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Are you a “functionally agile” leader?

December 4, 2012

By Sarah Le Roy

To be a successful leader in this increasingly complex working environment, you’ve got to be as “agile” as possible. We at Linkage are not saying that all high-potential leaders need to perform on a balance beam or climb sheer cliffs. But it has been proven that all high-potential leaders have the capability to move in a fluid way from one context, role, situation, or skill set to the next—they all have functional agility.

Functional agility is one of several traits that separate the people we call high professionals—workers with potential but who aren’t likely to move up out of their area of functional competence from high-potential employees. High-potentials are those that are not only sponges for learning, but also take what they learn in one context or role and apply it successfully to challenging situations.

It’s also important to know that functional agility does not preclude different ways of working or thinking. It’s not a directive to brainstorm more (or less) or do anything according to some pre-determined “leadership checklist.” In fact, functional agility describes the ability to be okay, and even thrive, where there aren’t any checklists or road maps. Functionally agile leaders are accepting of ambiguity. This acceptance is a competency that some people possess more than others—just like some people can perform on a balance beam or do abstruse mathematical calculations in their head. But it’s also a quality that can be developed by exercising/stretching those leadership muscles—like taking on a project that feels just a little uncomfortable or raising your hand to coach a colleague when your preference is to keep to yourself.

More information
So, are you stretching those leadership muscles or would you rather keep to yourself? Click here to see how Linkage helps high-potential leaders make the jump to the next level.


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