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DDI Study: Leaders Get Better At Execution and Worse At Engagement As They Climb The Ladder...

Cool study out by DDI entitled "Execution and Engagement: Can Leaders Be Ambidextrous? Doing Both Well Is Critical."

The findings were pretty interesting.  As young mid-level managers start climbing the career ladder, they gradually become better at driving execution and worse at ensuring engagement.  Check out the chart from the study below:

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 9.10.14 AM

You can go get the case study by clicking this link, although the summary doesn't give you much more than I'm giving you here.

When you think about it, it stands to reason.  You learn the craft of management and gradually come to realize how to drive results, and also have a greater appreciation for the fact that's what you're there to do.  You also become a bit detached from the masses of humanity doing the work - so your ability, desire and interest to have an eye on engagement goes down.

Also of note is the middle percentage in the chart above - the percentage of managers in each career level who have relative balance between their ability to engage and execute - the sweet spot of leadership, if you will...

The DDI paper does a good job of restating the fact that both execution and engagement are necessary for peak company performance.  I agree with that.

However, it would be great to see macro company performance tied to this in some way.  

After all, execution/results are just that - outcomes.  I'm thinking you can only drive execution and results without engagement for a time period without starting to lose ground.  I'd love to see what the lag period is before the lack of engagement comes back to bite those hard charing C-Suite executives in the butt.


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