What are the Skills and Mindsets for the Leaders of the Future?

When we hear the word water, an image immediately comes to mind, we know what we are talking about. The same does not happen with the term leadership or when we want to refer to the leader. However, this character plays a fundamental role in cultures and organizations.

Jacob Morgan, a futurist who explores leadership, the future of work, and the experience of employees, points out the nine skills and mindsets that the leader of the future must have, whom he referred to as “the leader of today“.

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In this regard, he said that the lighthouses have served as a pillar to guide sailors and explorers to their destinations safely. “When I think of a leader, I think [of a lighthouse] and that I want you to have in your mind for yourself,” he said.

“Your job as a leader is not only to become that lighthouse but to shine your light on others in your organization and direct it to success,” he added, clarifying that a lighthouse without ships at sea is useless, the same as building yourself as a leader if you don’t have people to guide”.

“In this changing world, in the same way, that businesses and organizations change, leadership will experience several changes”.

How do you lead in a rapidly changing world where it is clear that what worked in the past will not work in the present or the future?

To answer this question, Jacob interviewed more than 140 of the world’s top CEOs and interviewed 14,000 employees. With this research, he was able to identify a new arsenal of nine skills and mindsets that leaders must possess if they want to guide themselves, their people, and their organizations to success.

The 4 mentalities

Jacob identified four mentalities or mindsets for the leader of the future:

1. The global citizen

Leaders must get used to the idea that they are citizens of the world, capable of surrounding themselves and learning from people of other cultures, with different customs, styles, and ways of thinking than his or her own. That will expand your mind and make decisions that come out of the truly innovative box.

2. The servant

For years leaders have been seen as at the top of the pyramid, from where they move processes and people. The future leader must be at the service of his people, help them break their paradigms and learning barriers, to get all the best they can become. This is in line with the trend of “don’t hire people for what they have done but for what they can become/be”.

3. The Chef

The secret of chefs is that they know how to balance certain ingredients to achieve dishes with the perfect flavor. In the same way, leaders must balance between teams, processes, mindsets, backgrounds. Jacob emphasizes the balance of two ingredients: Humanity and Technology, which he calls “HumanIT.”

4. The Explorer

Citing as an example the expeditions to the Antarctic of the explorer Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, Jacob Morgan emphasized the need for leaders to open their minds and explore new ideas, always be open to new ways of thinking.

Skills for the future leader

On the other hand, Jacob emphasized the skills that leaders must develop in line with these four mentalities, and that will help unleash the full potential in favor of their teams and organizations:

1. The coach

You must become a coach, the best version of you, that will make you more successful and be better than the coach. Two words that you should keep in mind: “That you are key because you must always be more successful than your previous self”.

2. The futurist

We must ask ourselves: why would something happen or not? What else can happen? What should I do before what may happen? It is important to develop a strategic mindset and do scenarios of situations to anticipate change.

3. Yoda

Two qualities that Jacob highlights of the Star Wars character are Empathy and self-awareness. It is important that at each stop along the way you ask yourself: What motivates you? What makes you happy? And that these questions help you to illuminate the path to your goals.

4. The technology teenager

We live in a world where the forms of communication and of connecting with everyone are growing, such as augmented reality, social networks, etc. A leader of the future has to be aware of what technology tools can do, to find the best solutions for their organizations.

5. The translator

Listening and communicating are ancient concepts, however, today we must revalue them more than ever. A leader is one who can mediate between his people, through effective listening and agile and empathetic communication.

Jacob emphasized that leaders must step out of the box and break paradigms, as they can no longer see themselves as individual beings at the top; they are a vital gear for teams to function and deliver results.

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VIAGuillermo Agudelo
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