Leaders need to develop their generational IQ by combining the generational smarts with leadership insights that have been cross-pollinated across several generations at work.
BY RUMA BHATEJA
“Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.”- George Orwell
As workforce demographics shift, and, unified glocal markets emerge, diversity is now being seen as a business reality. And, why is it important? The best answer would be in the words of Stephen R. Covey who famously said, “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities”.
The underlying turbulence while managing and working with a multigenerational workforce is apparently evident in almost every organization. Such an unequal footing is the result of a mix of ideological differences among generations. Existing people management skills should cross-pollinate with the new age leadership skills, to be able to handle and grow within this diverse group.
Let me give an example. Are you able to get work done from your team by being the same old boss? The ‘yes boss’, aggressive people handling style are passé’. They have been demolished in the face of non-cooperation. The hard-hitting skills of the past are falling flat in leading this diverse group. Adding to this is the phenomenon of ‘reluctance to change’. We are still trying to apply old theories to absolutely new environments; as a result, there is limited progress. And, for those who really want to change, they do not know how to.
So, here I bring to you five most important skills that must be acquired and developed by the current as well as future leaders, to survive in this VUCA struck world.
Five Skills That Every Leader Must Have!
Here are five skills every leader must possess!
1. Acceptance to Ambiguity:
Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is an essential skill towards a successful self-change management strategy. Navigating your way in an uncertain situation, and, thereby creating your own path for delivering the best possible solutions. Research has divulged a significant correlation between ambiguity acceptance and customer and organizational outcomes for team members.
2. Emotional Intelligence:
The need for deep emotional awareness and radical empathy skills to behave in a manner that goes beyond self-interests has been cross-pollinated as one of the key skills to success. Emotional intelligence reportedly accounts for 58% of performance in all types of jobs, and, 83% of those with high self-awareness are top performers.
Daniel Goleman says,
“This emotional task of the leader is primal—that is, first—in two senses: It is both the original and the most important act of leadership. Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won’t make a great leader.”
3. Audacity with radical responsibility:
Being audacious and having the right courage has always been a winning skill. Lot of people fail to understand its real meaning. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to act in spite of fear. An appetite for risk is an absolute essential for growth. Risks bring forth radical opportunities, confidence, and success. It is noteworthy that in the disrupting economy, the risk of inaction is way bigger than the risk of action.
This may sound strange to many, but allowing your team to see you as an imperfect person sometimes is essential. Most of us look for role models, but to see the not so good side of the leader and his efforts on self-improvement will definitely inspire and harness the right mix of a healthy atmosphere, where teams thrive and innovation flourishes.Being vulnerable may seem counter-intuitive with respect to leadership as this suggests being exposed, perhaps uncertain and rather sensitive. But far from being problematic, we may find that being vulnerable, at least at some times, may actually lend strength and credibility to a leader. Being vulnerable at its heart means being open, even if it is for criticism or attack. Hence, a vulnerable and an authentic leader is likely to get better quality and real information.
5. Tech Skills:
Integrating humans and technology will be one of the most important dimensions in the 4th Industrial Revolution era. Technology has shifted from Boolean searches to Semantics. Technological disruptions are playing a major role in reshaping our way of thinking seeing, and acting in every space. A mix of business-techno skills is the new-age need of the hour to succeed in any kind of business.
Converting an aspirational career graph, into reality is now possible if we work towards building these five skills. Leaders need to develop their generational IQ by combining the generational smarts with leadership insights that have been cross-pollinated across several generations at work.