by J. Karluk | Sept. 4, 2023 | 5 Min Read

Future leadership skills your leaders need today


Leadership of the future is now. Given the rapid developments in technology, the question many businesses are asking is, "What skills will leaders need in the future?"

For leaders to lead their teams through an ever-changing business landscape effectively, equipping themselves with future readiness skills is paramount. Leaders must reshape their competencies, ensuring they're relevant and instrumental in steering their organizations toward sustained success.

In this blog, we’ll look at seven in-demand leadership skills and how you can develop them in your organization.

Evolving workplace dynamics in the modern market

Step into any organization or company, and you’ll quickly see how the workplace has drastically transformed over the past few years. Digital transformation, automation, and the emergence of generative AI have completely changed how teams interact, collaborate, and work together.

  • Shift in work arrangements: With the rise of remote work, companies have adopted more flexible working arrangements, like hybrid work and compressed workweeks.
  • Increasing use of technology: Integrating AI necessitates constant upskilling and reskilling so your employees learn to leverage this technology for the company’s benefit.
  • Changing employee interactions: Emphasis on collaboration tools and platforms has enabled seamless, virtual teamwork.
  • Openness to innovation: Adopting technology is a business strategy that forward-thinking companies are embracing to stay competitive.
  • Growing focus on employee well-being: Since the pandemic, employers are paying closer attention to employee well-being, promoting a healthy work-life balance.

These changes are shaping the future of work regardless of the industry. Is your company prepared to leverage them? Here are the seven future-ready skills your leaders need now.

What skills will leaders need in the future?

The key is finding the balance between hard skills and soft skills. While each company needs to create its ideal mix, these seven core skills are essential for the future of leadership:

1. Coaching ability

Leaders shouldn’t be controllers but coaches. Coaching isn't about giving directives; it's about helping individuals grow and achieve their full potential. AI can do a lot of things, but it can’t personally coach someone to become the best that they can be. Sure, it can professionally train them to develop new competencies, but the ability to coach is an essential leadership skill.

In the future, as organizations embrace the skill-based model mentioned earlier, the ability to coach and develop team members will be a differentiator for leaders. It will not only help in talent retention but will also ensure that teams are adaptive, resilient, and ready for the challenges of tomorrow.

2. Skill Agility®

The World Economic Forum estimated over 1 billion people would need to be reskilled – the process of learning new skills that prepare someone to perform a different job – by 2030. At Unboxed Training & Technology, we believe Skill Agility® – the ability to develop skills at the pace of change – must be developed throughout an organization.

Skills-based organizations don’t define people by their job description but see them as whole individuals with skills and capabilities that can be fluidly deployed to do work that matches their interests and evolving business priorities. Your leaders need to embrace this skills-based model if you want to build a more adaptable, scalable, and productive company.

3. Adaptability

McKinsey’s State of Organizations 2023 report suggests that employees who are more adaptable tend to have an edge in managing change and adversity. Companies that are adaptable and resilient are better able to absorb shocks and turn them into opportunities for capturing sustainable, inclusive growth than those who lack those capabilities.

And in order to create an adaptable company, you need leaders that foster a culture of adaptability. Organizations are only as resilient as their people—invest in leadership training that develops adaptability in your leaders so they can help your company and its employees navigate the complexities of the modern world.

4. Digital literacy

Digital literacy is becoming a cornerstone for leaders in the digital age. As the interplay of technology and daily operations deepens, understanding how to leverage new advancements and innovations will ensure the longevity of your organization.

Leaders don’t need to become tech experts, but they should understand the implications, benefits, and challenges of implementing new technologies. Leaders equipped with digital literacy stay up to date on the digital landscape and are open and ready to embrace it after evaluating its value to the organization.

5. Human-centric skills

We realize that “human-centric skills” (or soft skills) is a loaded term, but they are essential for your leaders, in particular, to develop. With the rise of AI, skills that are uniquely human will become even more valuable since machines can’t replicate them.

We believe “power skills” are a better name for soft skills. They’re interpersonal, non-technical, transferable skills that are applicable across industries, job functions, and career paths. For example, studies show that emotional intelligence is twice as important as IQ or technical skills when it comes to job performance. This further emphasizes the point that an effective leader doesn’t need to be a tech wiz, they need to be a people person.

Now that you know the answer to “What skills will leaders need in the future?” how can you practically develop these future readiness skills in your organization’s leaders?

Develop future leadership skills today

Prepare your leaders for the future with a skill-building platform that makes continuous practice and adding new skills easy and even fun.

Spoke® – the world’s best skill-building platform – takes the concept of Skill Agility® and makes it a reality. With personalized learning paths and engaging features like gamification, Spoke® takes learning to a new level. It hones future-ready skills by driving learners from one skill to the next through intelligent, action-oriented recommendations. Plus, Spoke® integrates with your existing training content and other everyday tools, like your CRM and HRIS, using open APIs and Single Sign-on.

Don’t have existing training content? Looking for a custom training program for leaders? We do that, too.

At Unboxed Training & Technology, our training and technology develop skills your people need to support the continued success of your organization. Request a demo to see how we can equip your leaders with future readiness skills today.

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