In an ever-changing world, it comes as no surprise that great business leaders require an evolving and particular set of skills if they are to afford their companies a competitive edge in the global arena. Developing leadership skills now goes beyond the traditional tenets of managerial training, such as strategy and finance, and are being joined by a host of subskills such as empathy, negotiation and influence. Why and how executive leaders can hone in on people-centricity.
How to be a better leader: three critical soft skills to hone in
According to DDI’s Global Leadership Forecast, developing the next generation of leaders is the number one challenge for CEOs and, while some people naturally develop leadership qualities throughout their career, those traits and skills need to be brought out, refined, and directed to the new realities high-performers in the making are facing nowadays. In this perspective, developing leadership skills that facilitate constructive human interaction in global environments and focus on delivering positive outcomes is highly sought after across all industries and positions.
When interviewed by The European Business Review, Gina Lodge, CEO of The Academy of Executive Coaching, emphasized: “We’re in a new era where it is purpose that drives organizations forward, and that is partnered with a shift from shareholder capitalism to stakeholder capitalism. That brings a fresh demand on leaders to demonstrate a new willingness to listen, to celebrate diversity of thought and to do and say the right thing to effect change for their organization and society at large.”
For executives eager to hold their own in business, this altered work environment brings the demand for leadership skills to the fore, with particular emphasis on leadership soft skills. Heightened people-centricity and a newfound need for service have taken over from a command-and-control leadership style. Take it from Harvard Business Review: ”The skills many organizations are looking for range from empathy and team management to understanding how to look ahead, set strategic goals, and influence stakeholders from diverse backgrounds.”
Dr Achim Schmitt, Full Professor and Dean Graduate School at EHL, adds: “We believe teaching leaders the principles of people-centricity is fundamental in the 21st century because leadership is about people, not self!”