By: Heather Wood

October 15, 2019

MCG Partners has spent the last 18+ months researching and asking the question, what does the future of leadership look like? What are the key elements, characteristics and skills of the future leader? What we concluded is the future of leadership is the Agile Leader.  The conversation we shared with attendees was passionate, lively and engaging.  At a recent gathering of business leaders, my colleague Cheryl Jacobs and I shared our findings as The Agile Leader™ –  A Revolutionary Lens for the Leader of Today and Tomorrow.

Agile is a term that continues to grow in popularity.  Its meaning can be nuanced depending on the business context – agile methodologies and agile organizations have been focused on what it means to be an agile leader.  Specifically, what leadership behaviors, characteristics and attributes contribute to a leader who is considered agile.

We engaged the group to share what they thought of when reflecting on a leader’s agility.  The responses we received were in alignment with our research including:

  • Flexible
  • High Integrity
  • Open to Change
  • Not Afraid to Make Mistakes
  • Ability to Pivot

We have witnessed major companies and/or industries that have gone from success to failure – Blockbusters and Borders to name a few.  Granted, many factors contribute to a company’s rise or decline.  However, our research (and supported by the group discussion) identified several consistent leadership behaviors that contributed to a company’s success or spectacular downfall.

Through our extensive research in-depth interviews with leaders, we observed a few startling statistics that underscore the importance and urgency in addressing agility:

  • Average lifespan of a company listed in the S&P 500 index of leading U.S. companies has decreased from 67 years in the 1920’s to 15 years today.
  • Since 2000, 48% of Fortune 500 companies no longer exist.
  • In 10 years, it’s estimated that 50% of the Fortune 500 will no longer exist.

We recognized that not everyone can resonate with the Fortune 500.  The statistics of failures with family-owned businesses, start-ups and small business are even worse. We all need to respond and react appropriately in rapidly changing environments.  Shifting market factors contribute to leadership pain points.  We asked the group of leaders to identify their own leadership pain points.

  • inability to make decisions quickly
  • slow to recognize industry trends
  • slow decision making, and
  • lack of support for taking a risk.

Our five drivers- Integrity, Innovation, Urgency, Engagement and Direction, continued to take shape with ten underlying competencies. The competencies themselves are not new.  What is groundbreaking is the lens we have applied to developing the leader’s agility.  We’ve developed a proprietary Agile Leader 360 assessment tool to assess leaders across The Agile Leader™ competencies.  Our 360, combined with the PI Behavioral Assessment™ increasing self-awareness through self-reflection and behavioral understanding, provides a clear roadmap for developing as an agile leader.

We would love to share more about the model and approach. Please feel free to reach out to me directly or, my colleague Cheryl Jacobs.

About MCG Partners

MCG Partners is a leadership and talent optimization firm – aligning your business and people strategy for maximum results. To learn more on how we can help you, please contact Heather Wood  MCG Partners is also a Predictive Index® (PI®) certified partner.