Big Ideas

Developing Leaders for the Next Normal

As a field, we know a lot about leadership. We know its requirements, competencies, and derailers. We know how to identify leadership potential. We know that leadership is best measured in the impact an individual has on others and the business. We know how to assess that impact, and how to coach leaders to elevate it.

We don’t know what today’s disruptive world will throw at our leaders next. They don’t know, either. We do know, however, that individuals who possess a wide range of complementary leadership competencies, skills, and behaviors – and the wisdom to know which one to use in a given situation – are the most effective. And we know that this meta-competency – versatility – can be learned, coached, and developed. That has been the focus of Rob’s career for 25 years, and it is a key advantage offered by all of our partners who employ the Leadership Versatility Index in their coaching and executive development practice.


The COVID-19 pandemic gave us a unique opportunity to see whether versatility makes leaders even more effective in times of extreme crisis. Digging through the data, Rob compared the impact of versatility on team performance and results before, during, and after the COVID-19 outbreak. The data show that versatility distinguished those leaders who rose to the occasion to help their teams regroup, refocus, and continue to deliver during the tumultuous first year of the pandemic. Remarkably, coming out of the pandemic, it continues to be a stronger predictor of effective leadership now than in “the before times.”

Rob presented his findings at the 2022 Leading Edge Consortium, and showed how versatility is the meta-competency that unites a wide range of complementary behaviors giving leaders the range and flexibility needed in today’s world of crisis, disruption, and dilemmas. We hope these findings will be useful to you as you work to prepare leaders who can meet the challenges of the next normal. 

Download Rob’s slides.


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