Five Leadership Skills You Can’t Do Without


A glaring gap exists between the skills leaders have now and the ones they will need.
 
Leadership is like a muscle. The more intelligently you train, the stronger you get. Research at the Center for Creative Leadership reminds us why leaders everywhere, from Fortune 500s to the smallest of nonprofits, need to get to the gym right away.
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Leaders today live in an age of remarkably complex challenges. They range from expanding into volatile international markets, to dealing with the fallout from natural disasters, to navigating their organizations through a broken global economy while preparing for future opportunities.
Complex challenges, our research has shown, don’t yield to quick fixes. They don’t respond to standard approaches or conventional knowledge. In fact, 92 percent of executives surveyed by CCL said the challenges their organizations face are more complex than they were just five years ago. On average, they take two years to solve.
 
Over 2,000 execs contacted
Our research also tells us this: you and your colleagues at every level of your organization do not have all the skills needed to lead effectively in the future. CCL surveyed more than 2,000 leaders from 15 companies in the U.S., India and Singapore. We asked these leaders to rate 20 leadership skills in terms of how important they are right now for success and how important they will be for success over the next five years.

The upshot: the four most important future skills – leading people, strategic planning, inspiring commitment and managing change – are weak points among today’s leaders. There exists, in other words, a glaring gap between the skills leaders have now and the ones they will need in just a few short years. At CCL, we call it the “leadership gap.”

In a world of increasingly complex challenges that demand leadership traits many of us do not yet fully have, there’s no time to waste in developing ourselves and the men and women in our organizations. Based on CCL’s research and practical experience over the past 40 years, we believe the leadership gap can be closed by focusing on these five areas:

Teamwork and collaboration

Managing change

Communication

Learning agility/growth mindset

Judgment

Printed with permission of the Center for Creative Leadership

 

 

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