Amidst important technological innovations during the recovery of the post-pandemic market, corporate leadership, more than ever, has to remain up to date and try to forecast the outcomes of the changing labor market in order to prepare for the future.
Apart from the existing concerns about the right choice of strategies, there is also a problem with the future of the career development. How to prepare for the coming years? Which professional profile will stand out in the future?
To help you answer these and other questions, we’ve gathered some insights, listed current challenges and essential skills for tomorrow’s leaders in this article.
The Challenges of the Leader of the Future
On one hand, there are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and process automation. On the other hand, the need for social awareness and the humanization of work relationships.
This ambiguous scenario shows that the leader of the future will be placed between technology and people and, in order to transit well in these two seemingly opposite worlds, will have to overcome a range of obstacles. Let’s look deeper into that.
Achieving positive business results and maximizing team performance is no longer a determining factor for managers’ success. The leader of the future has to go beyond that.
While bringing profitability to the company, the professionals of the future need to preserve health and quality of life of their employees, partners, and suppliers. They cannot expect their staff to separate personal and professional lives; apart from that they also have to address other issues, such as diversity in the workplace, contribution to social benefits, etc.
Although many tasks will be automated in the coming years, it doesn’t mean that the leaders of the future will have an easier job than their predecessors.
The right use of technological innovations is directly linked to a more efficient management practice, which requires professionals to build well-defined strategies, know how to measure risks and conduct projects, as well as work with machines in the most competent and agile ways possible.
Essential Skills for the Leader of the Future
To tell the truth, there is no exact answer to the question of what exact skills one needs in order to face all these challenges stated above. However, some skills required today will become even more important for the leader of the future to know how to deal with the new business reality. Check out some of them!
Going beyond the concept of emotional intelligence, which keeps being relevant in the corporate environment, emotional agility has become a new way to redesign this skill.
The concept, widely explored by a psychologist and PhD professor at Harvard University School of Medicine, Susan David, points out that people who know how to quickly deal with upheavals and uncertainties in their personal and professional lives will be better prepared to assume great responsibilities without suffering emotional damage from it.
A strong ally to deal with the challenges of the BANI world (Brittle, Anxious, Non-linear and Incomprehensible), emotional agility will need to be practiced by the leader of the future and also be taught to his or her subordinates.
In a world where 40,026 exabytes (millions of gigabytes) are processed each year, it is essential for the leader of the future to know how to use such a large amount of data in his or her favor.
This means that concepts such as Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning have to eventually become familiar to a person involved in the business world; at the end of the day, they will be applied to a certain extent in everyday activities of any business in the nearest future.
Although the subject is relatively new, short-term courses such as Applied Data Science for Business at Pearson College London bring together the world’s leading practices on the subject preparing young leaders for the future requirements.
In addition to the people-technology relationship, there is another essential factor for the leader of the future to consider: the environment.
Increasingly concerned with corporate approach towards social and environmental issues, consumers have started to monitor behavior of brands in relation to their CSR discourse and mainly their green practices.
This trend made companies go far beyond annual sustainability reports; nowadays, large corporations follow globally established common rules and metrics in order to become more accountable, which increased the necessity of shaping leaders to apply sustainability strategies at every stage of the process.
Initiatives related to ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) and SDG (UN Sustainable Development Goals) have become extremely important for young professionals who aspire to occupy leadership positions in the mid-term.
In a scenario with so many challenges that affect the future of work, the best way to keep being connected and prepared is to look at the markets that are shaping these emerging trends.
For this reason, more and more professionals are looking for short-term executive courses abroad in order to gain international experience during their vacation time.