It may be hard to think about the future when the present is so challenging, but in times of great change and uncertainty it’s more important than ever to stay a step—or several steps—ahead in your preparation. These are the skills you should be cultivating now to be successfully as a leader for the future.
A positive attitude toward change. Leaders of the future will need to be optimistic by nature and positive about change, because everything around us is likely to remain uncertain and complex for some time to come. Leaders won’t have the luxury of allowing themselves to become overwhelmed or immobilized; they must maintain an optimistic mindset as things around them remain unsure.
A communication style that brings clarity around complexity. Leaders of the future will need to cultivate the ability to see through complexity and complications, to make sense of messy situations filled with contradictions, to cut through superficial concerns and communicate the essence of the issue at hand. Their clarity will help them lead people to better things that most people can’t yet perceive.
Transparency that leads to trust. Leaders of the future will need to be fully authentic and transparent. Even when the news is bad, people want to know what’s really happening. In an era when trust will be crucial, leaders who are consistently open and genuine, regardless of the circumstances, will engender that trust.
Flexibility that embraces ambiguity. Leaders of the future will need to be agile and flexible—able to create quickly, risk passionately, pivot immediately and move on from failures, taking in the lessons of each experience in order to keep moving forward. The future will bring ambiguity, and the best teachers will be creation, risk, failure and experience.
A true appreciation of diversity. Leaders of the future will need to genuinely appreciate diversity and embrace its value at every level. In a time of uncertainty, constructive engagement happens best when leaders bring together people with different backgrounds, expertise and knowledge.
A gift for seeing the good within the bad. Leaders of the future will need to develop the skill of learning how to turn crises and challenges into opportunities. Preparation and nimble thinking will keep teams and organizations out in front of events, so they’re ready to offer solutions in the moment.
The confidence to undertake massive disruption. Leaders of the future need to access their inner determination to achieve and their willingness to make massive changes in their teams, their organizations, their industries—even themselves.
We can’t know what lies ahead. But whatever form the future takes, successful leaders will be those who know how to act with courage and clear intent in an authentic and engaging way that will create trust among their people—those with the imagination, integrity, and agile intelligence to make truly great things happen.
Lead from within: The future holds both challenges and opportunities. Are you listening to the signals today and developing the skills you’ll need to lead in the times ahead?
#1 N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Photo Credit: iStockPhotos
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.