The Five Must-Have Skills Every Leader Needs For The Future of Work

Earlier this year I sat down with Philip Foster, of Maximum Change, to talk about the future of work. You can listen to the full podcast here. Foster is an organizational and leadership thought leader who teaches and speaks on The Future of Work and is author of Open Organization: A New Era Of Leadership And Organizational Development.

During the podcast episode, he raised five specific skills he believes every leader needs starting now and moving into the future.

Leaders need to be someone who:

#1 Empower

Being able to empower others around you will be crucial as we move into a heavily remote environment and open organization models. True leaders teach and guide those around them to be their best and do their best. Create opportunities for ownership and watch your teams excel.

#2 Communicates Clearly

Communication has always been key but now more than ever. With a heavily remote and mobile workforce, our communication needs to be clear, concise, and frequent. Face time is important for people to feel connected and engaged. Leverage technologies to be engaged with your people. Keep in mind that your communication channels will continue to shift and you will need to be adaptable. No one wants static memos or emails.

#3 Collaborates

This is huge. We are moving into a sharing economy and open organizations. It is imperative you play well with others. Only fear will hold you back from success here. As a leader not only will you need to collaborate with your organization, but you will need to collaborate outside of your organization as well. Look for those to partner with that align with your vision and goals. Find others that stretch you and push you to new heights.

#4 Integrates Cultures

We are a global economy. And, if you’re online you are an international business. One of the biggest tips is learning how to integrate cultures not just for your employees but for your clients as well. How can you integrate the language? What do you need to understand about the culture? How can you blend it in effectively and maintain respect for it and others? These nuances go far beyond knowing how introductions work and body language cues. Do your homework. Don’t be that guy who assumes everyone needs to bend to your culture.

#5 Creates Organizational Cultures That Work

Hierarchies are dying. Since 2000, we have been stagnant in changing employee engagement still hovering around 72% being disengaged. Those shifting to open organization models are seeing this number drop dramatically and their business success booming because of it. It goes beyond the physical environment and employee morale these days. Fostering the right culture for your business and vision includes your inclusion, diversity, and empowerment of people. Develop leaders and game changers. Give them opportunities to stretch themselves and show what they can do. Break the molds of old and create something new — remain adaptable as you go!

Be conscious of the legacy you want your culture to create. — Jen Kelchner via Forbes

If I were to throw a #6 in here, I would say to learn how to be entrepreneurial minded in order to be successful moving forward. The skills entrepreneurs possess will be critical for every employee, not just a leader, as we continue to move this this workforce/workplace transition.

If you or your organization is looking for a deeper dive or help in any of these areas, I would welcome the conversation! After all, collaboration and communication is key! You can learn more about me and the workplace engagement program I offer here.