Six skills of great leaders – 20 years or now?


Author and futurist Rick Smith has written an interesting article in Forbes Magazine about leadership in 20 years and the six skills leaders will need.  it is a good article and i have attached the link below. His vision is that “Twenty years from now, great leaders will ask the right questions, let employees pull information and customers pull their desired products and services, organize for chaos, foster the behaviors of growth, and guide the entire interconnected system toward a positive purpose”.

My view is that great leaders and great organisations do that now. Here is my take on the six.

  1. Questions vs answers – ‘people value their own conclusions, far more than what you tell them’. So the skill of great leaders today is to help their staff and clients reach a conclusion, rather than telling them the answer
  2. Employee pull – empowerment of the individual is here now. Great customer service demands it; engaged employees create innovation and opportunity at the edge
  3. Customer pull – social media has given the customer the power; digital has already enabled personalisation to a market of one
  4. Chaos learning – disruption is here and ongoing. iTunes completely disrupted the music industry 12 years ago – music streaming (Spotify, Pandora) is on the way to completely disrupting iTunes for music
  5. Focus on growth – this is certainly not new; only organisations that are seeking to grow have survived since the industrial revolution (and probably before)
  6. Purpose – the millenials demand more than profit motive; they are all into purpose and social capital. One of the first questions that new graduates ask when being interviewed for a job at Deloitte is about our Foundation and social causes.

Not all leaders or organisations are great. but I believe if organisations do not have these skills over the next few years, let alone 10 or 20 years time, they will not survive.


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