Are the Skills Needed in the Corner Office Changing?

I’ve been engaged in a discussion with Kelvin Thompson, founder of Monta Rosa Search, about the changing demands on leaders on the Monta Rosa blog:

http://montarosasearch.com/2009/08/pillar-trends/

http://montarosasearch.com/2009/10/pillar-trends-part-2/

The work I’ve done identifying what I call Pillar Trends kicked off the conversation. Pillar Trends are major, global trends that will affect every global organization and the direction of which no individual firm can alter. In other words, it’s adapt or take your chances. The four that I’ve identified and have continued to explore are: climate change, urbanization, the aging demographics of the developed world, and the continued exponential growth of knowledge and computing power.

None of these are news but when you take them together and look at the effect that each can have on the other, you can see how the challenges for leaders are changing. The world is getting more complex and less stable, just to mention two, while most leaders are trained for a stable, predictable world with a known set of variables. It’s like expecting a star athlete to excel as a chef in five-star kitchen (an imperfect analogy, I know): the skills that allow you to succeed in one setting aren’t necessarily the ones that will need in another.

What do you think?

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