The Next Generation of Leaders

I was having a conversation with a fellow colleague last week when they asked me what the skillset required for the next generation of leaders would be. The question took me aback as I tried to weigh everything we had just finished talking about in regards to team, leadership and culture with the current events of COVID-19 that are unfolding across the globe.

In thinking a little more on this, here is where I see the skills being needed for the next generation of leaders evolving to.

Emotional Intelligence

We’ve seen many, many examples over the past month as to leaders who can and those who can’t process emotional intelligence. Especially now where we are forcing many people to work remotely that even in the most perfect circumstances would not have been able to do this before. People are anxious about the unknown and they need a leader who will be able to balance delivery with compassion to help get them through this glut that they are now finding themselves in, through no actions of their own.

If you are struggling, there are some great articles out there to help you navigate this divide.


Right now we are being inundated with data maps, infographics, youtube videos on the topic of what is happening. There is an insurmountable amount of data to consume and many organizations are working to help people to consume it. In addition, there are so many data points that this information is being used to direct when people can and should come back to the office or when restrictions should relax. Many of our world leaders are being criticized and/or praised for how they have consumed data and provided decisions and extrapolations with this information. As a result, many of today’s leaders are being driven by data more than they know in how they lead. Subsequently, it would not surprise me to see the next generation of leaders looking at data more closely then they did before.

Commit to Switch

It’s been awe-inspiring to see the number of firms that have switched their practices and processes to assist countries in need. Companies that were making cars are now making ventilators, those that made coats are now making gowns. This isn’t about disruption or innovation, this is about recognizing a need, committing to a switch and making it happen – not only for their customers but their internal teams as well. As we previously discussed, not only will analyzing data be important, but deciding what to do with that data will be ever more important.

Communities of Partnership

We have seen good and bad examples of community over the last few weeks. Whether it is the IT communities coming together to build new infrastructure to support the denizens of conference calls to support the world, this much is clear – one company can’t do it all. If everyone went to one platform, that platform would suffer, we are surviving because we are broken into communities and platforms and now more than ever those communities and partnerships are what are keeping us together as we lean on and look for support from those around us.

Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New

Lastly, you can’t be afraid to try something new. Teams that are having morning virtual coffees, or end of week beers or weekly game parties are solving problems rooted in everything we have just discussed – get people together to feel better, don’t let go of old traditions, commit to switches when required. Now is the time, the best time to try out new ideas and see if they work. Maybe what works for one company won’t work for yours, but maybe you trying will get someone else to showcase their own idea and that is the spark that we’re trying to keep going.

Want more? Check out my book Code Your Way Up – available as an eBook or Paperback on Amazon (CAN and US).

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