For many years, those born in the Baby Boomers generation have been held most of the top-level positions of several business firms across the world and lead the respective organizations and its stakeholders towards success with highly honed skills, business talent with vast experience, and accomplished leadership abilities. However, with the members of this generation who were born between the years 1946 to 1962 entering retirement, as a result, the next generation will be asked to fill these positions in the near future. Well, this change in leadership style not only leads towards the complete organizational transformations, but also opens ample opportunities for young aspiring executives to climb the corporate ladder. Simultaneously, it enforces the firms to create advanced as well as to re-examine existed strategies associated with developing next-generation leaders.
According to a recent survey findings and suggestions, most of the C-suite executive identifies developing future leaders as one of their biggest internal concerns. Is there any way that would enable the firms to successfully conquer this challenge? By taking these 3 small steps would be off to a good start:
Double Down On Digital Ready Leaders
Today, most of the firms such as Borders, Blockbuster, and Borders have been failed just because of their reluctance towards embracing the latest and advanced technologies into their business model. In the future, the disruption raised by the massive adoption of technological and digital transformation will only escalate and on the account of that the firms must commit to focus on the developing their digitally-savvy leaders. By doing so, the firms will certainly get benefited by an enormous profit, since the firms which are backed by robust digital leadership abilities perform better as compared to the firms with weak capabilities in terms of finance as observed by most of the industry insights.
How can the firms achieve this? To develop digitally- shrewd next-generation leaders, the firms must involve them in every aspect of digitization and make it an integral part of their overall strategic planning. Though it might appear that everything revolves around the leaders being digital, but this strategy boosts the ability of quickly grasping the effect of every change across the digital transformation process of the firm and also the awareness regarding the ways to leverage the latest technologies. Further, as the digital-ready leaders are more eager to take the stretch assignments, the firms need to decide which strategic projects assist to improve business as well as helps to enhance the competencies of the leaders who take part.
Enhancing the Ability of Dealing with Ambiguity
At some point of the time, the leaders will realize that they ought to make some key decisions on the basis of limited or fewer data in several complex situations and encounter bigger risks well-linked with both, business and career. A research conducted to study the preferences of leaders across various generations revealed that the leaders from millennial generation less emphasis on dealing with ambiguity when compared to their older superiors. Still, most of the top-level decision makers and industry experts prioritize it as one of the crucial leadership skills.
Moreover, handling uncertainty is not at all an easy task for the aspiring leaders, however, assigning them projects with some unknown elements might familiarize them to it. For instance, let’s have a look at the Java development strategies recently used by the American Express. Around 75 young aspirants have been undergone through a 3-day training session that was intended to enhance their problem-solving skill with fresh ideas and thoughts. The participants were segregated into teams, given briefings, and asked to engage with several customers, employees, as well as stakeholders. At the end of the session, the participants submitted their proposals to the expert panel, consisted of the critical challenges related to the business and the best ways to tackle them. Such experiments accompanied by higher uncertainty, surely help the individuals to remain calm and composed that enables them to develop fresh as well as innovative ideas at a quicker rate.
Building Emotional Intelligence to Drive Effective Leadership
Developing successful leaders does not attribute by the only improvisation of technological and digital capabilities, but also depends on enhancing soft skills, especially the characteristics such as emotional intelligence and empathy. For this, the firms required to build, motivate, and engage their teams as well as recognize and nurture talent among its workforce. Further, it should know how to balance the challenging demands of under-training aspirants and delivering the ultimate results.
The HR department of the firm can assist in this process by creating a behavior model and conducting ongoing conversations with these aspirants regarding their earlier achievements and most importantly, the adopted practices to accomplish those. And, these aspirants can be regarded as liable for providing and fostering an ideal working environment. Nevertheless, some of these skills are intrinsic in some people, while others don’t. But, the firms can overcome this specific challenge by organizing training programs to build essential skills and providing regular feedback over the time period. So, the aspiring leaders can transform their weakness into strength through various systematic approaches, develop the self-confidence, and turn themselves into successful next-generation leaders.
The next-generation of leaders and beyond…
Likewise, when one generation leadership offers its position to the succeeding generation, the second one always finds itself standing in a potential battle zone and being unprepared for what is about to happen. However, as generations pass on the learning experiences and responsibilities to the following, everyone can acquire some knowledge from the other, regardless of the age gap. Thereby, we can anticipate for caring, sensitive, and efficient leaders who are genuinely interested in developing the next-generation of leaders!