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Effective Leadership Needs a T-Shaped Skill Set

Effective leadership requires many different skills. The way to organize these skills and be effective is to have a T-shaped skill set. 

A T-shaped skill set basically consists of a broad understanding of different functions and depth in a particular area. The way the T-shaped skill set works is you need both – you need a broader understanding of the business and the depth in a particular area.

Just having a broad understanding is not really effective. There might be people out there who might have just a broad understanding of a couple of areas, but that doesn’t provide enough traction. And there might be people on the other end of the spectrum who have a lot of depth in a particular area, but they may not have a broad view or understanding of all the broad areas of business or technology.

This is a very siloed skill set. It is also a siloed approach to work, thinking, and design. This is how leaders can be effective. They can keep the big picture in mind while focusing on the work that acquires their expertise.