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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  September 27, 2016

Key Skills Leaders Need Now

Key Skills Leaders Need Now

A lot of experts out there use different words to say the same thing. As a result, the marketplace ignores the pretty words and pays attention to research.

Perhaps that’s why a recent Training Magazine article goes beyond the analogies and highlights the Center for Creative Leadership’s (CCL) summer analysis on the six skills most leaders lack. The areas that leaders need the most help: inspiring commitment, leading employees, strategic planning, change management, employee development and self-awareness.

Yes, the list of skills is quite broad and frankly, nothing new. Three things make the center’s findings noteworthy:

• The sample size: almost 2,400 managers in 24 organizations. Yes, the latter number is small, but the former makes up for it. Given CCL’s brand, this study is worthy of our attention.


Related: How to Use Popular Ideas to Advance Your Thought Leadership


• Check out what’s missing: speaking and negotiation skills stick out for me. It’s a great heads-up if your expertise isn’t on the list of high priorities.

• Question the budget-impact gap. For example, given all the resources for change management, why are leaders still not making progress here? What is needed but not provided? Whatever is not working is an opportunity.

If you work with leaders in any capacity, this list is your new playbook. If your skills are not on this list, start with positioning your impact in the listed areas. If you do specialize in these areas, don’t stop there. Be sure to ask buyers to define the competencies. Find out why they haven’t made progress. I bet it’s not for lack of trying.


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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.