A recent survey by LHH of more than 2,000 hiring decision-makers found that less than half (47 percent) believe their organizations are trying to identify employees’ transferrable skills so that they can be reskilled to fill future job openings. And only one-third are confident in their organization’s ability to deliver reskilling and upskilling programs.
For a leader to address the skills gap their organization is facing, they will first need to proactively embark on reskilling themselves at the same pace as their people.
Here are four basic things leaders can do to transforming themselves for the future.
1. Get out of the echo chamber
One of the biggest problems that leaders have is that if they get any feedback it’s not honest. The hierarchies in many companies ensure that the senior-most leaders are never in a position where their performance is critiqued. Leaders should seek that kind of feedback and be willing to act on what they hear.
2. Get a coach
All the best elite athletes in the world, both in team and individual sports, rely on coaches to help them perfect their technique and fortify their mindset. So why shouldn’t business leaders? Coaching helps leaders confront and reflect on their shortcomings and focus on corrective courses.
3. Use a coaching mindset when leading others
One of the greatest parts of having a relationship with a coach is that it will teach leaders how to use a coaching mindset to get more out of the people they lead. A coaching mindset ensures leaders do as much listening as talking and that they inspire others by showing confidence in them. A coaching mindset, or a reverse-mentoring approach to leadership, not only helps one embrace their skill deficit, but it will help leaders start conversations with other members of the executive team who might suffer from the same problem.
4. Future-proof their skills to help guide their organization
If leaders want to build an organization that embraces change and welcomes reskilling, they need to demonstrate they embrace it in their job. Leaders need to show the people they lead that continuous improvement through learning is baked into the culture of the organization at the highest levels.
If leaders want their organizations to follow them fearlessly into that future, they need to not only tell them what they need to do, but need to show they can take their own advice. Only then will leaders be able to find themselves on the right side of the upskilling challenge.