The 12 most important leadership skills at every level of management

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Learning and acquiring a new leadership skill can be difficult, but it can be easier depending on whether you’re a supervisor, director or CEO.

A Global Leadership Forecast by DDI looked at the differences in leadership skills of over 13,000 leaders, from “low-tenure leaders” such as team leaders and department managers through to “high-tenure leaders” including senior level executives such as senior VPs and CFOs.

  • Frontline: Supervisor, team leader, location or department manager, foreman
  • Mid-level: Leader of first-level leaders (group manager, district manager)
  • Higher-level: Leader/Manager of mid-level leaders (director, department head, vice president)
  • Senior-level: Executives and those in policy-making positions (CEO, COO, CFO, executive VP, senior VP, etc.)

The report reveals that based on experience and opportunity, certain skills like “building and developing others” comes easier when you’re in the frontline while mid-level employees excel at “identifying and developing future talent”.

Having an understanding of the growth of leadership skills enable HR to optimise particular skill sets of potential employees especially since senior level executives were found to have slow growth in fostering “employee creativity and innovation” as well as “building consensus and commitment”.

The chart shows how leadership skills develop at different stages of management.

Source: Development Dimensions International

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