11 Leadership Skills To Build In 2024 For Executives And Emerging Leaders

Jan 04, 2024 3 Min Read
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Crafting a Roadmap for Modern Leadership

In 2024, leaders face a work landscape that has been transformed by generational diversity, complex hybrid work structures, and a rapid infusion of technology. To be a successful leader today – a modern, authentic, human leader – you must amplify a unique set of skills to meet this vastly changed environment. This is a combination of traditional leadership skills with an emphasis on soft skills (also called social skills). Here are 11 critical competencies you need to demonstrate so you can build your personal brand as a relevant and accomplished leader:

1. Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

The ability to understand and manage your own emotions, as well as recognise and influence the emotions of others, is vital for leading effectively and empathetically. At the core of this skill is self-awareness. Being self-aware is the first step in Daniel Goleman’s emotional intelligence model, and it’s the foundation for being able to build meaningful relationships with stakeholders.

Read Daniel Goleman's articles here

2. Adaptability

The modern lexicon of the workplace includes words like 'change,' 'pivot,' and 'evolve.' Leaders must demonstrate flexibility, being able to swiftly adjust strategies and actions in response to technological shifts, worker preferences and market demands.

Read: Three Dimensions of Leadership Agility

3. Inclusivity

Embracing and leveraging diversity, fostering an inclusive environment where all team members can thrive, is a non-negotiable leadership skill. Belonging is the key element here. When you cultivate a culture of belonging, your people do their best work in support of your mission.

Discover: 5 Ways Belongingness Impacts Employee Engagement

4. Communication

Leaders must be storytellers, articulating visions and strategies with clarity and authenticity. Specialising in video communication for both synchronous and asynchronous interactions is vital in a hybrid work era, where in-person exchanges are less frequent. That means delivering compelling communications, while leveraging tech–messaging software and virtual meeting platforms.

5. Creative Problem-Solving

The ability to approach challenges from fresh angles and spark innovation is invaluable. Creativity is the foundation of innovation, offering potential solutions to vexing challenges.

6. Collaboration

Building and sustaining a collaborative team in a remote or hybrid setting demands skills beyond the traditional. Leaders must inspire, engage, and leverage technology to integrate collaboration into how the team works. Building team cohesion and connection is the key to engaging today’s workforce.

7. Resilience

We all learned from our experience with Covid that unexpected challenges can hijack well thought out plans. The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, adapt to adversity, and continue to move forward is key to leadership longevity and success.

8. Strategic Thinking

Leaders have always been creators and stewards of strategy. They must be able to see the big picture, anticipate future trends and challenges, and plan accordingly. That requires an interest in what’s happening and a desire to learn and grow.

9. Learning

The only way to remain relevant in an ever-evolving environment is by being a lifelong learner. Leaders need to engage regularly in learning and become the model for team members, encouraging them to grow knowledge and skills.

10. Sustainability and Social Responsibility

Leaders must grasp the broader impact of their decisions and advocate for practices that ensure environmental care and social good. This helps them build organisations that are principled and appreciated by today’s workforce. It also helps them deliver greater profits. “72% of executives surveyed see ESG as an enabler rather than cost center,” according to a study from IBM.

11. Digital Literacy

Technology is accelerating into the workplace with the speed and precision of a NASCAR vehicle making a pit stop. Leaders need not be tech experts but must be tech-literate. They must adopt a digital mindset. “The digital mindset is a set of attitudes and behaviours that enable people and organisations to see new possibilities and chart a path for the future,” according to Paul Leonardi and Tsedal Neeley, authors of The Digital Mindset.

These skills form the mosaic of modern leadership. Mastering them does not merely equip leaders to survive in today's work environment but to thrive, driving their organisations towards success and innovation in 2024 and beyond.

This article was originally published in Forbes.

Edited by: Kiran Tuljaram

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William Arruda is the bestselling author of the definitive books on personal branding: Digital YOU, Career Distinction and Ditch. Dare. Do! And he’s the creative energy behind Reach Personal Branding and CareerBlast.TV – two groundbreaking organizations committed to expanding the visibility, availability, and value of personal branding across the globe. For more information on Personal Branding , please visit williamarruda.com. 


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