Future leaders of the world: plan ahead. Here are the five skills you’ll need to lead in this time of rapid change where products and services become obsolete overnight and competition and disrupters can be found within and outside of your industry. Learn from leadership models of the past, but know that the world has changed drastically and you’re better off looking forward than back.
Being Comfortable with Chaos. Gone are the 3-5 year strategic plans that get implemented smoothly. As the business landscape gets more chaotic, you’ll have to get used to shifting priorities. “Leaders who can demonstrate a level of comfort with the chaos that results from reinventing long-standing processes are better prepared for the challenges that await them in the future,” says Ernst & Young’s (EY) global chief innovation officer, Jeff Wong.
Having High Emotional Intelligence: Since AI is going to take over all the rote work (yeah!!!), the competitive difference for leaders will be on the emotional side. Being in touch with our own emotions is important for our self-regulation – how we show up at work in the best way possible. And being able to understand others emotions helps us with promoting accountability, transparency, fairness, and honesty.
Working with Technology and People Together. While some look at emerging technologies with fear and anxiety, the most future-ready leaders are excited to integrate them into their workforce. “The best leaders love the benefits of the two working together,” Wong says. “They love AI, they love bots, they love anything that makes them better, helps them make better decisions, and helps them see things more clearly.”
Mastering Technology. As the world goes online, our understanding of the technology needs to keep pace. It used to be you relied heavily on the IT expertise of the organization, but you can’t afford to do that any longer. Says Guo Xiao, the president and CEO of ThoughtWorks, a global technology consultancy, “Corporations are taking tech more and more seriously, regardless of what industry they’re working in…..IT staff are now sitting in the center of innovation teams, because the company understands that with ever-changing technologies their business models are facing opportunities to be disrupted or evolved.”
Thinking of New Solutions. It’s not about just executing someone else’s vision or predetermined strategies, but creating something entirely new. In the past I’ve worked with clients to increase operational efficiency (doing more with less), but with the new problems leaders are facing, new solutions are needed. This means brainstorming, cross disciplinary thinking, and a willingness to be wrong.