In recent years, we have been witnessing a shift from hard (leadership) skills to soft skills in many different areas of society. Leadership has been no exception. Nowadays, organisations and their leaders place more emphasis on people, their needs and relationships. Different personalities among employees are no longer nuisances and are actually welcomed and embraced by today’s best leaders. The latter are using many tools to help them adapt to different needs, reactions and expectations from team members so they can thrive.

What determined those changes in the way we lead people now?

Okay, we’ve already established that it is the fast-paced and ever-changing economy, driven by technological development, that demands and triggers change. But how has all this affected the business environment, business models, organisational culture, business mindset, etc? We can confidently say that it has opened space for sustainability in business and that this concept plays a vital role in setting up the new leadership style. More and more businesses are taking this path and their main goal isn’t profit alone, but a ‘wider picture’. As Dr. Nenad Savić, one of the experts from our Leadership 4.0 online program, says: “If a company is profitable that doesn’t necessarily mean it is also sustainable. Even worse, it could be very profitable but not sustainable at all, so we need to know what boundary perspectives divide truly sustainable companies from the “sustainable” ones. So, how a business contributes to simultaneous environmental, social and economic development through its operation, while also creating business benefits for the company.”

Embracing new business concepts leads to change and, with the support of turbulent technological dynamics, change is something that we all have to accept. Leaders need to face Change management. The latter raises many questions for a leader, such as: How do I show people the future and make them follow me? How do I create trust among employees? How do I implement my vision?

Now that we have “set the scene”, the question remains of what kind of leader is best suited to thrive in the aforementioned environments? What personal skills and characteristics will come to hand in the challenge of being a successful leader? Carlos Davidovich, a neuroscience expert who runs the course How neuroscience can make us more effective leaders on our Leadership 4.0 program, says: “Synchronising the science of the brain with leadership behaviours offers the best hope for affecting real change in a leader and within an organisation. It helps us to understand the impact that our emotions and behaviours – and the behaviours of those around us – have on our success and failure.” A modern leader is no longer required to only have high IQ and EQ but, even more importantly, high AQ (adaptability quotient).

What tools can I implement to be a successful leader?

There must be more but we will highlight two. Coaching, a simple yet very effective method, proved to be a very useful way of influencing and developing people. It is also pretty simple to acquire. “Coaching is gaining more and more attention from leaders who have decided to integrate certain elements of coaching into their leadership style,” Dr. Sabina Đuvelek, a coaching expert comments. Leading through storytelling is another tool we can use in order to excel. Using people’s emotions to guide them through changes and using stories to share your vision so you can positively influence them to engage in desired actions.

What kind of leadership style?

What we are describing here is actually a transformational leadership. It is a new way of leadership or a style in which leaders encourage, inspire and motivate employees to innovate and create change that will help grow and shape the future success of the company. Micromanaging is no longer an option; trust comes first and setting an example at the executive level through a strong sense of organisational culture becomes the no. 1 priority.

Make it the no. 1 priority for yourself, a future leader!