Today’s most effective leaders are the most versatile leaders. Tomorrow, they’ll have an even greater impact.
When we began studying versatility in the 1990s, it statistically accounted for about a third of what it means to be an effective leader. After the global financial crisis of 2008, it accounted for about half. During the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, versatility accounted for almost two thirds of leader effectiveness. At a moment when everything changed, all of a sudden, versatile leaders helped their teams and organizations regroup, refocus, and continue to produce. Leaders who lacked versatility saw their teams get overwhelmed and fall behind.
As the next normal emerges, disruption and sudden jolts will continue to shape our world. And versatile leaders will be best equipped to effectively read and respond to those unexpected changes.