Is Learning Agility the Best Indicator of Leadership Potential?

Today’s leaders have to be quick on their feet. Their ability to adapt to change, find new solutions to common issues and staying innovative are just some of the characteristics they must possess to open up a world of possibilities for their organization. These crucial abilities also perfectly describe individuals who possess a high level of learning agility.

According to Executive Recruitment and Talent Management firm Korn Ferry, learning agility can be broken down into five parts:

Self-Awareness
People who know themselves well could probably tell you all about their strengths and weaknesses. This is why self-aware leaders are valuable; they don’t take themselves too seriously and know that every day presents an opportunity to learn something new. Leaders who are self-aware show their team that they can be trusted and are often seen as more credible than leaders who think they know it all.

Mental Agility
This is not about one’s educational background; it’s more about how well (and how quickly) one can retain information. Leaders who are mentally agile actually delight in learning from people who offer fresh, knowledgeable perspectives on things – even if it isn’t related to their craft.

People Agility
Possessors of people agility are often the ones who are looked to when problems arise. They are trusted to help and they value differing opinions of others. Since they appreciate diversity, these individuals are wonderful team leaders and may even do extremely well managing virtual teams since they are often comprised of people from several walks of life.

Change Agility
Individuals who have a high amount of change agility are resilient and can change course at a moment’s notice. They are curious and always try to find newer, more efficient or exciting ways of doing things. These are the true innovators of an organization.

Results Agility
Resourceful and confident, these individuals specialize in results. They are consistent members of an organization and will repeatedly deliver great results despite any challenges they encounter. They are adaptable, work well in high-pressure situations and responsible.

These five components of learning agility are often seen in the greatest of leaders. Outside of motivation and dedication to their organization, when asked if learning agility is the best indicator of a leader, the answer is a resounding, “Yes!” Take a look at some of the key players in your organization and see if these characteristics describe their personality and work ethic to see for yourself.