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“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”- Charles Darwin.
Change is the only constant in life. When it comes to the modern business landscape, changes occur more frequently than we are comfortable with. With business models and technologies evolving to meet the ever-growing demands of modern consumers, there is a wide array of organizational challenges that business leaders are tasked with.
According to a Robert Half survey, 66% of CFOs agree that it is more challenging to be a company leader now than it was 5 years ago. Leading in this VUCA world sure is a challenge and the only way out is to take the issues head-on and find lasting solutions.
While the leadership challenges are aplenty, here is a list of 7 that I believe are common across industries, organizations, and geographical locations-
1. Technological Advancements
Gone are the days when it was just the computer and engineering industries that relied on modern technologies. In this world of digital transformation, technology is the driving factor in every major industry. And if history is any sign of the future, technological disruptions will continue to have the potential of transforming businesses and industries at a moment’s notice. According to research by IDG, 89% of organizations have already adopted a digital-first strategy to lead digital transformation. However, only 44% of them have fully adopted this approach.
As a leader, you should look for ways to prepare yourself as well as your team to meet challenges that technological advancements will continue to present. It is only your preparedness towards such disruptions that can help you convert such challenges into opportunities.
2. Never-Ending Cycle of Change
A few years ago, it was possible for organizations to at least understand the basic business model of their competitors as the majority of them used to function in the same manner. But not anymore. Innovative business models are rapidly introduced all the time, making it very challenging for other businesses to keep track of their competitors or adjust their strategies to be more competitive.
Thus, it is now essential for business leaders to stay on top of the business trends and be more agile to accommodate changes. Executives can also consider external training to further sharpen their business acumen.
In her interview, L. Bonita Patterson, Founder and CEO of Polaris Consulting, has provided an excellent overview of successful change management through her “Why, How, Who, Roadblocks, and Confetti” strategy.
3. Bridging the Skill Gap
Employment opportunities for in-demand professionals are at an all-time high. This makes it very challenging for businesses to hire and retain such professionals. The global skills gap is rising, and there are not enough skilled professionals for filling positions. According to research by Manpower Group, 40% of the global employers are finding it difficult to fill positions.
Moreover, in advanced economies, more than 95 million workers lack the skills required for employment. Most businesses are working towards eliminating this skills gap through internal skills development training programs.
With our WES (Workplace Essential Skills) Program, we’ve helped several organizations minimize this skills gap and build a more rewarding and positive work environment where continuous improvement is encouraged.
4. Developing and Inspiring Others
The modern business landscape encourages the acquisition of new skills as a response to rapidly changing technologies. Apart from evolving as a business and being more competitive, skill acquisition is also critical for fulfilling the career advancement desires of the employees.
However, only about 54% of the employees think their employer is loyal to them, according to a CareerBuilder survey. As a leader, it is your responsibility to inspire and provide your employee’s such opportunities to improve their talents and career trajectory.
Great leaders work towards building the army by transforming their next-level people into agile leaders.
5. Emotional and Mental Challenges
Running a business in a world that is getting increasingly complex is no easy feat. While it is not often discussed, entrepreneurship also has a steep psychological price. As mental health still has a stigma attached to it, these challenges are generally not very openly discussed.
In addition to leaders, employees working in this fast-paced world also struggle with stress, anxiety, and emotional problems. In order to be truly agile, businesses need to focus on the overall well-being of their leaders and employees.
In my opinion, AQ (Agility Quotient) is a combination of IQ (Intelligence Quotient), EQ (Emotional Quotient), and SQ (Spiritual Quotient). The 3Qs of agility quotient should be targeted by businesses to continue growing.
6. Communication Challenges
Communication also plays a critical role in your success as a leader. It is by communicating with people around you that you plan and accomplish your goals. But with the growing popularity of remote working and WFH (Work From Home) practices, effective communication can easily turn into a major challenge.
Modern technological tools are very effective in eliminating physical distances and providing a seamless communication experience to the leaders and their team members. Listening to your team members, managing feedback from different personality types, and not avoiding difficult conversations are some of the ways in which you can hone your skills and better communicate with your employees, clients, and stakeholders.
7. Leading in Times of Crisis
Nothing makes or breaks a leader like a disaster does. With the world still reeling under the COVID-19 pandemic, this can be an opportunity for you to grow as a leader. After all, leadership is all about identifying possible threats and preventing them by setting up systems. While the pandemic took us by surprise, there sure are a lot of things that you can do as a leader to help others around you.
With people struggling with falling incomes and the constant anxiety about contracting the virus, your soft skills or social skills can persuade, convince, and influence others around you.
Seek credible information and use appropriate channels to communicate. Listen to your employees and be more empathetic towards their problems. Be visible, available, and present as the presence of the leader itself brings in a sense of confidence among others.
Being a Business Leader of the Present and the Future
The modern world of business is a challenging one. But if you have what it takes to be a successful leader, rest assured there are plenty of opportunities to grow, improve, and even transform the business landscape. Our training programs are designed to help leaders develop the skills to navigate through these challenges and continue growing.
Schedule a no-objection information session to know more about our training programs and how they can help you get closer to your business objectives.