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What leadership veterans should be doing

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Achieving the perfect leadership balance is a juggling act those on the sidelines love to watch, and express their views on where people are going wrong. 

One issue which is particularly relevant at the moment is the issue of leadership tenure.

Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella has been credited for building a new, stronger Microsoft, yet some feel he is not focusing sufficiently on bringing fresh blood to the top.

Likewise, with a 12.7-year average executive tenure at Apple,  some say the company is being dominated by old-timers. 

Getting the balance right is key - longer tenure equates to greater expertise at the top, consistency and an ability to pursue a settled strategy. However, maintaining a  strong leadership pipeline is equally key to ensuring vitality and innovation within an organisation. Nothing is better than manager’s questioning the established practices of a business.

In the UK over three million people are currently working as managers and this figure is predicted to leap by more than 18% to 3.6 million by 2020. 

By 2020 the Nadellas and Cooks of the world will not only be looking for people who can take over where they will be leaving off, but they will be looking for a new breed of leader. The skills required to meet the new challenges of the next decade will be very different to those which are currently in evidence.

Challenges posed by technology, diversity, globalisation and sustainability will be even more prevalent. 

According to PwC those in the leadership pipeline should already be developing characteristics such as agile, authentic, and sustainable.

The American Management Association too has identified the “four Cs” as the most important skills for managers in the future. These are Critical thinking and problem solving; Communication skills; Collaboration skills; and Creativity and innovation skills. 

The University of Phoenix Research Institute, meanwhile, points out that managers will need to have social intelligence, new-media literacy, computational thinking and an ability to collaborate virtually, among other qualities.

Significantly, however, Professor Linda Hill from Harvard Business School argues that the next generation will need to act like shepherds and “lead from behind”. This will require them to decide who is, and who is not, in the group and to articulate the values that will inform the group. 

Indeed many experts have excellent advice to give when it comes to tomorrow’s leaders - but with 2020 less than four years away and regardless of how successful those veterans at the top currently are, they now need to plan to whom they will be passing the baton as they will need to exhibit skills and attributes which are markedly different to anything seen before!

This article was published on daviddumeresque.blogspot.in

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