Due to the technological and digital acceleration that we are experiencing because of the COVID-19, many strategies are being reconsidered. The priorities have changed. However, technology and innovation are a relevant factor in the search for the best talent again, regardless of the sector. They look for profiles capable of facing the great challenges that digitization brings. And with it, new leaders, able to adapt to this VUCA environment (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) and lead their teams to success.
More technology, but also more soft skills
Despite living in an increasingly digital world, studies such as that by the World Economic Forum on the Future of Work point towards the increasingly necessary combination of technical/technological skills and social skills. The more we use technology, the more we need to focus on people.
In terms of technical skills, it can be difficult to predict which are the most in-demand and, in any case, it will depend on our sector. LinkedIn has found the 25 most in-demand technical skills and has worked on them through courses. And among the necessary soft skills that all new leaders must have, we can highlight the following:
- Ability to communicate effectively
- Critical thinking
- Interpersonal skills or ability to empathise
- Quick adaptation to change and resilience
- Creativity and Innovation
The new leaders who will drive the change
“Leadership no longer only corresponds to those who have people under their responsibility, but rather each employee must feel like a leader in their own space,” said Carlos Casas, head of Talent and Culture at BBVA. In increasingly less hierarchical and flexible structures, leadership is understood as intrinsic to the culture and values of each company. “Leadership for each and every employee is going to be fundamental.” This is a new, more inclusive leadership, which has nothing to do with positions, but with the relationships among the members of the organisation.
New leaders need to have a strong sense of purpose: to generate a positive impact on people, organisations and their environments. They must share this purpose and empower people to make it a reality. Technology is a great ally in achieving exponential change. New leaders have to be willing to take risks, be open to experiment and be resilient, consider failure as a learning opportunity and constantly adapt to change.
The transformational leader is the one who turns his team into digital.
By taking a further step in the process of adapting to change, the transformational leaders go further. Not only they are digital, but they are also capable of creating a culture of transformation. Working digitally is not enough, you also have to “be digital” and of course “look” in the same way.
Transformational leaders focus on their teams and engage people in change. They are able to inspire and motivate. It is not a mere spectator but acts as a stimulus to the achievement of business objectives.
In transformational leadership, the leader must become a model for the people around him. The teams must trust and respect him to be able to take on the projects as their own. Then, the leader will be able to influence their conduct. As we have said, it must be the stimulus to incite new ideas and viewpoints. Not everyone is able to innovate. That is why the leader is in charge of showing the way and guiding.
The transformational leader is aware of the project at the global level, but also the value and importance of every single task. Current leaders tend to focus on the joint vision of the project to be able to make strategic decisions as is logical, but having the particular vision of the process makes them more aware of the effort of each of those involved.
This will enable you to consider people both individually and in groups, identify personal and professional development needs, and act quickly in the face of unforeseen events. Therefore, characteristics such as empathy or good organization are indispensable in the transformational leader.