In the midst of all the discussions about talent shortages in science and technology, an even deeper deficit has been observed: promising business leaders.
According to LinkedInCompanies around the world are looking to leadership development as their biggest challenge. Eighty-six per cent say it is "urgent" or "important" to supply their leadership portfolio, but 85 per cent say they struggle to do so.
If the problem is not one of raising awareness, what is preventing leaders today from preparing the next generation? In one sentence, change skills. Ironically, as technology advances, Non-technical skills are outpacing technical skills as the most important ones for modern leaders. Because 85 percent the jobs that will be occupied in 2030 do not yet exist, companies rely on workers with skills still sought after, such as critical thinking and emotional intelligence.
This creates a challenge for current executives, most of whom were hired prior to the creation of online software and tutorials to fill gaps in technical skills. Instead of choosing the next team leader based on who can create the best widget, they are now trying to evaluate employees on concepts that barely existed in workplace jargon before the 2000s.
General skills are undoubtedly more difficult to detect than technical skills. Beyond the basics such as punctuality and respect, what exactly should executives look for?
1. An infectious sense of purpose
The ugly secret of workplaces around the world is that barely one in ten employees is engaged. Although Gallup found that US employees were a little more engaged than their global counterparts, he pointed out that current methods of employee incentive and evaluation are broken.
What Is to engage today's workers? According to Curt Cronin, CEO of Ridgeline Partners and former US Navy SEAL leadership consulting firm, it's the same thing that drives each of us to join a team: transparent, goal-oriented leadership .
"Building a team is about bringing everyone around a" meta-goal, "says Cronin. To do this, he says, a leader needs to learn the "why" of everyone – why everyone chooses to go through the doors every morning, why what every person does for him matters to us – and show how it fits the wider mission of the team. "The context is as important as the actual content of the mission," says Cronin.
2. Emotional Intelligence
However, to get to the bottom of things that motivate others, you need a skill that few leaders had heard of until a few years ago. Emotional Intelligence, or EQ, describes the extent to which a person can identify and manage not only their own emotions, but also those of others. According to TalentSmart, nine out of 10 the most successful High EQ in the workplace – an attribute shared by only two in ten people with poor performance.
Despite the correlation, choosing people with high EQ is not as easy as looking at job performance. Annie McKee, senior researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, teaches courses on leadership and EQ, suggests looking for four traits: self-awareness, social consciousness, self-management and relationship management.
Self-conscious people constantly evaluate themselves, possessing an intimate knowledge of their own tendencies, strengths and emotions. They are often excellent self-managers who set goals, reflect regularly and express themselves appropriately. Those who are socially conscious, meanwhile, notice these things in others by verbal and physical cues. Excellent relationship managers use the other three characteristics to inspire and engage others.
3. incomparable standards
Skills such as EQ can overshadow technical skills in terms of leadership skills, but emerging leaders know that nothing deserves the attention of a great job. Their pride and investment is reflected in every e-mail they send, the project they work on and the customer they communicate with.
People with high standards, however, tend not to apply these standards to themselves. For example, they encourage their peers to work with the same care and attention to detail. Put in a leadership position, their standards can permeate the entire company.
In fact, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos attributes the success of the company to his company. 20th Anniversary Letter to Shareholders. According to Bezos, this culture is responsible not only for Amazon's excellence in product development and customer service, but also for making it "protective of all the" invisible "but crucial work that occurs in every business."
4. Project management prowess
Someone may be engaged, emotionally insightful and set standards in his own work, but if they can not keep a team project on track, they are not made to lead. Project management is one of those skills that is important in all workplaces, in all types of personalities and in initiatives of all sizes. Companies are looking for their leaders because, according to the Project Management Institute, project management is between 7% and 11% total installed cost of a project.
Effective project managers use a wide range of skills and disciplines. They are clear communicators, within their team and throughout society; they are motivated by purpose and understand what motivates others to do their part. They are also creative problem-solvers, as well as seasoned analysts who are also competent in conflict mediation and executive reporting. Because project management requires such a skill set, those with the talent to do it can make great CEOs.
Are these four factors the ideal formula for finding the next CEO? Nor does the law school's aptitude test identify the next Clarence Darrow. Think of them as any other aptitude test: they offer a window on who could to be a good leader, not a guarantee of who will succeed in such a role.
In other words, the best that today's leaders can do is to identify those with potential. To become the leaders of tomorrow, these people will need the desire to lead, the courage to fail and the perseverance to retry. And they must find these things in themselves; Even the most savvy scouts can not do it for them.
This article is part of our contributor series. The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily shared by TNW.
The US Air Force is working on general artificial intelligence