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The top four skills HR needs to look for in the leaders of the future

According to Cielo, in light of the constantly changing business environment the key skills of the senior team now consist of four very different elements compared to just a decade ago:

-          Emotional intelligence: or the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. This includes recognising not only the impact of one’s actions on those around us, but also when others are perhaps struggling emotionally. In a world where the line between work and personal life is increasingly blurred, the ability to identify when colleagues might be struggling is key in leadership figures.

-          Non-heroic leadership: as referenced by some of the world’s top business schools, the senior professionals that will succeed in the future are less likely to be those who lead from the front, as Steve Jobs, Jack Welch and Lee Iacocca were renowned for. Instead, future leaders should be more invisible to the outside world and focus instead on finding the right employees, ensuring teams work well together and motivating staff.

-          Recognition of team drivers: with the non-heroic leadership approach also comes the need for senior professionals to be able to clearly identify the drivers of individuals. In particular, ensuring that tailored approaches are incorporated to motivate individuals rather than a one-size-fits all solution is key.

-          Total flexibility: with the world of business changing all the time, those in a leadership position must be completely flexible. Without the ability to constantly adapt to new opportunities and threats, leaders – and subsequently the teams they are responsible for – risk falling behind the curve.

Sue Brooks, Executive Vice President at Cielo commented:

“We are operating in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) environment where change is quite simply the new norm. As a result, the required skills of those at a senior level have evolved. In such a complex working world, no one person can have all the answers, so the traditional high profile individual will no longer suit the current global business environment.”

“Instead, HR teams need to seek out those professionals that demonstrate they are not only able to adapt instantly, but are also much more people-centric. As these & lsquo;non-heroic’ leaders focus on creating and driving a successful team, their ability to understand the motivators and emotional drivers of employees will become increasingly vital. For HR teams, the challenge is in identifying individuals with these traits and enticing them into a leadership position.”

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