So what does the next generation of business leadership look like? Who will be the big winners in the connected global economy? I’m always asked what qualities I should be developing in our future leaders. As I work with clients on development, succession, and exit plans, the more I’m struck by who will be leading the next generation of business around the world. My answer? Its women! Now, before I get half my readers tuning out, let me share with you what management and leadership skills will be required in 2020. Though 2020 seems like a long way off, it will get here sooner than you think. Here’s how our future serving leaders in 2020 will succeed!
Here are the critical skills my clients are developing in their next generation of serving leaders. Most women already have these skills. Our series on Developing Serving Leaders 2020 will help. Don’t worry men, all of them are developable, but it takes some work and, better yet, a mentor. If I can develop these skills, so can you.
The first skill of serving leader 2020 is they are great at collaborating with others. They understand how to get the most out of the people they are teamed with. They know their own strengths and nurture others unique capabilities. Don’t believe me? Take time to watch how a successful booster club runs. Women are so good at collaborating; they have the men thinking they are running it. We will be revisiting these strengths for the next several months on a regular basis talking about how to develop them.
The second skill of serving leader 2020 is they have emotional intelligence. They are self-aware and are able to uncover ways to get extraordinary results from many different people. They work to praise and celebrate when people do things right. They also understand that mistakes happen and don’t penalize people for them. Sometimes you have to do it wrong to figure out how to do it right.
They are also great at understanding the root cause of problems and bottle necks on projects they are working on. Emotional intelligence allows many women leaders to use their intuition more. Because they learn to trust their instincts, they become even better at it. Some of my favorite leaders have finely honed skills when it comes to understanding who people really are. They also uncover early on what really motivates and inspires people on their teams. It’s hard to beat a leader who knows how to get the most out of everyone on their team.
The third skill of serving leader 2020 is they understand how to make decisions faster. These individuals understand big data and how to make decisions with incomplete information. The women I work with have a strong understanding of how to organize large volumes of information, prioritize it then move to a decision. I believe the more we move on this big data trend, the more information that will appear missing before we make a decision. Serving leader 2020 not only knows how to leverage big data, but how to leverage this information for big results.
The fourth skill of serving leader 2020 is that they will be working in more flexible and agile work teams. This requires them to build alliances and partnerships outside their own comfort zone. They become very good at identifying the best partners for their organization. Take IBM’s Virginia Rometty and Apple’s Tim Cook. If their recently announced partnership works out, you may see the next big wave of M&A being strategic alliances versus major business acquisitions.
From the outside, the deal looks like a very unusual alliance. These two cultures that couldn’t be more different. Look inside at why it makes sense and you might wonder why it didn’t happen earlier. Both CEOs are great examples of serving leader 2020. They not only have great complementary capabilities, but both are leaning forward into the future of how we do business and lead our lives. Virginia’s skills at building support across her organization has an impact on technology for the foreseeable future. Tim’s ability to sustain innovative new technologies changes how we live and work moving forward.
The final skill of serving leader 2020 is their ability to look and then create their own future. In a society that is being rocked by large societal changes, serving leader 2020 chooses how they develop their own future. They are not new at this, but how they choose to obtain the results is different. They are going to take charge of their own destiny by empowering and engaging their people better. This is not new for serving leaders, but may require different skills than have worked in the past.
A note to our regular readers – I will be traveling extensively fourth quarter, which means our blog will be on Developing Serving Leaders every Tuesday and Thursday, depending at where I’m at in the world. So register here if you want to be notified when it available. If your looking for additional resources on leadership you might enjoy our sister blog at Market Leadership Journal who publishes several days a week on networking and building leadership capabilities
Over the next quarter, we will share implementable ideas and strategies on how you can become a better serving leader. We also plan to share tools that can help you become the leader you want to be. I will be introducing leaders that you will want to know as you continue your own path to becoming a stronger serving leader 2020. See you next Tuesday, when we share several ideas on how to become better at making decisions faster. See you then.