We can’t predict the future, and this year has made it clear that leaders have to be ready for the unexpected. A proactive approach to what lies ahead means learning how to take every curveball as it comes and to lead with the agility and grace to keep your head in the game and support your team through unpredictable challenges. In the wake of COVID-19, leaders have learned to be creative, get scrappy, and rethink the way we work. The only thing we know for certain is that nothing is ever certain.
So how do we take what we’ve learned and build future-ready leadership that is ready for anything and up to any challenge? We’re already coaching our leaders of the future — how do we coach them to be future-ready?
It starts by identifying 4 key competencies:
1. Learning Agility
The only constant is change — and that’s especially true for technology. The tools we use in our daily work are adapting and innovating at lightning speed, and workplaces are being disrupted at an exponentially faster pace than ever before. The best way to be future-ready? Keep up with the times. When the world came to a screeching halt, organizations who were already using video conferencing and had teleworking capabilities had a distinct advantage when it came to making the necessary pivot to social distancing.
Learning agility doesn’t mean every future-proof leader has to be on the cutting edge. However, understanding all available resources makes it possible for a quicker turnaround from “the old way” to the new. Learning agility means knowing what to do — and how to do it — when what you’ve always done no longer works. Future-ready leaders are ones who can facilitate the transition when something new makes something old obsolete.
2. Creativity and Innovation
Even the most agile learners can’t anticipate everything. Trends are important to watch, but 2020 has been the year to teach us that sometimes disruptions are entirely unpredictable. And when that happens, future-ready leaders need to be able to come up with creative solutions to unforeseen challenges.
COVID-19 has forced some businesses to completely change the way they operate. Distilleries started making hand sanitizer, textile manufacturers began making face masks — even if your organization didn’t have to change its business model, most businesses had to re-configure some aspect of the way they did things, whether it was conducting the entire hiring process virtually or managing teams remotely for the first time. Future-ready leaders are ones who can take a moment of uncertainty and re-organize and re-prioritize standard processes to create something new that is better suited for the time.
What does creativity and innovation have to do with #FutureReady leaders? @CaliperCorp shares how these 4 #competencies help your leaders prepare for an uncertain future.
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3. Composure and Resiliency
Change is stressful. A future-ready leader is not immune to moments of stress, but they have the composure to lead their teams through challenges in the face of uncertainty, and the resiliency to not succumb to the pressure. With a key trait of mental toughness, resilient leaders have the ability to handle setbacks and high pressure situations, with the energy and persistence to push through to the right solution.
Bonus Content: View our Comprehensive Guide to Mental Toughness
In times of stress, people look towards their leaders to know how to respond. A future-ready leader demonstrates composure and signals to their team that a solution is possible and feasible through creative problem solving, avoiding panic mode — these teams are better equipped to handle change as it comes, even when it seemingly comes out of nowhere.
4. Collaboration and Teamwork
An important part of being future-ready is ensuring that the team is ready to follow. Teams that feel as though they have contributed to the future are more likely to work together, develop creative solutions, innovate, and adapt more quickly. Leaders who can effectively facilitate collaboration between teammates will be that much more prepared for an unknown future.
When teammates can bring their individual perspectives together, thinking goes outside the box, and two key results occur — new ways of tackling old problems and a more tightly-knit team. As the future brings new challenges and new ways of thinking, collaborative teams can work together to develop solutions to new problems in a way that best suits the way they work.
While we can’t predict the future, future-ready leaders make it possible for teams and organizations to tackle new challenges head-on, and adapt effectively to new normals in real-time. To learn more about identifying key traits of future-ready leaders, reach out to our experts to explore the Caliper Profile, and to discover how coaching can guarantee your leaders are ready for whatever challenges may come their way, get started with Caliper today.
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