Due in part to disruptive technology, traditional leadership qualities and skills will not be sufficient for the next generation of leaders, as noted in an article published by Harvard Business Review this year.
It points out that “certain qualities, such as deep domain expertise, decisiveness, authority, and short-term task focus, are losing their cachet, while others, such as humility, adaptability, vision, and constant engagement, are likely to play a key role in more-agile types of leadership”.
As the article also states, the shift from harder to softer skills has been underway for decades. In fact the biggest technology-induced change for leaders that I’ve noticed over the past ten years has nothing to do with AI, machine learning, big data, or blockchain. Instead it’s been the increased options for virtual contact and collaboration, which not only require a new set of skills but present a constant challenge: Am I involving enough people? The right people? Too many people? Of course these questions arise for people at other levels of the organization, but for leaders the stakes are often much higher.