Part 2 of the Most Important Skills for an Executive Director to Have


In an organization, executive directors are members with a high rank who oversee complex, broad areas of administrative duties. They have a big role in setting the overall vision of a business. They are responsible for firing, hiring, and other administrative tasks.

Last time, I discussed the most important skills that an executive director should have to excel professionally. Read more about part 1 here.

List of Skills for an Executive Director (Continued)

6. Customer Service

Customer service refers to the process of offering to help each current and potential customers by resolving issues, providing the answers to questions, and giving phenomena service to them. The primary goal in serving customers is to develop a strong relationship with them to keep them returning for more business. Here’s examples of the way customer service is leveraged in executive director roles:

  • Built partnerships by negotiation with leaders of regional hospitals and provided significant enhancements to patient care, regulatory results, and outcomes in customer service.
  • Through a nurturing environment, provided leadership that improved customer service and productivity as evidenced by outstanding survey results of facility and physician satisfaction.
  • In customer service, financial management, marketing and sale, added to the development of standard performance indicators and operating procedures.

7. Financial Management

Among the key responsibilities for the role of the executive director, there are skills related to financial management. These skills related to financial management are as follows: understand the finances of the organization, interpret the finances for the organization’s other stakeholders, and (with the board) make sure that the organization is being accountable financially to the community that it serves.

Here’s some examples of the way that an executive director would leverage skills of financial management in a role at an organization:

  • Developed tools of financial management and collaborated with the leads of departments to leverage these tools and enhance variable expense management.
  • Automated and restructured systems that manage the organization to increase the cost accountability and efficiency of financial management, project operations, and communications internationally.
  • Designed state procedures, policies and systems of financial management related to the administration of every federal nutrition program in Ohio.

8. Human Resources

Human resources refers to a group of people in an organization who are responsible for finding, interviewing, and hiring new employees to work for the organization. Additionally, they are required to maintain employee integrity and assist them in resolving their problems. They attempt to manage and introduce employee-benefit programs. Here’s examples of the use of human resources in executive director roles:

  • Designed and made updates to the agency procedures and policy directives for the following areas: Out-Patient Mental Health, Therapeutic Foster Care, Administration and Human Resources.
  • Built the infrastructure of a start-up organization to include element of the following: the human resources department, facilities, the staff, the information technology department, the accounting department, and the finance department.
  • Worked with members of senior management from human resources to design and implement the Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP) framework of the organization as well as the organizational methodologies.
  • Redesigned the human resources department to determine shortfalls within the department and implemented a tracking system in the organization to monitor personnel actions.

9. Strategic Plan

Strategic planning refers to the process of defining the strategy (or direction) of an organization and then making decisions on how to allocate the organization’s resources in pursuit of that strategy. Strategic planning might also include the utilization of control mechanisms to serve as an organizational guide for the strategy’s implementation. Here are some examples of how strategic planning is utilized by executive directors:

  • Designed and implemented divisional balanced scorecard reporting metrics and processes to support Operational and Strategic Planning and CEO Monthly Business Meetings.
  • Developed strategic plan; identified and acquired resources to create a sustainable statewide non-profit organization formed after merger of two organizations.
  • Directed all entertainment logistical support, strategic planning and contract negotiations for national and international performance artists and their management.
  • Developed and implemented a strategic plan to redevelop the symphony audiences and provide long term vision for an organizational turnaround.

10. State Regulations

High Demand

State regulations refer to rules set by authorities of a state via a particular Act. When a governmental body intervenes in the private sector to put in place policies, those actions are called state regulations. Such policies aid in meeting political, social, and economic goals which might not be otherwise achieved. Here’s some examples of the way that state regulations are used by executive director roles:

  • Ensured compliance with regulations from federal/state governments by establishing and tracking Continuous Quality Improvement activities throughout the entire facility via collaboration with the management team of the organization.
  • Interpret regulations from the federal and state governments to comply with such regulations and lead efficient integration of such established policies/procedures in the community.
  • Provide organizational leadership to the company and department managers to make sure the company complies with government regulations and standards of quality.

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