Upskilling Leadership for a New Business World

Leadership structures have experienced colossal transformation in today’s business world from a simple ‘command and execute’ form to a more competitive one. Today’s Business leaders face several challenges like technological advancement, managing communication internally and the rise of the hybrid model of working offered by the ongoing pandemic. It becomes difficult for the CEO and business leaders to remain productive in the ongoing pandemic while keeping their employees safe and engaged.

The changing business world

Businesses are operating in an uncertain environment. According to a study conducted by Korn Ferry titled ‘CEOs for the Future’ around 85 per cent of CEOs showed how today between business and society is ever more uncertain. Today’s business scenario is different from a decade back when business leaders could function in isolation. Today it becomes mandatory for the leaders to respond to multiple stakeholders simultaneously. Doing this creates big trouble for the leaders who are facing a more ambiguous and challenging business world.

 The stage for an increased business competition was set by technological advancements like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Augmented Reality, etc. The ongoing pandemic further increased the challenges for the leaders.

To combat these challenges business leaders must have the required traits to remain victorious in the world of business. These must-have skills work as a shield that protect the organisation and also help the leaders to get success. An ideal organization always give importance to these skills and empower leaders to own their upskilling.

New Traits and capabilities for the leader

In today’s complex world the most important skill a leader needs to imbibe is human skills which include trustworthiness and authenticity.  Upskilling leaders in human skills can inspire other employees, build trust and foster teamwork.

A successful business leader must have other behavioral traits like adaptability, curiosity, risk-taking and tolerance to vagueness. These when combined with skills like strategic vision, ability to innovate can work as growth engines for the organization to become successful. But these traits and capabilities are difficult to find among top executives, many a time they have to be built.

To translate the company’s vision into actions businesses, need to develop these traits among the leaders. To upskill these traits organisations should provide a training program to the leaders.

Learning technological advancement

Leveraging technology for business purposes has both tangible and intangible benefits that will push the business up and will create demand. Today’s businesses are often subject to vandalism and security threat. Leaders through the use of technology can protect confidential information that may cause a threat to the organizations. According to a recent PwC’s Annual Global CEO Survey, 93 per cent of business leaders who were introduced to technological upskilling programs have signs of increased productivity. The report also highlights that many CEOs remained to vary of adopting a learning platform.

Effective communication

To build trust between leaders and their workers, there is always a need for transparent and open communication. According to a survey conducted by the American Management Association (AMA), about one-third of senior leaders like CEO, Senior Managers and Executives do not have a clear idea of what is going internally in the organization. A real leader needs to be a skilled communicator, applying that trait in relationships at the organizational level can avoid many unwanted situations. When communication is lacking, imperative information can be misinterpreted, causing relationships to suffer and, ultimately, creating barriers that hinder the progress of an organization. This is the reason many successful and big organisations keep in mind to communicate with their teams’ multiple times a week.

Final tracking of skills

Jotting down what business leaders have learnt through an upskilling journey is mandatory. Setting up targets and skill requirements for their next career steps opens up doors of opportunities for a leader as it provides directions. Practicing these new skills at the workplace is essential as these help them to hone those skills further.

(The Writer is Founder & CEO at ReBrand Gurus and a motivational speaker and the views expressed in this article are his own)