Skills for the leaders 2020 brought about many challenges for almost every sector of livelihood. During the pandemic, the entire world went through multiple unprecedented changes and a paradigm shift to the ‘new normal.’ Schools to businesses and even ecosystems had to go through drastic changes.
Thousands of people lost their jobs, hundreds of businesses faced deficits, and many industries experienced record-breaking slowdowns throughout the globe. However, many sectors, especially the pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and e-commerce, also witnessed a prodigious rise in demand.
With such a dynamic end of the decade, leaders prepared well to welcome 2021. While talking about the skills, technical and data analytics topped the list, followed by soft, non-technical people skills. It is a challenge many organizational leaders will face. Some of these skills can be extremely simple, while some might be very tricky to implement. For instance, technology isn’t everyone’s forte. Still, the way it has taken over almost every aspect of our social and work lives makes it necessary to learn.
Besides, a leader tends to model all qualities and skills expected from his employees. However, organizational leaders are not necessarily the head of the entire company or business. They are usually the head of different departments, which means having skills and abilities restricted to those particular sectors’ requirements should be sufficient for leaders to adopt. Some lucrative organizational leadership jobs include HR manager, community service manager, education administer, and others.
Below, we have combined a list of skills you will need to become an effective leader in 2021.
1. DIGITAL SKILLS
Technology has played a crucial role in shaping business activities in 2020. Schools and retail industries underwent a significant shift to digitization, while other sectors are still forming a digitally fit strategy to follow in 2021. Companies have now switched their focus to hiring tech-savvy employees and adapting to rapid technological advancements and changes. Leaders tend to have higher-order thinking skills such as strategic management, agile decision making, and complex problem-solving skills. All of which will help them adapt to these technological changes faster. Hence, to become a successful leader, individuals must become digitally comprehensive in this world of technical competencies and innovations.
2. DATA SKILLS
You might have quite frequently heard that this is the world of data, but what does big data mean? It extracts, analyzes, and interprets large volumes of data that otherwise could not be possible through conventional software. Data visualization is likely to become a significant component for businesses in the future. Therefore, having the right knowledge about its insights and tools has become crucial.
Experts have predicted that big data is only likely to accelerate in the future. It will eventually become the standing ground of data collection and decision making in businesses. Fields related to data science, data analysis will benefit most from it, but the list does not stop here. Professionals like doctors, sales executives, marketers, farmers, and retailers can also use big data for decision-making purposes and others.
At this point, it is quite clear how increasingly important data visualization is becoming. Hence, acquiring relevant skills and training in the field can drastically increase your chances of employment.
3. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
Artificial intelligence (AI) is an extension of data skills. The world economic forum refers to it as the ‘second half’ of data; AI can change the world. It can help deal with tasks faster, predict future trends, and make distinctive user experiences. In short, it can transfigure the way we work.
AI also has the potential to create thousands of jobs. However, given the pandemic’s current state, this might be a tricky component to discuss further. When you have acquired the analytical and programming skills to deal with AI, you will most likely be ahead of others. That is precisely where a leader needs to be at, like mentioned above, ahead of its employees.
4. COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Soft skills such as communication are equally important as technical skills. If you lack soft skills, technical skills alone can only do you very little good. Effective communication is critical for good leadership. A leader can only know how to manage and who to hire if he can communicate properly. The clarity in speech, thoughts, and transparency are some prevalent skills judged by employers.
Similarly, a multilingual leader has the potential of taking businesses to new heights. It is so because communicating in your clients/stakeholder’s native language can earn you brownie points. However, extreme caution is required here. You need to make sure that you are fluently and correctly speaking the language. Unclarity can disrupt your client’s thoughts and decisions.
5. WILLINGNESS TO LEARN
Not new, but a fundamental skill is a leaders’ mindset and his ability to learn. Such a trait lays more importance this year than any other because of the ongoing pandemic. A leader is not always right; an egoistic attitude and willfulness are adverse to a person’s performance. A good leader is one who accepts constructive criticism and makes a lesson out of it. Willingness to learn tells a lot about a person’s innovative and creative propensity and risk-taking abilities.
6. MENTAL WELLNESS
There is no doubt that 2020 has taken a toll on our mental health more than anything. It has not only increased peoples’ stress levels but has also affected their jobs and career. Therefore, let’s make 2021 all about our mental wellness and emotional intelligence. Less stress and anxiety can enhance your decision-making skills, uplifting your career prospects. It will teach you to be more compassionate towards your friends, family, and colleagues.
Leaders play an essential role in shaping a business’s future. They are the primary source of inspiration and motivation for its employees. They not only engage and connect with employees but also show empathy towards them. Listening to and recognizing their achievements can boost their morale and increase productivity.
Leadership can be an exciting but demanding role. Leaders need to make sure they possess the same skills and qualities (or even more) as the people working with them.