. 
  2. Show you have a well thought out plan with key messaging.
  3. Put in place meetings with key stakeholders.
  4. Commit to an induction program - send strong signals you are strategic, thoughtful and collaborative. 

Kelvin Spiller Book: “One Step Ahead” available on his