The Future is Now: Essential Skills for Tomorrow’s Leader

Let’s take a minute to gaze into a crystal ball to see what the future holds for leaders. But before we can know what skills leaders need, we must first look at the changes coming that will impact organizations. As you are experiencing every day, the business world is changing at an unprecedented rate. By 2020 the workforce will look significantly different than today. See below for a few of the changes that forecasters believe are headed your way.

  • Employee Diversity – the next 10 years will see huge increases in cultural diversity and age diversity in the work place, leading to broader set of worker values, styles and experience.
  • 9 to 5 is dead – Talent will be deployed and redeployed around the world as work becomes even more mobile. Work will be done anywhere, anytime.
  • Mind the Skills Gap – Three in four jobs will demand higher entry level qualifications as the demand for “knowledge workers” grows while skills shortages in science and math will challenge growth and innovation.
  • Tech Still Rules – One-third of all data will live in or pass through the cloud. Technology will connect employees, partners, clients and prospects at an even faster rate, making collaboration, transparency and communication vital for success.
  • Shorter Business Lifespan — An organization’s lifespan will drop from 45 years to less than 10. To survive, organizations will need to be agile, innovative and demonstrate sustainable practices that are socially responsible.


In order to thrive in this new world order, your leaders will need a particular set of skills to succeed. Experts agree that the following talents that will be critical for the 2020 leader:

  • Collaborative orientation – Lose the command and control model asap. You must be able to lead people and teams through collaboration.
  • Developer of people – Talented people have many options. Once you bring them on, you better know how to invest in them and keep them engaged, or they will move on.
  • Immersive and immediate learning – Be prepared to do a deep dive to learn a new skill, be a fast learner and put it to work immediately.
  • Digital proficiency – Technology will only become a larger part of our work lives. You can’t avoid it. Make sure you have a working knowledge of how to use social media and technology.
  • Global mindset including cultural agility – Adapting to the increasingly diverse employee base, leaders must be sensitive to a variety of backgrounds, world views and values on their teams.
  • Conscious capitalist/Conscious LeaderCompanies will continue to push their Corporate Social Responsibility agendas, so all decisions need to be considered through a filter that considers the impact on the community, the environment, and the quality of life of the workforce.
  • Adaptability/change orientation – Lose the tunnel vision. Leaders must be agile and have the ability to pivot a team quickly toward a different goal.
  • 360 communicator– Here’s a tried and true skill and leaders have always needed. The barriers of technology and time zones only make communication skills that much more critical.

If your organization needs help preparing its leaders for the future, Powers Resource Center would love to help. Check us out at

No Comments