A titan of industry leaves a highly successful company to head up a struggling one. “The Hispanic businesswoman drawing on paper in officeturnaround will be stunning,” financial and business industry types cry. Yet the instances where the fix is as simple or as dramatic as gaining a new CEO are few and far between.

Why? Because while top leadership is critical, it’s not the only part of what creates a market leader. Below are the four characteristics that make up a market leader:

  1. Leadership and talent. Market leaders think beyond the C-suite when it comes to leadership and talent. They emphasize a culture that values innovation. They develop management metrics. And they grow leaders from within the company – an advantage when and if there’s a need for succession planning.
  2. Information advantage. At the top of what market leaders champion are frictionless information flows and predictive modeling. Both make information accessible and efficient – a key advantage in today’s real-time environment.
  3. Customer centricity. Market leaders go beyond the buzzword, using customer insights to provide an experience that delights, focus on the most profitable customers, and drive product and service innovation.
  4. Execution excellence. As defined by companies that retain a top position in the market, execution excellence goes beyond efficient IT infrastructure and the ability to bring ideas to market rapidly to include cross-organization coordination and process excellence.

In looking at these four characteristics, market leadership extends beyond the C-suite to touch every area and every person within a company. While CEOs and product and service innovation may get the spotlight, it’s only one part of what enables one company to grow profits and market capitalization faster than its peers.

So how does your company stack up against market leaders in your industry? Are you driving innovation in the right places? Does your company place a value on efficiency and support it with the right resources in the right places?

Take our free market leadership assessment. By answering five short questions, you can begin to benchmark your company against proven leaders within your industry.