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7 Skills Leaders Will Need in Tomorrow’s Workplace

We all know the challenges of tomorrow’s workplace. Increasing technological change combined with changing expectations of what a workplace should be for upcoming millennials. Job security and lifelong guarantees of work look like relics from another era. Any workplace roles that have routine in them are likely to be replaced by artificial intelligence and bots that can make decisions much quicker and with a higher degree of accuracy. Organizations are increasingly becoming flatter with more decision making expected at all levels. In this new organization, what skills will the leaders of tomorrow require? The leader of tomorrow will have to be more adaptable, flexible, willing and able to learn and master new skills quicker than his or her predecessors.

Here are 7 skills that will be critical for future leaders:

Effectively communicate a vision that inspires others in the organization

Tomorrow’s leader will be someone who is able to inspire and motivate others in the organization through their ability to share a vision that others feel compelled to give their best for. The workforce of tomorrow wants more than pay and benefits, they expect to make a contribution towards a worthwhile goal. The leader of tomorrow will be able to articulate that reason in a way that resonates with the organization. Rabbi Stephen Barrs, author of “WIN” states, “When we plan right and establish real, motivating and gut grabbing goals, then we become innately and unbelievably motivated.”

Emotionally Intelligent

Leaders who are emotionally aware of themselves and able to manage their emotions effectively will be more likely to gain loyalty and buy in from their staff, suppliers and clients. Establishing good working relationships with others will be much easier for a leader that has well developed personal and social skills. According to Kerry Wekelo, author of “Culture Infusion”, “Leading from the heart is looking at each situation through compassion and kindness and having empathy for each team member. When you lead from your heart, you will get to know your team (whether they report to you or not) and their unique skills and insights.”

Be a quick and lifelong learner at a macro level

The leader of tomorrow will be unable to keep up with the intimate details of all the changes that are happening both inside and outside of his organization. They will have to find and keep people who are content experts and who they rely upon to keep them informed. What they will have to stay current with is the overall knowledge of technological and environmental changes that are happening. Tomorrow’s leaders will spent a great deal of their time educating themselves on the changes that are effecting their organization not only today but into the future.

Great communication and listening skills

The ability to communicate effectively and with a wider, diverse range of audiences will becoming increasingly important for leaders. Listening, the part of communication that has been largely neglected in the past, will become important. In order to establish strong, lasting relationships with their staff, clients and suppliers, leaders will have to become aware of how important it is for people to be heard. Even though in many situations there will be no easy solution to problems it is crucial that they feel heard and listened to. If not, they will quickly become disgruntled, lose their motivation to fully contribute and start looking for other opportunities.


The rapid pace of technological change combined with changing tastes, desires and marketing techniques require tomorrow’s leader to be open to and rapidly willing to change direction when required to. The ability to relax and coast along will be increasingly short lived as the pace of change is accelerating exponentially. Tomorrow’s leader will have to constantly adjust and adapt to a new reality. Instead of dreading chaos and uncertainty they will have to accept these conditions as the new norm.

Be able to develop trust and earn respect

With the rapid pace of change increasing, having trust in their leader becomes crucial for an organization to thrive. It is the leader’s role to build that trust by being authentic, open and transparent. This means that the leader’s words have to be consistent with, and backed up by his or her actions. Members of the organization have to be treated fairly and equitably leaving no room for favoritism or nepotism. Highly skilled and valuable staff will not stand for this and will look for work in organizations where they will be accorded respect and recognition for the skills and efforts they bring.

Putting their people and organization first

Leaders of tomorrow will constantly be looking for ways to grow and advance the people in the organization. Apart from seeing their organization is thriving financially, they will see developing their people as their primary goal. There will be little room for inflated egos, right fighting and taking credit for the work of others. Future leaders will look for ways to show appreciation to their people and find ways to make them feel genuinely valued. When mistakes are made they will look for how to learn from them and avoid them in the future instead of an opportunity to proportion blame and retribution.

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