The 5 Essential Skills Of A Future Super Leader

Written by Andrew MacAskill on Feb 18, 2015

skills super leader

Leadership is all about inspiring and motivating your team, installing a sense of purpose within each individual that allows them to fulfil the organisations objectives.

Whilst that will always be true, the demands on leadership are changing. Geopolitical uncertainty and the digital revolution are dramatically changing the global business landscape and asking new questions of business leaders.

We touch on many of these changes in our Talent Gamble slideshare that I recommend you flick through if you haven’t already.

Given these recent trends, if we were to fast-forward ten or twenty years, what would a future super-leader look like?

Future Skill 1: Digitally Savvy

The digital revolution is requiring more technology-smart leaders. Businesses now have a global presence, are visible across a range of online social channels, and internally rely heavily on IT systems to support day to day operations. Having an understanding of these systems and processes can help identify opportunities and adapt a business to the changing ways people choose to buy, in an ever evolving digital space. Our future super leader will understand how to leverage different technologies in an international market, to provide an agility that allows the business to spot and capitalise on opportunities.

Future Skill 2: An Engineering Mind-Set

The digital revolution involves much more than just gadget innovations; it is turning industries completely on their heads. A future super leader will be able to respond rapidly to these changes, matching the needs of the business. Take manufacturing, for example, which this year will see a surge of manufacturers going digital; analytics, telemetry and cloud based systems are revolutionising the way manufacturers can manage their assets, enabling them to continuously monitor and predict asset reliability. The rise of machine intelligence means robots will replace workers as the cost of labour rises and the cost of automated manufacturing falls.

Similar revolutions will take place in other industries, and the leaders that will be in demand will have an understanding of how to get the best out of both people and machinery.

Future Skill 3: An Agile Risk-Taker

Intelligent risk taking is important to growing and establishing businesses and in an increasingly volatile world, there is arguably no more important role for senior leaders than to prepare their company for risk - taking it, avoiding it and managing it.  The future super leader will make decisions decisively but inclusively, interpret situations with rational and emotional intelligence, and exude confidence. A super leader will use flexible planning and have an ability to understand geopolitical trends, political and social changes and corresponding risks.

Future Skill 4: A True Belief In Corporate and Social Responsibility

Right now we see an increasing pressure on businesses to be ethically sound, super leaders of the future will live and breathe corporate and social responsibility. Creating a culture of social responsibility and ethical leadership sets the tone for productivity and helps a business to engage with the real-life concerns of its employees, customers and other stakeholders, going beyond merely managing the mundane tasks of the company.

It is a holistic approach, which is concerned with how a company ensures that all of its policies and processes are ethically sound.  Essentially, all levels of management should be on-board with the stakeholder engagement process, from customer service managers through to the business owner and CEO. A future super leader will take stakeholder engagement seriously and practise their commitment to engaging directly with customers, employees, the community, and other stakeholders in the hallmark of ethical business.

Future Skill 5: Great Self-Leaders

If you want your team to perform heroically, be a hero yourself. Future super leaders are remarkable leaders because they are fantastic at leading themselves. They are equipped with a self awareness that makes them acknowledge and understand their strengths, weaknesses, perspectives and emotional needs while being exceptional at self management, allowing them so harness their passion, abilities and emotions.

On top of this they are aware of others, recognising their passions, gifts, weaknesses and strengths, and have the ability to grow and motivate other people. Super self-leaders appreciate others, are able to manage and nurture their emotional intelligence, and have a long-term perspective to life and success.

Where Can These Future Leaders Be Found?

Top leadership talent that is able to adapt to the evolving business landscape is hard to find, and companies struggle as they confront the elusive challenge of defining what effective leadership represents for them.

Cultivating leaders from within the company is an intrinsic component of corporate social responsibility. While all managers can be leaders, not all managers ARE leaders or super leaders. Leadership involves a commitment beyond managing routine tasks. Great leaders are accountable, respectful, consistent in their approach and open to communication. Coupling solid management skills with those leadership traits helps companies to thrive and grow.

What Next?

Make sure you hold onto and maximise the potential of the future super leaders within your company, download our e-book ‘Hiring & Holding Onto Your Superstars’ and learn how you can realise an exceptional return from your new hires and retain your existing talent.

These are the 5 essential skills future leaders will need, let me know in the comments section below what future skills you think leaders will need.

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