Leaders Of Tomorrow: What Skills And Business Aspects Should You Focus On?
A CNBC survey shows that 60% of students want to become entrepreneurs, and a report by Intelligent.com shows that 17% of 2022 college graduates already run a business.
But we’re all aware of the oft-repeated fact that 90% of all startups fail. Why’s that the case?
Every business faces challenges relating to cybersecurity, employee well-being, customer satisfaction, and sustainability challenges, among others. As a business owner or manager, you can overcome these challenges by developing the skills necessary to lead your organization. These skills facilitate you in facing business challenges and making you a leader fit for the future.
So, what business aspects and skills should you focus on?
More customers today prefer eco-friendly brands and purchase from sustainable and ethical businesses. One of the most important business aspects in the 21st century is reducing your organization’s carbon footprint. As a business leader, you can pursue a corporate sustainability course to learn many easy ways to minimize your company’s negative impact on the environment. This course can be instrumental for business executives who wish to gain a competitive advantage in the industry by going green. The course equips you with the knowledge necessary to integrate sustainable business practices into the core of your operations.
Effective communication is the hallmark of a successful entrepreneur. And you should master every form of communication – verbal, non-verbal, body language – to lead to company. As an effective communicator, you can express your business objectives and expectations clearly.
Effective communication skills are also important for motivating people and giving them the feedback they need to perform better. Have an open-door policy in the workplace to welcome opinions, even if you dislike them. Hold regular meetings where employees can raise their concerns and share feedback. You can also give them the option to give their ideas anonymously. This way, open communication can lead to innovation in the workplace.
3. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence (EQ) – not to be confused with the discredited IQ – means you’re self-aware, socially attentive, and capable of managing your emotions. But how does it make you better prepared for future leadership roles?
- You realize what’s the best method to motivate your people
- You respond appropriately to different situations in the workplace
- You can innovate, foster creativity, and further original ideas in the workplace
4. Business Management
Your management style can make or break the workforce’s productivity. A Gallup survey shows that managers account for 70% of the variance in employee engagement and cooperation. Hence reflect on your performance as the manager from a worker’s perspective. Look at your behavior to find some flaws in the way you manage the business and avoid these mistakes:
- Mistake #1: Not delegating tasks
- Mistake #2: Not training new workers
- Mistake #3: Setting no or wrong expectations
- Mistake #4: Not offering the much-needed feedback
- Mistake #5: Sharing their wins but blaming them for losses
Gone are the days when decision-making relied solely on gut feelings. Leaders today focus on data-driven decisions and policies. Data-driven decision-making (DDDM) is the norm as the corporate sector’s trust in big data grows. As a future leader, you should also hone your tech skills. These tech skills will help you make well-informed and data-backed decisions.
Want to expand your business? Consult data. Confused about which products to launch? Check which past products were a hit among your audiences. Let data tell you what’s best for your company.
6. Financial literacy
82% of startups tank because of cash flow problems. Therefore, hone your finance skills to manage your company’s economic condition.
You only require a rudimentary understanding of business finance to lead a startup and prevent bankruptcy. But acquiring formal education isn’t a bad idea if numbers are your thing. At the very least, familiarize yourself with cash flow management, interpreting financial statements, costing, and budgeting.
Leaders should know their workforce’s capabilities and delegate the right job to the right person accordingly. Organize the company and teams in a way you distribute responsibilities to everyone after learning a person’s strengths and weaknesses.
Delegation also lets you mentor your worker by tracking their progress. Let your people enjoy some independence, and you can watch them grow into valuable employees.
8. Conflict Management
When you dream of leadership, realize that having the final say in any business decision is a huge responsibility. A leader must manage conflicts and decide disputes in the organization without committing injustice or making enemies of her colleagues. Peacemaking isn’t a piece of cake, and it doesn’t occur just a few times in a set period. Statistics show that managers spend 1 in every 4 hours resolving conflicts. How can you manage workplace arguments like a pro?
- Determine how severe the situation has become
- Ask workers to try to work it out between them before seeking arbitration
- Know when you must intervene, e.g., when the conflict escalates beyond acceptable ranges
- Document the said conflict and listen to all parties by giving an equal amount of time
- Don’t make anyone feel unheard
- Try to find common ground for all the parties involved, brainstorm creative solutions, create a solution that works for all of them, and implement it
Future leaders should develop certain soft skills to be capable enough to lead 21st-century businesses. A modern-day entrepreneur must know how to communicate effectively, manage one’s emotions, possess out-of-the-square thinking abilities, and can delegate the right task to the right person. Also, this leader should resolve conflicts, adapt to changes, and devise creative solutions to diminish the startup’s carbon footprint. Obtaining a sustainability course can help future leaders be more eco-conscious.