The 7 skills of tomorrow’s leader
By Cegos Team the 15 January 2021
All employees who manage a project team, business unit or community must develop their leadership skills. As technologies develop, human aspects will become increasingly important.
1. Develop strategy amidst uncertainty
In a fast-changing and highly competitive ecosystem, leaders will have to accept that they need to constantly adjust their battle plan and work with shorter-term goals.
Detect weak signals, and guide their teams to obtain and keep a lead.
2. Be genuine and honest
Soft skills and know-how are now equally important. As artificial intelligence gains more and more ground in the working environment, strictly human traits (responsibility, honesty, etc.) will prevail. A genuine and honest leader must strike the balance between what they think, how they feel and how they behave.
3. Combine management and neuroscience
By understanding more about the behaviour and attitudes of people working with them, leaders will develop cooperation within the organisation and recognise the unique value of each individual.
As James Teboul and Philippe Damier state in their work Neuroleadership – Le cerveau face à la décision et au changement: “When faced with a decision or change, our brain often reacts by making mistakes or developing cognitive biases that restrict our freedom of action. (…) Just like a top athlete needs to fully understand their body to improve their performance, managers and leaders must understand the potential and limits of the human brain in order to anticipate how it works, make better decisions or optimally manage change”.
4. Foster convergence while remaining flexible
As each employee is unique, leaders need to be flexible to draw on individual strengths and integrate maximum diversity into their teams. At the same time, they must facilitate convergence towards a shared goal and a common corporate philosophy.
5. Reconcile man and machine
The best leaders will understand how to organise optimal delegation between man and machine, so as to maximise the capacities of both. They must not focus solely on integrating artificial intelligence into the business, but also rely on it to modify and optimise processes.
6. Nurture talent by humility
Leaders who are prepared to integrate expertise from people with less authority will succeed in creating a real learning culture. In his book Alive at Work (Harvard Business Review Press, 2018), Daniel M. Cable explains how a leader who is humble with his team provides “tangible and emotional support […] as they explore new ways to improve themselves and their environments.”
7. Encourage innovation
A leader should foster ownership, autonomy and accountability in their team, which means encouraging them to think for themselves and try out new ideas. An in-depth understanding of the market will then allow them to make informed choices and ensure that innovation leads to concrete results and performance.
However, the company must give its employees the space they need to develop their skills. The investment that organisations must make in human resources and training is quite simply fundamental… for the teams, and for the leaders themselves.
What do you regard as a vital skill for tomorrow? Tell us in a comment.
This text is an extract from our White Paper “Future of Leadership” available for download here.