The leaders of tomorrow are not necessarily going to be the ones with the most impressive technical knowledge or skills, but rather the ones that can innovate, predict, and adapt fast in a rapidly changing world.
Here are some of the traits of tomorrow’s leaders.
Someone who genuinely enjoys change.
Products, tech, businesses and empires rise and fall with lightning speed compared to years gone by and The leaders of tomorrow will need to thrive on change.
The leader who succeeds in this environment will be genuinely excited about the latest things, buzzing about new trends and enjoy predicting what might come in the future. This is the resolutely forward-facing, optimistic leader of tomorrow.
For example, they’re completely excited about the A.I. revolution, as they view this kind of change as assisting them to be better at their jobs by taking away the more common workload.
They have very high emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence(E.I.) is already one of the most sought-after traits in all employees; from the CEO right down to the newest junior hire. People will be looking for leaders who are transparent, honest, inspirational and authentic.
As a manager, your E.I. will be what sets you apart from the robots, allowing you to make decisions, motivate, and establish processes that suit a human workforce. Your emotional intelligence, in short, is what will make you employable in the future. The good news is there are multiple ways to assess and build your emotional intelligence- we suggest you get started.
The leaders of tomorrow wear many hats.
Departments don’t act in silos anymore: a senior figure in finance is going to need to understand a considerable amount about digital strategy and have a good head for IT. This need for diverse knowledge across the company is only going to intensify.
Having experience and seniority in your field is no longer enough to ensure a seat at the table.In fact, coming in from another, dramatically different industry and showing an ability to innovate will be viewed extremely positively by companies in the future.
They are proactive, not reactive.
A great modern manager is already this: someone who jumps in and creates great outcomes out of changing situations, rather than blindly react to them at the last minute without thinking their actions through.
The best managers are one step ahead—they are the ones creating the change, or at least predicting it and being mobile enough to ensure that the company is ready to make the most out of the change. This pro-activeness will be one of the most important hallmarks of leadership of the future.
Tech savviness is crucial.
The leaders of tomorrow will mostly be Millennials and Gen Z, and as these are tech natives (grown up immersed in technology), they have a natural advantage when it comes to tech. However, technology will change enormously in their lifetimes, and tomorrow’s leaders will need to be extremely careful not to resist new tech developments, but instead embrace the opportunity it brings.
The leader of the future will eat data for breakfast, being extremely competent at analysing it and pulling out key opportunities. They’ll also be happy to shift to new tech regularly where one becomes redundant, rather than holding onto old tools because changing is time-consuming.
The hierarchy will flatten out, and stakeholders will play a more significant role.
We already see a definite trend towards ‘flat’ organisational cultures over formal hierarchies, and this is likely to intensify, with more responsibility and autonomy for more junior roles. What’s more, senior figures will need to communicate a lot more directly with shareholders, perhaps even removing the traditional hierarchy of the C-Suite and board.
All of these changes require that you be incredibly diverse. Immersing yourself in new and dynamic situations such as transferring overseas or to a new industry, will prepare you for the wave of change coming your way. Learn to ride them (while looking for new horizons from the crest), and you will succeed as a leader of tomorrow.
Until next time,
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