Back in 2017, research from Six Degrees Executive found that our expectations of leadership have changed. Worryingly, it showed an increasing gap between the way leaders are leading and what their people need from them. Only 11% of respondents strongly agreed they respect the leaders in their organisation.
Some of the most important findings are these:
- Australia leaders perform strongest on the traits we care about the least and rank poorly on the attributes we value dearly.
- The future of leadership reveals a new mindset is required, moving towards a new skillset where ‘soft’ skills are most valued.
- We are moving towards a new standard of creativity, authenticity, and the ability to harness the power of individuals in diverse teams.
Five years on, what has changed? The answer is, very little. We could point to the COVID-19 crisis as a barrier to change but, it has highlighted the critical shift in leadership expectations.
What has your organisation done to improve the soft skills of its leaders?
We no longer go to work to “do as we’re told.” We’re looking to be part of a team, sharing our experiences as we work together towards something that matters – something that will make a difference to the world. Straight away you can see the impact that has on the way we lead. Effective leadership now and into the future is based on people skills, not process.
Key leadership skills your leaders must develop.
- Relationship skills. Work is personal, now, and your team is composed of individuals with different hopes, dreams, values and abilities. Leaders must learn to connect with each person to discover their purpose and what gives them meaning.
- Authenticity. People don’t expect leaders to be perfect. Instead, they respond best to leaders who are real and genuine; leaders who are honest and stand by their own values.
- Coaching skills. People leave organisations when the company doesn’t invest in their development. Leaders must be able to help their people grow and develop new skills, and tap into new experiences. They need to act as coaches to enable their people to engage fully in their careers.
- Communication and motivation skills. Leaders who listen to hear and listen with purpose are those who can influence, motivate, and lead.
Good leaders retain organisational talent.
In a world driven by change, no company can afford to lose talented performers. Leaders who develop the so-called ‘soft skills’ which are so important in workplace relationships are those who make their people feel valued. They show them a career that matters. When you do that, your people are less likely to disengage or seek work elsewhere.
One of the best ways to build leadership skills, and attract and retain talented performers, is to give high-potential talent the skills and mindset they need to drive their future performance. Give your leaders the skills they need for the future and put your organisation on a secure footing for ongoing success. Get in touch today to find out more about our ASPIRE and EMERGING leaders programs.