Did you know that “strategic thinking” ranked as one of the top five skills needed by CPAs in the future?
Research conducted by the AICPA in 2011 (the CPA Horizons 2025 Project) identified the top five skills needed by CPAs for the future. Now, recent research published by Harvard Business Review puts an exclamation mark on these skills, saying that “a strategic approach to leadership was, on average, 10 times more important to the perception of effectiveness than other behaviors studied. It was twice as important as communication (the second most important behavior) and 50 times more important than hands-on tactical behaviors.”
The study goes on to say, “The leaders who scored well on those skills were six times more likely to be seen as effective as the leaders that were low on them, independent of any of their other behaviors. They were also four times more likely to be seen as individuals with significant future potential within their organizations. Strategic leaders take a broad, long-range approach to problem-solving and decision-making that involves objective analysis, thinking ahead, and planning. That means being able to think in multiple time frames, identifying what they are trying to accomplish over time and what has to happen now, in six months, in a year, in three years, to get there. It also means thinking systemically. That is, identifying the impact of their decisions on various segments of the organization — including internal departments, personnel, suppliers and customers.”
This is the cornerstone of our Leadership Academy based on the i2a: Insights to Action Strategic Thinking System. We work with your leaders to teach them how to develop their strategic thinking competencies and how to engage others in thinking with them.
Take a look at this highlight reel from our Leadership Academy developed for the AICPA and our upcoming Maryland edition on June 23-25.
This HBR study is one of the first I have seen to quantify the impact and importance of this “soft skill” and a major reason we refer to them as “success skills.” The numbers are impressive — 10X in perception of effectiveness, 6X more effective, 4X in being seen as a high potential leader, and 50X more important than hands-on tactical skills.
To quote Tom Peters, “Hard is soft and soft is hard.” These soft skills offer “hard results” that are even more critical in this rapidly changing and complex environment.
Join us on June 23-25 in Towson, Md., to immerse yourself in a program that teaches strategic thinking, communication, and strengths-based leadership.
Or, have a Leadership Academy custom-developed for your firm or company. You’ll find information here.
Further details and registration information can be found here.
Background and resources:
- Reflections on the AICPA’s Leadership Academy from Josh Partlow, partner at Johnson Lambert & Co.
- Read the whitepaper, “What got you here won’t get you there” by our 2011 Leadership Academy class.
- See more interviews with Leadership Academy graduates.
- The No. 1 job of a leader is … knowing your strengths and maximizing the strengths of others.