Summary of Leadership Agility

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Recommendation

In the modern economy, agility is the most important leadership skill, assert consultants Bill Joiner and Stephen Josephs. Yet, fewer than 10% of managers can contend with today’s degree of complexity and turbulence. The authors describe five levels of leadership agility and offer advice on moving up the ranks to higher levels. The authors’ model is complex: The five levels of leadership depend on skills in four competency areas, each of which draws on two mental capacities – some of which break into further subcategories. Don’t focus on the theoretical framework; dive into the helpful case histories and analysis. getAbstract recommends this heavily researched, story-rich manual to any manager or entrepreneur aspiring to visionary leadership.

About the Authors

Leadership consultant Bill Joiner teaches at Boston College’s Center for Leadership and Ethics. He and executive coach Stephen Joseph founded the consulting firm ChangeWise.

 

Summary

Agility and the Global Marketplace

Today’s global economic environment roils with unprecedented turbulence. Change happens at warp speed, with new technologies, competition and opportunities popping up everywhere all the time. The marketplace is a complicated international tangle of “interconnection” and “interdependence.”

To navigate such an environment, leaders need agility – the ability to anticipate change, and “to take wise and effective action amid complex, rapidly changing conditions.” Most companies have done little to develop agility among their leaders. Fewer than 10% of managers have sufficient agility to succeed in the long term. Only 1% of leaders perform at the highest level of agility.

An agile leader is fully present “in the moment,” able to engage with events or “step back” and see problems from new perspectives. The agile manager cultivates context and “meaning.” This leader works to draw other stakeholders into a strategic vision that boosts the bottom line, helps fulfill stakeholders’ potential and benefits the world.

“Four Competencies”

Research involving more than 600 managers reveals five levels of “leadership agility.” At...


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