[figure 1: source]
“At different points in their development, potential leaders need to focus on excelling at different skills”, the article The Skills Leaders Needs at Every Level tells us. The article continues on to discredit this thought, or at least suggest that we should be focusing on a lot of the same skills throughout our careers; “we don’t apply [the focusing on different skills at different levels] in athletics; athletes continue to practice and develop the same skills throughout their careers”. So why is business so different? Are there certain skills that are necessary for leaders at certain levels of their organization? Or is there a set of skills that work for every level?
Jack Zender and Joseph Folkman compiled a set of data to show that “as people move up in the organization, the fundamental skills they need will not dramatically change” [see figure 1]. Their collection of data shows us that there is in fact a set of skills that you can use throughout your career. They continue on to suggest that if you wait until you’re at the top of an organization to develop “strategic perspective”, it will be too late to help your career. It’s more important to managers to see you demonstrate the ability to strategize before they consider promoting you.
In other words, you should focus on becoming A Prosperous Leader now, to achieve it in your future.