The world is an uncertain and fast-moving place, and the leadership skills needed in the past are not the ones that will get you to the future. Here are four leadership skills and characteristics that are particularly important in this environment:
- Technology and Process Savviness: While a lot of leadership articles talk about the importance of painting a vision and motivating others, today’s leaders also need to know how to “get it done” by driving technology and process changes. This means understanding processes and workflow and connecting organization needs to technology solutions.
- Ability to Act Amidst Ambiguity: Organizations need to move quickly these days to respond to shifting consumer preferences, the rapidly evolving political and regulatory environment, social media feedback and supply chain dynamics. Leaders must be able to make decisions with incomplete information and then adjust as needed.
- Recognize Opportunities for Agile Change: The agile software development process provides a model for thinking about the incremental delivery of useful software. The agile approach, however, can be applied far more broadly. By breaking down problems and needs into smaller actionable components, leaders can test theories and use lower risk approaches that help determine whether a path forward is viable – quickly and efficiently.
- Impact the Emotional States of Others: Effective leaders move between the personal, the social and the system. They can read the field at a systems level, read and address social dynamics and culture and read the needs of each single person. Leaders know how to impact the right person at the right time.
Some of these characteristics will be easier than others, depending on your background and personality. A personal leadership development plan can help you focus in the specific areas that may require some skills training or coaching to get you ready for the future.