Even many future trends speakers tend to miss that the most important leadership skills for 2020, 2021, and beyond look very different than those success skills that were needed to get ahead yesterday. In effect, today’s business leaders now face a simple mandate – they must consistently remain focused on what’s new and next. Wondering what it takes to get ahead in tomorrow’s working world, and do just that? Here is a list of attributes those best equipped to succeed in coming years should embody.
Crave curiosity. If we want to think like futurists, it’s more important to ask “why?” than “what?” so that we can dive into the root cause of an issue and understand the value shifts driving today’s trends.
Act courageously. Human beings are wired to reject change, and the future is synonymous with change. A good futurist must recognize that the insights we share will make others feel uncomfortable, but it is in that discomfort that growth occurs.
Think outrageously. The ability to think provocatively is paramount to being able to see ahead of the curve, and react faster. To expand our thinking (and that of our leadership and stakeholders), we must stretch our minds beyond our comfort zone.
Connect the dots. It is not enough to collect the dots (or trends). A forward-looking executive also must connect them to uncover patterns. To understand what’s next, we must analyze the intersection of trends and make sense of the patterns they form.
Think in multiples. As future-focused leaders, we must be able to think in simultaneous, multiple futures rather than the traditional, single, linear forecast. Being able to consider myriad paths beyond the official future allows us to create robust and resilient strategies that will be successful no matter which future emerges.