What is needed to evolve your leadership skills in the 21st century?
To help leaders redefine and reshape the way they view leadership, we asked CEOs and thought leaders this question for their best insights. From embracing upward change to elevating emotional intelligence, there are several skills to help evolve leadership that may help you elevate your brand for years to come.
Here are 10 evolutionary leadership skills needed in the 21st century:
21st-century leaders have been seen at their best, their worst, and everything in-between during impromptu Zoom meetings and work-from-home contexts. In the past, authenticity may have had negative consequences because it exposed opportunities for judgment. Now, we are more mindful, empathetic, and accepting of the reality that we all face in balancing work with our home lives and health priorities.
A leader must be authentic and accessible, which creates next-level networking opportunities and the relatability consumers want to see in a brand they select. Authenticity comes in the form of inspiring messaging and believability from leaders, particularly in a world where personal and professional branding is intertwined and communicated on social media platforms. Brands have to be humanized, and the 21st-century leader is more equipped than ever to bring a new layer of marketing, messaging, and awareness to their businesses.
Dr. Joe Sallustio, Claremont Lincoln University
Our boutique interior design firm is full of strong, confident women. To evolve my leadership skills and ensure that my team is getting what they need from me as the company owner, I am constantly looking for ways to empower and inspire them. Women are hard on themselves and don't always have the confidence that some men naturally have. I am aware of this and am constantly looking for ways to uplift my team and lead with grace and inspiration.
Alisha Taylor, Alisha Taylor Interiors
The 21st century is unique because of all the advances in technology and knowledge brought about by the internet. We have social media, remote work, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, unprecedented levels of automation, biohacking, digital transformation and so many other things that point towards one eventuality-- an exponential growth in technology that will cause a disruption in our way of life that's way beyond what we can imagine. That being said, leadership in the 21st century entails an understanding of the coming technological singularity and its implications from a geopolitical, socio-economic, moral-spiritual, and entrepreneurial standpoint. The 21st-century leader must have the foresight to understand all these and be motivated to educate and inspire people to accept and embrace these changes instead of being terrified and resistant to them.
Phillip Lew, C9 Staff
In order to be an effective leader, it’s important not to just have a big picture in mind but a full picture. You should have the complete and full picture in mind and communicate it clearly, so you are able to direct your team toward very clear goals. Having this full picture can also help you effectively and meaningfully communicate with the people who are working with you and reduce the number of misunderstandings within the team.
Jeanne Kolpek, Cadence Education
King's School graduates are equipped with the tools to be effective leaders as they progress in their lives and careers. 21st-century Christian leadership skills require the emotional intelligence of mindful citizens who engage their peers with empathy and a listening ear. We teach our future leaders the social skills to understand and value the story and backgrounds of others so they learn to communicate and collaborate as they move through life successfully.
Erick Streelman, King’s School
It is super important to develop leadership skills for your personal and professional advancement. It can also help to have good examples. Having good examples of leaders to emulate is necessary for one’s leadership evolution as you can learn from the experience that they have. Having good leaders as mentors to guide and coach you throughout your growth and development can also be very valuable to get to the next level.
Rronniba Pemberton, Markitors
If you are not using your networking abilities to the fullest extent, then you may be missing out on opportunities to be the best leader possible in the 21st century. You will inevitably meet people in various places and at events, especially as the world opens back up post-COVID. Remember to follow up with these people so you can assist each other in the future. You want to keep the lines of communication open because you never know when you could support someone or vice versa. This can lead to unexpected opportunities for you and/or your organization that can be surprisingly beneficial.
Sara Shah, Journ
As we all know, the past few months have shown us that we must always expect the unexpected. Leaders need to be willing to pivot and incorporate innovative, targeted strategies to be successful leaders in the 21st century. This means keeping a close eye on campaigns and recognizing when a change needs to be made. Leaders can no longer base their data on the previous quarter, but they must watch as the data unfold before their very eyes — making use of every applicable piece of technology available.
Dylan Fox, AssemblyAI
When elevating your life, it’s often easier to start by determining what you don't want before exploring what you do want. Manifesting is a vital trait to use when developing your leadership skills in today’s time as you need to identify the matters in your life. After recognizing any habits, recurring thought patterns, or items in your life you want to leave in the past, then start to become aware of where you see your life going. Find meaning in your life and become clear on what makes you motivated. This could be something simple or something more complex, but, whatever it may be, connect your mind, heart, and soul to it. In relation, it can transfer over to your leadership skills and how you are able to elevate others around you.
Daniel Kane, Ridge Wallet
As remote work has become more and more of a standard in the working world, leadership has needed to adapt to this change. You need to be able to effectively lead your employees remotely in order to thrive in today's business world. Learning how to best manage your employees while working remotely is essential to being an effective leader in the 21st century.
Lauren Picasso, Cure Hydration