MINNEAPOLIS, June 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- New PDI Ninth House Pulse on Leaders research sheds light on factors that lead to strong, strategic leaders who can make the critical difference in an organization's success.
According to the PDI Ninth House research, five factors — both hard-wired and experienced — help shape the strategic thinking competency, including:
- Strong cognitive reasoning skills
- Natural curiosity
- Natural ambition
- The "right" kind of accumulated work experience
As a result, leaders who can easily understand and retain new information and who are naturally curious, ambitious and more sociable — all arguably hard-wired traits — have an initial advantage over their peers.
According to the study, however, the key differentiator is exposure to the right key experiences at the right time. Those leaders who possess the key hard-wired traits are more likely to be better strategic thinkers because they are more likely to seek out and gain developmentally-rich experience. For experience to be developmentally effective, however, it must be both qualitative and quantitative. It must involve a specific amount of repetition over a passage of time, as well as a specific level of contribution and responsibility.
Strategic thinking is especially important and valued at the executive levels of an organization, and strategic positioning is among the top concerns for CEOs. Many organizations, however, lack awareness of how to effectively develop this competency among potential leaders.
"There's no specific recipe for how to make the perfect strategic leader, unfortunately, but we do know that successful strategic leaders have certain, hard-wired traits in common," said Stuart Crandell, senior vice president, PDI Ninth House. "Organizations must capitalize on these hard-wired traits by bringing them out with the right learning experiences, which serve as the key ingredient for making a strategic leader. Without experience, the traits will remain untapped and undeveloped."
The PDI Ninth House study showed that to be the most effective, leaders must be exposed to experiences that allow them to progress through increasing levels of involvement. A mix of the following experiences, in sequential order, is optimal:
- Contributing to project execution
- Assuming managerial responsibility for the experience
- Leading and strategizing the effort by setting the ultimate direction and maintaining overall responsibility for the outcome
Obtaining multiple experiences at different levels within an area provides a combination of repetition and novelty, which is an optimal combination for learning.
About the Research:
PDI Ninth House and researchers from three major universities studied data from 703 executives who underwent a simulation-based executive assessment that tested competencies critical at the executive level, including strategic thinking, people, results and self-leadership competencies. The assessment also took inventory of personality, experiences and cognitive abilities, and leaders showcased their strategic thinking across business simulations.
Look for future data releases from PDI Ninth House Pulse on Leaders.
PDI Ninth House Pulse on Leaders analyzes different workplace questions on a regular basis and can be used as a source for gaining insight on the inner values of leadership talent management and leadership development, as well as leadership consulting, strategy and assessment.
About PDI Ninth House:
PDI Ninth House is the world's premier global leadership solutions company. For more than four decades, we have provided integrated assessment, development and coaching solutions around critical leadership and business challenges that most directly impact each leader's success and the success of their organization. For more information, contact PDI Ninth House at 1.612.339.0927 (in the U.S. 1.800.633.4410) or visit its website at www.pdinh.com.
SOURCE PDI Ninth House