To succeed in today’s Internet-paced change cycle and globally interconnected economic machine, leaders must reset their and their teams’ mindsets to keep pace with uncertainty, inconsistency, and interruption.
To that end, here are three key skills leaders today will need to craft tomorrow’s future:
1. The Ability to Doubt
What if you make the wrong decision or choose the wrong direction? What if your company is too complacent? What if your team is too interested in today and not tomorrow? There are a myriad of daily decisions made which rest on absolute confidence, trust, and reliance on good information, critical thinking, and sincere commitment to the mission of the enterprise. Are you able to second guess? I’m not talking about inertia or analysis paralysis, but the ability to go beyond conventional wisdom or general consensus and look at the possible consequences
Today’s leader must constantly reassess, reevaluate, and recognize that perception is as important as reality. Today’s leader must have a healthy bit of skepticism in order to stay on top of his or her game as a relevant force.
2. The Ability to Think
Thinking, for a leader, is more critical than most because of the monumental responsibility that their decisions impact so many others’ lives and the very sustainability of the organizations they command. Critical thinking involves the ability to explore the possibilities and probabilities, alternatives and recommendations, and both
short and long term performance challenges.
A leader must surround him or herself with talented, experienced advisers and staff that can complement, supplement, and support decision making with not only information but insight from multiple perspectives. Leaders must see beyond the obvious and the near to the unforeseen and long term.
3. The Ability to Modify
No plan, budget, even team remain unchanged over time. A leader must have the courage to make the adjustments necessary to ensure the success of a plan or direction. It takes determination and confidence to create a plan. It takes even more to make modifications to that plan. The courage of conviction to achieving
the mission of the firm and moving toward a vision that represents improvement to its stakeholders is paramount.
That in and of itself must drive a leader to continue to readjust and respond to changes in the marketplace, regulation, and industry incidents and trends. Of primary concern however is not to compromise guiding and closely held values regardless of temptations to compromise or yield to various pressures.
And as we all know, leadership is more than a title. As such, look around at others in the organization and if they should demonstrate the abilities to doubt, think, and modify, you may have discovered someone(s) deserving of executive coaching, developing, and consideration for succession planning within the firm.