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Brain circuits

How to become an ambidextrous leader

Published 2 February 2022 in Brain circuits • 2 min read

Achieving the dual goals of making your current business more effective and efficient while developing new revenue streams for the future is a challenge for leaders across all organizations. In part one, we talked about the five dimensions of ambidextrous leadership. Most leaders display ambidexterity in some dimensions, but only 10% manage it in all five. You can develop ambidexterity – it starts with self-awareness about your cognitive and behavioral style.

Where to start

We suggest you obtain 360-degree behavioral feedback for each of the five dimensions, and the behaviors associated with each, to provide a list of opportunities for you to become more ambidextrous.

Next, you need to reflect on the feedback and your behavior patterns.

Are you perceived as not being ambidextrous simply because you have operated in an environment where there was no opportunity to highlight such behaviors? Or is it linked to your personal style? Do you not enjoy the uncertainty associated with big transformations or experimentation? Or do you lack the underlying abilities to engage in the opposing behaviors listed above? 

Once you have completed this analysis, take action. You may need to change your behavior, or it may simply be a factor of your environment. A shift from a deep operational role to one squarely focused on transformation will allow others to see your true skills and allow you to exercise your “transformational muscle”. 

Further reading: 

How ambidextrous leaders deliver performance and progress fast by Misiek Piskorski and Ric Roi

 

Authors

Misiek Piskorski

Mikolaj Jan Piskorski

Professor of Digital Strategy, Analytics and Innovation and the Dean of IMD Southeast Asia and Oceania

Mikołaj Jan Piskorski, who often goes by the name Misiek, is a Professor of Digital Strategy, Analytics and Innovation and the Dean of IMD Southeast Asia and Oceania. Professor Piskorski is an expert on digital strategy, platform strategy, and the process of digital business transformation. He is Program Director of the Digital Strategy Course.

Ric Roi

Richard Roi

Professor of Leadership and Organization at IMD

Ric Roi is Professor of Leadership and Organization at IMD. He is a senior business psychologist and advises boards and CEOs on matters related to board renewal, CEO succession, top team effectiveness and leadership transitions.

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