Leadership Competencies Today And Tomorrow

A leader who only gets better at what they have always done is ultimately sowing the seeds of their own failure. What will success in the role look like three to five years from now? What role-specific competencies define future performance?

The accelerating rate of change, the digital revolution that is engulfing us, shaping an organisation that, of necessity, will look very different from organisations in the past – means that tomorrow's leadership will be very different. It doesn't stop there, though. What social, economic, political, marketplace and forces internal to the business define tomorrow's challenge/opportunity? How will iGen and millennials define the emerging organisation culture? How will gig employment, crowdsourcing and social media define the nature of work? What disruptive technologies lie just over the horizon? In what ways will the shortage of top talent limit what's possible?

When the context changes it changes for every organisation – no matter the size and location – and every leader.

Five competencies, in particular, would appear to have future currency:

  1. Digital direction: Anticipating where and how the emerging technology will change the strategic fortunes of the business. A willingness to act.
  2. Leadership reach: The ability to work concurrently with very different people, in very different businesses, in different parts of the world.
  3. Comfort with ambiguity: More interested in doing the right thing than being right, risk oriented, fails fast and moves on, leads through values and not edicts, comfortable with being uncomfortable.
  4. Learning how to learn: Someone who reads, the courage to let go, curiosity, constantly challenging the status quo, willing to explore what's possible, pushing to the edge, a natural collaborator.
  5. Culture savvy: Creating tomorrow's organisation today. Hiring and coaching with tomorrow's culture in mind. Building an organisation that displays a quality best defined as "StrAgility".

Defining tomorrow's leadership success is an imperative for: (1) the current leader; and (2) as a platform for developing a successor. Can the incumbent succeed into the role-specific they are currently in? Do they have a successor? Developing a successor is a fiduciary responsibility. It also means mastery in coaching.

Insights from "Coaching The CEO" by John O. Burdett, Orxestra Inc., © 2019


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