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Characteristics of a Chief Business Officer: 3 Pertinent Skills

Posted by Scott Barron on May 6, 2016 2:04:22 PM
Scott Barron

An arsenal of versatile skills is an asset to any Chief Business Officer. Although all of the skills you possess will be beneficial to you in the course of your job, three specific skills are particularly important: creativity, communication and decision-making. Honing each of these skills will help you to be the best you can be in your position. 


Although often neglected by CBOs and other individuals in positions of leadership, creativity is an essential quality for leaders. Creativity allows you to think outside the box when you are faced with complex problems. For example, if you are faced with a novel problem and you have no established procedure for solving it, you can use your creativity to adapt the solution from a similar issue you have resolved in the past. This skill can also be useful in brainstorming, planning and explaining confusing concepts to others. 

Creativity is different for each individual. Even if you can't paint a masterpiece, you are still a creative being. With practice, you can improve this skill and apply it more effectively each day.


Communication is one of the most critical elements of success for any leader. CBOs need to be able to communicate effectively with their team members and the organization's stakeholders. CBOs must also be able to represent the organization's point of view and values in interactions with third parties.

Effective communication requires three components: listening, speaking and translating. Listening carefully to the words of those around you helps you to understand their point of view, and it allows you to gather valuable information. It also shows the individual in question that you value him or her as a person. When an individual feels valued, he or she is more likely to open up to you again in the future.

Articulate speaking allows you to make your point effectively when sharing your own ideas and concerns with others. Finally, "translating" refers to your ability to communicate complex ideas in the way that will be most easily understood by your intended audience. Having this skill ensures that you will be able to communicate with everyone in your organization, regardless of his or her role, background or level of education.

Decision Making

Even the most intelligent people can make bad decisions. If students, stakeholders or members of your team don't have faith in your ability to make sound decisions, however, the institution will suffer. The best CBOs are those that employ a variety of approaches when making decisions. Before deciding anything important, they gather as much information as possible, discuss the issue with others and consider all possibilities carefully. If possible, CBOs should also test different solutions before implementing them fully.

Effective decision makers understand the impact of their decisions for the organization as a whole. They seek to understand the perspectives of others, including those who may be resistant to the decision.


To learn more about improving these skills and becoming a more valuable asset to your school, check out our free infographic below.

CBO infographic

Topics: Consultative Business Officer

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