Our world is changing at an unprecedented pace. Technology is reshaping every industry, the workforce is more diverse and geographically dispersed than ever, and the next generation of consumers and employees has different priorities and expectations.
Amid this disruption, many traditional leadership approaches are no longer sufficient. As Bill Gates said, "We are training people for jobs that no longer exist, using technologies that haven't been invented and solving problems that we don't even know are problems yet." The skills that made leaders successful in the past will not lead us to success in the future.
From my discussion and working with some of the business leaders, I believe there are three essentials skills leaders must possess, namely:
Emotional intelligence: The ability to understand, use and manage your own emotions, and read and influence the emotions of others. This will allow you to motivate and connect with a diverse workforce across cultures and generations.
Adaptability: The ability to adapt your strategies and management style to changing circumstances. As Jack Welch said, "If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near." Leaders must learn, unlearn and relearn constantly to keep up with the rapid pace of change.
Empowerment: The ability to distribute power, autonomy and decision rights throughout your organization. In today's flatter, networked organizations, empowering employees at all levels is essential for agility, innovation and growth. This is an area where many leaders fail badly due to their inability to delegate effectively.
No doubt the above is easier said than done. It is, therefore, essential to possess a good grounding principle and instill an empowered corporate culture for this to be achieved.
With emotional intelligence, adaptability and empowerment, we will be able to steer our businesses into a brighter future.
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