Summary of The Catalyst Effect

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  • Applicable
  • Well Structured
  • Overview


As businesses confront new challenges, “catalytic leaders” use their command of 12 important skills to encourage superior performance. Jerry Toomer, Craig Caldwell, Steve Weitzenkorn and Chelsea Clark group these crucial abilities into four sets of competencies: “building credibility, creating cohesion, generating momentum” and “amplifying impact.” If you can’t touch your listeners’ emotions, the authors warn, your audience might not understand the message you intend to convey.

About the Authors

Jerry Toomer, PhD, is executive partner and adjunct professor at the Lacy School of Business at Butler University, where Craig Caldwell, PhD, is associate dean of Graduate & Professional Programs. Steve Weitzenkorn, PhD, is an organizational adviser and strategy consultant. Chelsea Clark, PhD, founded Chelsea Clark Consulting, LLC, a relationship research firm.



A “catalytic leader” or team member must develop 12 skills in four sets of competencies: “building credibility, creating cohesion, generating momentum” and “amplifying impact.”

The “catalyst effect” occurs when leaders and their teams collaborate to improve everyone’s performance. In an atmosphere of rapid change, leaders must make sure they don’t get left behind. To lead instead of follow, managers and their teams need to build 12 crucial competencies. Amassing these skills enables them to serve as catalysts who reinforce organizational values, build impact, and impel progress on corporate, team and individual objectives.

Catalytic leaders encourage superior performance in pursuit of organizational goals. Being a catalyst for your employees’ best performance allows you to succeed within the limits of your current position. You don’t have to usurp anyone else’s authority or seek permission to act outside your role as you grow within it.

The three skills for building credibility are earning trust through integrity, communicating effectively and energizing with optimism.

Trust and...

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