SALT LAKE CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Many people continue to believe that senior leaders in an organization don’t really need technical depth or knowledge; it's more important for them to have great leadership skills. However, Zenger Folkman’s assessment of 57,000 leaders shows that those with the highest scores in technical and financial acumen were also in the 84th percentile for leadership effectiveness. Leaders at the bottom could have great leadership skills, but their lack of knowledge puts them in the 12th percentile for effectiveness.
“We continue to see organizations appoint leaders who don’t have depth or expertise in the particular functions they run,” said Jack Zenger, CEO of Zenger Folkman. “Their rationale is throwing new leaders in the deep end of the pool will require them to quickly learn the necessary expertise. But we live in a very different world that evolves very quickly, sometimes too quickly for newly appointed managers to catch up.”
What are those top quartile leaders doing that gives them such high scores in acumen? One important aspect of achieving and retaining a high acumen is continuous learning. Because knowledge is increasing at an exponential pace and the rate of technological change is extremely fast, continuous learning is required.
“Every leader needs to set aside time for their own personal development," said Joe Folkman, president of Zenger Folkman. "Reading publications, listening to relevant podcasts and attending professional conferences can help. But even knowing a lot doesn’t help if you don’t open your mouth and share it. The best leaders utilize leadership behaviors such as networking and communication to magnify their expertise and intelligence.”
To learn more, attend Zenger Folkman’s webinar on Feb. 24, Importance of Building Technical and Financial Acumen, by registering at http://zengerfolkman.com/webinar/. For more information on these findings and how to incorporate them into a leadership development plan, visit www.zengerfolkman.com.
Zenger Folkman is the authority in strengths-based leadership development. Their award-winning programs employ research-based methods that improve organizations and turn good managers into extraordinary leaders.