The skills required of a great leader have transformed over the years. Over the past decades, our workforces have undergone rapid demographic and technological change, trends that will continue for the foreseeable future. Now more than ever, institutions need to cultivate leadership skills to prepare them to meet today’s challenges. Our world needs leaders that are nimble, adaptive, open to new ideas and technologies, and able to work across a vast array of diverse populations to solve today’s complex problems. Though some are born leaders, more often than not, a successful leader requires continuous learning to diversify their set of skills. Here are five skills and traits that capture today’s leader:
Leaders in today’s marketplace must be able to motivate their team to work toward a vision that is compelling, a skill that will become ever more critical as workforces are becoming more and more virtual. A successful leader can see where the company needs to be from a business perspective, but also how their company will make a difference in the world. As a leader, do you know your teams well enough to know what drives them? When you do, you will help your employees stay engaged and connected to their work. The work employees do has a direct impact on their community and on their customers, and it’s the leader’s job to keep that connection strong.
Problem Solving Skills
Problem solving is at the core of what most leaders do. It is imperative that leaders have the ability to manage people effectively and think analytically in order to lessen the occurrence of problems within their company. An effective leader is one who sees problems as an opportunity to strategically improve the company and who can also avoid unforeseen issues.
Soft skills such as active listening and direct communication are important skills for leaders to have. Great leaders effectively communicate with their staff often and in many different ways. It’s critical for leaders to master effective communication as it’s vital to the productivity level of the company. Communication can include company directives, one-on-one conversations, team meetings, email messaging, phone calls or virtual conferencing.
Leaders must continuously develop their own professional skills as well as develop their employees and teams, particularly during times of technological and demographic change. Great leaders bring on the best teams of people and provide them with the training and coaching they need to become the next generation of leaders, whether in their own company or in the community.
Support Through Change
Successful leaders have a strong ability to lead their teams smoothly through change. This can include change across the organization but also in the business world. As new technologies emerge or new processes are implemented, a great leader will be able to treat change as an opportunity to make a positive impact on the company. Powerful leaders are able to create plans to facilitate change, and hold teams accountable in moving toward a greater vision.
Coaching as a Foundation
The core competencies of coaching are foundational, and fundamentally augment each of these five skills. Effective leaders must be able to facilitate growth within their workforces by motivating, asking powerful questions, active listening, direct communication, and holding their teams accountable. The best leaders are those that are continuously educating themselves and gaining the skills necessary to succeed during times of change. CoachDiversity Institute trains leaders within forward-thinking corporations, foundations, nonprofit organizations, and government entities through our coach certification programs. If you are ready to maximize your potential and impact in your organization, contact us today to learn more.