Communication. Critical thinking. Creativity & Innovation. These are a few of the essential skills a leader must possess in order to drive the organization forward, in any period. But which are the some of the most important leadership skills in the year to come, specifically? Read below our view on the topic:
Developing & practicing empathy in leadership
It's time to move away from the traditional forms of leadership based on authority and power and embrace a more reflective, authentic style of leadership that encourages greater engagement.
In the face of greater complexity, remote or hybrid forms of working, and ever-changing social and cultural perspectives, we need to be more mindful of how leadership is practiced and perceived.
Focusing on the retention and satisfaction of your top talent
In the current business landscape, it's essential to keep your employees motivated and inspired. The battle for talent is fierce, so companies need to prioritise retention strategies to ensure they have the right people on board and that they are content and engaged.
This means the management teams should spend time in identifying what makes employees remain in the organisation (through “stay interviews”) and create programs and policies that address those points. This could range from offering different work arrangements to better benefits and compensation.
Making diversity & inclusion a priority
D&I is not just about being politically correct in the hiring process. Organisations reap numerous benefits from cultivating a diverse and inclusive workplace. Studies show that diverse teams are more innovative and creative and can better spot potential risks and opportunities. Plus, having a diverse workforce helps an organisation better reflect its customer base, leading to higher client satisfaction.
Developing leadership abilities in others
The success or failure of your organisation is largely dependent on the quality of its leadership. Unfortunately, though, many organisations fail to prioritise investing in the leadership capacity development, erroneously focusing on individual leader development alone.
To truly unlock success, organisations should aim to improve leadership skills across the organisation, through team coaching and facilitation. These abilities are necessary in many different roles, and it is crucial for the prospective growth of the company to have in place a pool of future leaders.
Being self-aware, calm, and adaptable
The past few years have shown the need for increased flexibility in the workplace. Successful leaders must be equipped to help guide their teams and the business through unpredictable conditions, and this implies that they need to have high emotional intelligence and composure, and that they should resist change.
At the same time, leaders should demonstrate learning agility; they need to continuously learn, unlearn, and relearn in order to stay on top of ever-evolving challenges.
Approaching learning and development with an open mind
The leaders of the company are in their roles because of their results, experience, efforts, know-how, ability to drive the organisation forward. But the worst thing they can do is become self-sufficient, believing that they know it all. Especially in the uncertain times we are facing, an open-minded leader should have the wisdom to say “I don’t know” and understand that the learning journey should never end.
Successful leaders take in information through continuous formal education (such as EMBAs), reading, observing, experiencing different situations, and from the people they surround themselves with. They gather different perspectives and inputs, including from colleagues of different ages and backgrounds, in order to get a 360 view on things.