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John Zenger and Joseph Folkman’s extensively researched book, The Extraordinary Leader, has strongly influenced how I have approach my executive coaching. (“Extraordinary Leaders” are defined as people who are in the top 10 percentile of leaders.)

Folkman published new research in a recent Forbes magazine article which explores the impact of the 3 key elements of communication — Tell, Ask, Listen — on leadership performance.

Specifically, he wondered “Which skill, by itself, would have the greatest impact on a leader’s perception as an extraordinary leader?” The answer was surprising…

No one skill by itself boosted leaders into the Extraordinary category! However, when you combine all three as strengths:
Fully 88% of Extraordinary leaders were at the 75th percentile or higher in all three: Tell, Ask, Listen.

Folkman concluded from the study that, “In a nutshell, doing any one of the behaviors well yields very little, but combining these three skills makes a powerful impact.”

Most leaders default to “Telling” as their primary mode, and do only so-so in one or both of the other categories. However, it’s safe to say that being really strong in all three is a key to great leadership!
I hope you found this useful! Please scroll down and share your thoughts below. Thank you!
All the best, Mark