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The Five Critical Skills Leaders Need To Be A Champion Of Change

Source | | Joseph Folkman

Every organization is experiencing change. Some of the changes come from the external environment, such as customer expectations, government regulations, global competition, or new domestic competitors. Other changes are coming from within the organization; such as changing employee expectations, worker shortages, challenges with innovation, and flat productivity increases. 

Given that, one of the key competencies that leaders need to master is the skill of initiating and managing change. My colleague Jack Zenger and I looked at the impact of the ability to champion change on a leader’s overall leadership effectiveness rating. The overall effectiveness rating is a composite of ratings from managers, peers, direct reports, and others on 45 differentiating behaviors. 

In this study, we gathered data from a global sample of over 100,000 leaders. As you can see from the graph below, the ability to successfully champion change is directly connected with a leader’s overall leadership effectiveness rating. Scores on both dimensions matched up almost perfectly.

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