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Developing The Next Generation Of Leaders: The Top 3 Competencies for Success

If we think of the next generation of leaders as five to ten years into their career, they are likely in a Manager or Director level role managing a small team for the first time. They are potentially dealing with a complex set of people challenges including a multi-generational team, hybrid working conditions, and a job market that remains tight thus placing a premium on talent at all levels.  Consequently, it’s more imperative than ever that we invest in young leaders to equip them to succeed in today’s dynamic business environment where change is the only constant.

As you begin planning for 2024, consider working with the young leaders in your organization to develop these three key competencies:

1. Emotional Intelligence:

Definition: Emotional intelligence involves understanding and managing one’s emotions and effectively navigating interpersonal relationships.

Why it’s on the list: Leaders with high emotional intelligence can build strong relationships, resolve conflicts, and create a positive work environment, leading to increased team collaboration and productivity.

Ways to Develop:

  • Complete this 4 module course from the UC Davis:  Emotional & Social Intelligence.
  • Confidentially observe and discuss good and bad examples in your workplace.
  • Participate in a cross-functional special project.

2. Managing Change

Definition: Managing change is the capacity to adjust to new circumstances, embrace change, and respond effectively to unforeseen challenges.

Why it’s on the list: In a rapidly evolving business landscape, leaders must be agile and capable of guiding their teams through change, ensuring resilience and continued success.

Ways to Develop:

  • Develop alternative scenarios for an upcoming project anticipating different obstacles and outcomes.
  • Participate in an organization-wide project involving implementation of new technologies and business processes.
  • Complete this Coursera course on leading transformation.

3. Effective Communication:

Definition: Effective communication involves the clear and concise exchange of information, ideas, and expectations to ensure understanding and alignment.

Why it’s on the list: Leaders who communicate effectively foster a transparent and collaborative environment, reducing misunderstandings and enhancing team cohesion.

Ways to Develop:

  • Public Speaking Courses: Hone your public speaking skills to convey ideas with clarity and confidence.
  • Feedback Solicitation: Encourage feedback from your team to understand how your communication style can be improved.
  • Create a multi-faceted communication plan for your department.

In conclusion, mastering these leadership competencies is a continuous journey that requires self-awareness, commitment, and a willingness to learn and adapt. By developing these skills, our next generation of leaders can not only navigate the complexities of today’s business environment but also inspire and empower their teams to achieve unprecedented success. Leadership is not just a position; it’s a journey of growth and development that positively impacts both individuals and organizations.