Episode 129: Why Leadership Should Be Treated Like a Profession

The 90th Percentile: An Unconventional Leadership Podcast

Published: January 10, 2024


Just like lawyers, physicians, and CPAs constantly update their skills, effective leadership is vital across all industries. Join us as we discuss the impact of proficient leadership and address the need for a paradigm shift in how we approach leadership development. It’s time to treat leadership as a true profession, emphasizing continuous education and skill refinement. Tune in for insightful conversations on elevating your leadership game and fostering positive work environments.

Discover how Zenger Folkman can help with your leadership development goals in 2024.  Learn more. 

Key Points

  1. Proactive Leadership Development: Successful leaders embrace a proactive approach to continuous learning and development, just like professionals in law, medicine, and accounting. Waiting for passive sources won’t cut it in today’s dynamic landscape.
  2. Leadership Expectations and Age: Contrary to the expectation of linear career progression leading to increased effectiveness, research shows a gradual decline in leadership effectiveness as individuals age. This challenges conventional wisdom and emphasizes the need for a structured approach to leadership development.
  3. Strategic Leadership Planning: Effective leadership development begins with a structured plan aligned with organizational goals. Engaging in conversations with key stakeholders and identifying areas for improvement lay the foundation for a successful leadership journey.
  4.  Some of the Top Leadership Competencies for 2024:
    • Solving Problems and Analyzing Issues: Addressing challenges and opportunities with speed and effectiveness.
    • Driving for Results: Consistently meeting and exceeding goals to contribute to organizational success.
    • Collaboration and Teamwork: Shifting from an individualistic mindset to promote teamwork and resolve conflicts.
    • Inspiring and Motivating Others: Creating a sense of purpose and engagement to drive high performance.
    • Building Positive Relationships: Recognizing the importance of positive relationships as the foundation of organizational success.
  5. Effective Communication Strategies: Leaders must reassess communication channels, consider synchronous communication needs, and implement blackout periods to enhance team well-being and productivity.

Connect with Zenger Folkman


Zenger Folkman hosts an exclusive live webinar every month, where you can meet Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman and join in a conversation about their latest research in leadership development. Find out more information and register here.


Understanding Good Leadership in 2024– LinkedIn Article by Joe Folkman
20 Questions to Ask when Your Team’s Vibe is Off– Harvard Business Review
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