Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.

—John F. Kennedy

To be an effective leader, you must have and demonstrate learning agility—the ability to learn from experience and to apply that learning to new or first-time situations. Different from intelligence or simply being smart, learning agility is so important that it is considered a predictor of success.1 And no wonder. A leader with learning agility excels at absorbing information from his experiences and applying it to the present, and, just as important, creating an agile organization that also learns, grows, and adapts.

At Korn/Ferry, we say that leadership is knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do. As a leader, you are voyaging a long way from ...

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