A fascinating article. An HBR look at leaders who set out to reshape their companies to compete in a fast-evolving digital world and how they often come to a daunting realization: To transform their organizations, they must first transform themselves. 71 percent of 1,500 executives surveyed in more than 90 countries said that adaptability was the most important leadership quality in these times. Respondents also ranked creativity, curiosity, and comfort with ambiguity as highly desirable traits. "It’s the soft skills that I argue are not soft anymore," said one chairman of a major company.
Key advice for leaders trying to recalibrate:
1. Be a catalyst, not a planner
Leaders must be comfortable moving forward with ambiguous and incomplete information about what’s happening around them and the potential impact of their actions.
2.Trust and let go
t’s important to shake the command-control model, which depends on hierarchy and rules. Leaders must learn to exercise influence without relying on formal authority.
3. Be an explorer
" An explorer searches with an ambition in mind: What questions must they answer to lead their businesses today and tomorrow? Where might they find the answers?
4. Be courageous
Leaders need to learn to experiment, iterate, and pivot themselves if their organizations are going to be able to thrive. In order to get comfortable with the inevitable missteps and unconfirmed hypotheses of experimentation, leaders need a new attitude toward risk.
5. Be present
The best leaders stay present and emotionally engaged, communicating openly and authentically.
6. Live values with conviction
Many employees will resist changing their mindsets, behaviors, and skills unless they appreciate the value of doing so; leaders need to be clear about not just what they’re doing, but why they’re doing it.