Leadership Versatility

A Leader's Most Powerful Skill

By Michael Leimbach, PhD

We have experienced countless changes this past year and counting. Many of these changes have affected how people work together and, as a result, we have seen a rise in interpersonal conflict and stress, as well as a loss of engagement. We believe versatility in leadership is a skill that can be learned.

What if your leaders could learn a skill that would reduce conflict, increase engagement, and speed up decisions? What if I told you that this skill could increase productivity by up to 56%? Would you be interested?

This skill is called leadership versatility and is perhaps the most important skill for your leaders to develop. Even in today’s hybrid work environment, where everything has changed, the fact is that nothing has really changed in the skills and practices that underlie leadership versatility.

In Training magazine’s annual survey on leadership development, leadership communication skills has ranked as the first or second highest priority skill needed by leaders every year of the survey.1 Leaders who understand differences in communication preferences and learn to adapt their own communication to make others more comfortable are more effective and have more effective work groups.2 As the complexity of business intensifies and organizations grow more diverse, the need for more versatile communication skills becomes critical to success.

Leadership versatility allows leaders to take responsibility for managing their communication behavior and reducing interpersonal tension, keeping the team focused on solving problems, improving innovation, managing complex projects with tight deadlines, and achieving improvements of productivity, efficiencies, and employee engagement.

The more I know about you and the more I know about me, the more I can take responsibility for managing the differences between us.

Michael Leimbach, PhD

“Michael Leimbach, Ph.D. is a globally recognized expert in learning design and provides leadership for solution research and design solutions that turn learning into performance.

Dr. Leimbach has served as editor for multiple professional journals, consulted with numerous global clients, published over 100 professional articles, co-authored six books, and is a frequent speaker at national and global conferences. Michael received his Doctorate from the University of Minnesota and has worked in the learning and development industry for over 35 years.”