Soft Skills, Adaptive Leaders

Soft Skills, Adaptive Leaders

A Learning Journey for Learning and Development




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Winning organizations pivot in turbulent times—yet never lose sight of their North Star. Amidst uncertainty, successful leaders adapt. As change accelerates, Learning and Development has a clear agenda—to cultivate the “soft” yet enduring skills of adaptive leadership. These include:

  • Value creation—everywhere.
  • Collaboration: Solving problems jointly with others.
  • Influence: Persuading others, building alignment.
  • Transformation: Enabling and accelerating change.

Join Vantage Partners on a journey of exploration—a series of articles, events, and on-demand resources and tools. What leadership capabilities are essential for “the future of work”? How can we turn episodic training into continuous real-time development? How do action learning, spaced learning, instructor-led, and other modalities cultivate the mindset and soft skills of adaptive leadership?

“Soft Skills, Adaptive Leaders”—a learning journey for Learning and Development—includes articles and research, videos and tools, and much more.


As the Unexpected Becomes Routine: The Soft Skills of Adaptive Leaders

Long before 2020’s pandemic, only 14% of CEOs said they had the leadership talent they need. Study after study confirms that companies across the board will experience critical gaps in so-called “soft skills” that are essential for adaptive leadership.

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Flying Away To Freedom


Pulse Survey:
Leadership Skills

Please take two minutes to share your perspective on critical leadership skills.  Aggregated results will be posted here as they are collected.






Interim results to date (62 respondents)

click each chart to view it in a larger window

Differences in skill set priorities

Key skill gaps



To receive responses and analysis from the completed survey, please subscribe here.

Leading to 'Do Better':
The Soft Skills of Value Creation

Leaders should demonstrate value creation—it is not enough to preach it, without some visible, effective practice. Inquiry, curiosity, and creativity go a long way in creating value; so do risk management, option-development, sensitivity-analysis, and storytelling.

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Better Solutions Together: The Soft Skills of Leading Collaboration

Leaders must problem-solve—and lead others to do so—anytime standard answers don’t work, plans prove outdated, or circumstances are different than anticipated. In other words, all the time. Shifting instinctive behaviors—and mindset—is quintessential in developing the skills to jointly solve problems.

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Aligning around Better Solutions: A Tool for Joint Problem-Solving

Leaders are called upon to solve problems, in collaboration with others, and to enable their people to do the same, effectively and creatively. In this short video, Vantage’s Chanda Andrews shares a simple method for aligning around solutions to complex and recurring problems.

Aligning Around Better Solutions


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Getting Others to Go Along: The Soft Skills of Influence and Building Alignment

“’Leadership’ is wanting to do something new and better, and getting others to go along,” said Edgar Schein. If we are to “do better,” the real challenge of leadership is how to influence others to do so, and how to build alignment around something other than the “lowest common denominator.” 

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Business Direction_green-yellow


Sitting in the Remote Leader's Seat: A Tool for Transition and Course Correction

Just like their newly remote teams, leaders wrestle with their own difficulties adjusting to work in a virtual environment. How can leaders adapt quickly, building upon their existing leadership strengths to approach and overcome new, unexpected challenges? Here’s a flexible framework that can help.  

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Different chair


Stakeholder Mapping: Navigating the Terrain of Relationships and Influence

Live 45-minute Zoom Workshop, held Tuesday, July 7

To build alignment, leaders often navigate a complex landscape of stakeholders—including those who are difficult to influence directly. 

We have created a collection of accompanying content pieces for this event.

View the Resources

The Way Out Of Maze


Leading Transformation: The Soft Skills of Enabling (and Accelerating) Change

“Oh, yeah—we’re reorganizing, again.” Amidst constant change, how leaders listen, demonstrate empathy, and engage emotionally with individuals is key to success. Without that sense of connection, without real engagement, change fatigue sets in and real transformation fails. 

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