3 new essential skills your leaders need right now

All leadership programmes offer a core set of specific leadership subjects. These are viewed as the essential topics that leaders need to be exposed to during a leadership programme. Examples of these topics are things like: coaching, decision making, performance management – the fundamentals, right?  

And while I agree that these topics are important leadership topics for leaders to be exposed to, I believe that our current focus should be on giving leaders the skills they need to succeed in our current business environment.

Through my experience working with leaders both online and in-person during this year, I have found that there are three essential skills that leaders need right now to help them better lead their teams.

#1 How to lead during uncertainty

2020 continues to be a year filled with uncertainty. The uncertainty resulting from the pandemic has been challenging because it’s a factor that we are unable to control, yet it impacts everything we do. From how we work, to who we see, to what we are able to do – it impacts literally everything.

Due to this, many employees feel plagued by uncertainty in their personal lives, and in their professional lives they feel it too, as the companies they work for are also wading through unchartered territory. 

Despite this reality, companies expect leaders to inspire, support and guide their employees to achieve the results they need to. Regardless of the uncertainty unfolding around them. 

#2 How to lead remotely

With the impact of the pandemic, remote work has become the norm. During our initial stages of lockdown, it was mandatory. And since the lockdown levels have eased, it remains recommended. 

During this time many companies have seen that remote working can actually work for them. And so, some are applying a hybrid model going forward, where employees have a set amount of workdays in the office and a set amount of work days at home during any week. 

Whilst almost all employees are welcoming this increased flexibility with open arms, many of the leaders that I connect with have acknowledged that leading a team in a remote working environment is very different to leading a team that works on-site.

#3 How to develop personal mastery

The context that leaders have been operating in this year has required them to step up and to show up differently for their teams. It’s required leaders to have difficult conversations, to truly guide, support and mentor their employees and to be flexible and creative when it comes to ‘how’ they get things done.

That being said, it’s important to also acknowledge that leaders too have been going through the same challenges as their team members have been. 

And so, the requirement for them to step up and lead differently during this time, requires them to know themselves, and to commit and take steps towards their own continuous professional development.  

How can you use this information to help you?

As 2020 comes to a close, many of you HR and L&D Leaders will be considering the question: How do you best support your leaders with training into 2021 and beyond?

A good first step would be to look at this past year and determine what skills your company required of its leaders, and what gaps were felt in the skill set of your leaders.

Then look to the future, and consider what skills will be needed of your leaders to get your company to its next level – to meet its goals for 2021.

The list you come up with will probably not be a textbook list of fundamental leadership topics. Perhaps you’ll find some of the topics I’ve discussed on your list.

In essence, you will now have a list that reflects the skills your company needs its leaders to have in order for it to thrive in the current business environment.

Take this list, and find a learning solution that will help you to develop these essential skills for your leaders. Or have your team build this solution, or work with a partner to help your team build this solution.

By doing this, you’ll be offering your leaders a learning solution that actually helps them to gain the skills that they need right now.

Coming up. Our next article will discuss how the delivery of leadership training needs to change to meet your leaders where they are at. To see this article as soon as it is shared, join our VIP list.

Here’s an example of a new skill your leaders may need: Do your leaders know how to facilitate virtual meetings? If not, I can help. Access our free masterclass which you can share across your company to help your leaders learn how to facilitate an effective virtual meeting. Click here to get the masterclass.