The ‘Hard’ Leadership Skills of the next decade


Report The ‘Hard’ Leadership Skills of the next decade

May 5, 2023

What are the ‘Hard Leadership Skills’ of the next decade?

We live in unique & deeply challenging times and are in the early years of a pivotal decade. Our world is faced with unprecedented environmental change that is driving huge awareness & change in understanding our individual & organisational social responsibility & the need to act wisely.

The environmental crisis, the global impact of the Covid pandemic and the tragedy of the war in Ukraine (and the consequent threat to all of us) are forcing us as individuals & organisations to find new ways of living, behaving, relating & communicating.

Global & local economies & the organisations that serve them face an uncertain future. Yesterday’s norms are fast unravelling, not necessarily because of the economic climate but because of our demands as external & internal stakeholders. People want a fairer & more transparent society based on dignity, diversity & honesty!

As a consequence, organisational leaders face pressures for transformation as never before. They face these pressures right now, and will continue to do so at least over the next decade.

In the first chapter of Roger Evans’ new book ‘5DL – Five Dimensions of Leadership’ he describes an existential crisis facing leadership today. Organisations and their leaders need solutions to these complex challenges. Unfortunately, many are using skills & competencies that worked in the past, but are no longer fit for purpose.

Most of these skills & processes are ‘linear’ and ‘rational’: reorganise, upscale/downsize, get new leaders, retrain people in new skills, add new processes, become digitally transformed. This might work to an extent, but it just doesn’t cut to the centre of our challenges. They come from a ‘more of the same’ mindset, & so these leaders & their organisations stay stuck. Silos remain. People feel disenfranchised & excluded. Inequality & lack of ownership & responsibility in facing & solving these challenges remains.

The problem is this: many leaders have become so focused on fixing ‘separate’ problems that they miss whole. They miss the interconnectedness of these complex systemic challenges.

From the organisational system to the political, family and global systems, the greatest challenges are interconnected. They have to do with awareness of people and their differences, needs & interdependence.

As we lean into this decade, a new depth of understanding of people & how they interact will become the priority. The human skills of attitudinal change are far less tangible than finance, marketing or information technology skills. Yet, intangible as they are, they are the competencies that will ensure success for those who really understand the challenge.

The development of these human dimensions therefore becomes an imperative. In this respect, they are the ‘hard’ leadership skills of the next decade. We cannot afford to neglect them any longer.

Further Reading

Report May 6, 2023

Implementing Major Change

CLC have been supporting global companies through major change for over 30 years. Here, we’re sharing with you our expert tips, distilled over these years, that will help you succeed in your own transformation activities.

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Report May 5, 2023

The ‘Hard’ Leadership Skills of the next decade

It’s clear that in all areas of society there is a need for, and a move towards, a new way of leading & working built on relationship & collaboration

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Opinion May 4, 2023

CLC’s Expert Tips for Implementing Change

Human factors that underpin successful change, or which stop it in its tracks, are increasingly held responsible for costly failures. However, they are still underestimated by most organisations setting out on your change journey.

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Opinion May 3, 2023

The ‘Existential Crisis of Leadership’ in 2023

Leaders and leadership are right now facing a very real ‘existential crisis’.

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Case StudyMay 2, 2023



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