Christine Lagarde is the head of the International Monetary Fund. No small leadership task especially given the ongoing international economic crises. Lagarde began her duties in the wake of the sex scandal of her predecessor, Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
Lagarde is not an economist. Leadership does not automatically mean you are the technical expert or that you have all the answers. To some degree, Lagarde was in the right place at the right time. As Christopher Dickey declares, She was, and is, one of those leaders who are created by the crises of the times (The Truth Talker Newsweek, January 30, 2012, p. 34).
But it was more than that. She brought certain essential, broader skills to the table. As Dickey explains, Her greatest skills, according to those who work closely with her, are her ability to listen, to assess, to pull together a strong team, and to get the best out of a tough situation (p. 32).
Indeed, regardless of a leaders technical knowledge, or lack thereof, those certain essential, broader skills are what empower the leader to lead. The technical knowledge is nice, but that alone doesnt mean you are a leader.
How is your leadership doing these days? Are you up for a crisis or two? Learn to embrace the crises. They create your leadership opportunities, provided you bring those certain essential, broader skills with you.