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24 2012

C-Suite is All About Handling Complexity

Syndicated from: Fulcrum Associates | Leadership Development and Teambuilding

A study a couple of years ago the Center for Creative Leadership asked 158 executives enrolled in their leadership development programs what are the three most critical challenges you currently face? Their responses clustered into 14 categories but the four most frequently mentioned were: Leading across multiple groups (building maintaining and leveraging relationships across all kinds of boundaries) Strategic issues (vision, goals, strategies) Talent management (acquiring, developing, engaging, and retaining the right personnel for now and the future) Business operations & performance (executing organizational programs, processes, projects, with supporting systems) These are four baskets of complex tasks! They all involve what expert Ron Heifetz calls “adaptive challenges,” ones for which there are no known, technical fixes. Adaptive challenges call for a leader with nuanced, big picture thinking, an intuitive sense of the organizational culture and trends in the environment, plus a willingness to experiment & adjust, sit in the midst of uncertainty, and admit he/she doesn’t have all the answers. Bob Anderson of The Leadership Circle says such leaders have a “leadership operating system” that has been “upgraded,” in terms of the classic stages of adult development. I think one cutting edge element of leadership development is the linkage between the effectiveness and adult development. This is why we use The Leadership Circle Profile and Leadership Culture Survey instruments in our work with individual executives and C-Suite teams. © 2012, Ian Cook. All rights reserved.

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