Effective leaders who can solve complex, strategic business problems are the key differentiator in the new world of work. As external environmental changes converge with internal organisational shifts, the need for a strong bench of leaders becomes critical in driving profitable growth. This study explores the relationship between personality and the ability to manage the complexity of the emerging environment.
Based on the CPI and CPA assessments of 256 managers and executives, correlations and multiple regressions were performed to identify the new strategic leadership profile. Anchored in Complexity Leadership Theory (CLT), this research builds on the leadership functions of CLT to provide new insight into the role of individual characteristics in the ability to think strategically.
The consolidated findings identified Dominance, Flexibility, Achievement via Independence, Psychological Mindedness and Self-Acceptance as key constructs in the ability to think strategically. These outcomes sharpen the new leadership profile and enable the development of tools that can directly improve the organisation’s ability to identify, attract, select and develop leaders who are proficient in the emergent, complex context.
Further research can enhance the robustness of this leadership profile through supplementary exploration of the remaining constructs that determine the ability to think strategically.