Hello and LaSharnda_CatalogWelcome! If you have landed here, you are looking to update your skills as a leader of the skills of those leaders working with you.

That’s great because the world is changing fast and if you haven’t noticed, we have to update and retool just as fast to remain competitive.  What are the best-of-the-best organizations doing that sets them apart from their competitors?  They are developing leaders who can not only develop strategy, but can execute with a team of high-performing members.

Here are some of the skills that is needed for the leader of today.

  1. Good communication skills. The ability to work as part of a team. Comfortable with change. Flexible. These are all skills good leaders have. But are they enough? Perhaps more important, are they still valid for the 21st century?

We live and work in a rapidly changing environment. Effectiveness, says “you cannot rely on what may have worked in the past. Today’s world is different. The stakes are high. The challenges and issues you face are changing at a rapid speed.”

All this is certainly true. But are the required skills changing?

“Leadership skills for the 21st century are the same as were necessary in the 20th,” says Baldoni. “Leaders need to demonstrate character, communicate clearly, coach frequently, execute for results and always lead by example.”

Who needs leadership skills? We all do.

While there are literally dozens of traits that leadership experts point to as “must haves,” certain skills keep coming up again and again. Here are 10 “must have” leadership skills for the 21st century:

2. Character is number one. “People have to be trustworthy.” Especially in today’s environment where leaders frequently are being taken to task for their lack of character. “Character is the root of good leadership,” says Baldoni. “By character I mean the values and beliefs the leader brings to the workplace. They should be authentic – that is, rooted in integrity, honor and ethics.”

“Authenticity”is the buzz word now. However, when you consider the last century, especially, the last couple of decades, it is clear that we can no longer afford to split off profit and performance from principles and purpose.

3. Vision.  To have a vision and to be able to communicate that vision, is another critical skill for today’s leaders. -You need to be able to articulate your vision. You need to be able to energize others. This requires courage because at times you have to do the unpopular thing because it’s in the best interest of the organization or the stakeholder.

Leaders inspire people by having a vision, taking a personal interest in their people and providing frequent feedback related to the vision. Employees will do amazing things when they are inspired by a vision and when their leader gives them praise and recognition for a job well clone.

4. Passions another “must have.” Don’t confuse passion with charisma. There are times when the charisma really does work, however, we’ve begun to see that the companies that are built to last don’t necessarily have charismatic leaders. they have authentic leaders. Leaders who respect others, who listen, who are confident and trustworthy.

5. Communication is still a top-rated skill when it comes to leadership effectiveness. Communication is essential to leadership because it drives the entire leadership process from vision and strategy through delegation, coaching, recognition and evaluation.

6. Coaching Skills and different than having good communication skills. Managers are more and more required to support their people with resources and advice. This is not micromanagement.

7. The Ability to Create Value. What do you have to contribute? How do you create value for your organization?

“Leaders of the 21st century need to go beyond achieving financial results to achieving enduring value for all constituencies served,” says Cashman. Baldoni agrees. “Execution for results is the outcome of successful leadership. It is why you do what you do.”

8. Flexibility. How many industries have you worked in? How many types of positions have you held?

Rather than confining your career to the industry you start with, today’s leaders must be more flexible and willing to move into new industries – even new careers – to excel. Flexibility is more paramount in our global and faster-paced economy because today we are merely accelerating. Flexibility means more than the willingness to change companies or careers, of course.

9. Comfort with Ambiguity. Change is the only constant, some have said. The ability to navigate change – and deal with ambiguity – is a critical skill for today’s leaders. “The increase in workplace diversity, globalization and the entrance of Gen Xers, Millenials, and the early entrant Gen Z’s has significantly impacted how leaders must use all different kinds of interpersonal skills to continue to be effective.

As knowledge work becomes more pervasive, work becomes more abstracted and divorced from physical reality. As that transition takes place, it becomes more and more difficult for people to understand the purpose and meaning of their work. So effectively managing this ambiguity becomes of prime importance to leaders.

10. Collaboration. As popular reality TV shows like The Apprentice and Survivor demonstrate, the ability to work effectively with others – to collaborate – is an important leadership attribute.

With the advent of globalization, rapid technology change and general turbulence in the world, leadership theory predicts that a more collaborative approach is likely to be called for than the traditional command-and-control style. Leaders are likely to need well-developed emotional and cultural intelligence, in addition to cognitive intelligence and a keen understanding of the business they are in.


Remember, successful leaders will be those who can create, sustain and modify effective human capital and organizational strategies. As the business world becomes more horizontal and network-based, leaders will need to rely more on inspiration and influence rather than the exercise of command-and-control power.

Beckwith Leadership Consulting team stand ready to help you help your leaders be more effective in leading!