Are you looking to grow your skill set and achieve your career goals in 2020? According to top CEOs, these are the areas you should conquer.
Knowing what skills will put you on top when it comes to your CV is always a tricky business.
Unless you have some kind of super power which allows you to see inside the mind of your potential employer, it’s impossible to know exactly what they’re looking for. So how can we put our best foot forward?
According to a group of CEOs, there are four key skills we should always make sure to flag when we’re putting ourselves forward for a job opportunity. In a post published on LinkedIn Learning, Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post and Thrive Global, Bill George, longtime CEO of Medtronic and currently a leadership professor at Harvard Business School, and Ryan Holmes, CEO of HootSuite shared their thoughts on the challenges that will face tomorrow’s leaders, and highlighted the skill set we’ll need to succeed.
On top of the five soft skills LinkedIn’s research previously revealed are essentials for the current job climate, these four will make stellar additions to your skill line-up.
“One of the most important skills for a CEO – and one that is only going to increase in importance – is finding and maintaining a sense of purpose,” says Arianna Huffington. “Many people think of purpose as something that’s fixed, but purpose is actually a skill, one that can be built and nurtured throughout an organization so that everyone within the company has internalized what the company stands for beyond profits and growth.”
“Millennials and Gen Xers only want to work for leaders who are authentic: open, sharing, true-to-their-values, compassionate, committed to a clear sense of purpose and, most importantly, possessed with courage to make bold decisions,” adds Bill George.
2. The ability to empower employees
“CEOs have to learn how to recruit and manage talent to keep pace with rapid change,” says Reid Hoffman. “Rather than focusing exclusively on salary or perks, make your organization the best possible launch pad for amazing careers.”
According to the report, today’s employees want ownership over their roles, purpose in their work and learning opportunities to advance their career – and if those expectations aren’t met, they will start looking for work elsewhere.
Arianna Huffington adds that setting examples of a healthy work-life balance and wellness are equally important factors to consider, since research proves that professionals do their best when they are able to enjoy both plenty of sleep and time away from work.
“We’re overwhelmed by technology, and that’s only going to increase,” Huffington said. “Technology allows us to do amazing things, but – if we let it – it also accelerates the pace of our lives to the point where it consumes our attention and our ability to focus and be present. And it’s going to be those CEOs who are able to truly disconnect – and reclaim the time and space they need to be creative, to innovate, to access their own wisdom and intuition – who will win the future.”
3. A willingness to learn
In a world that’s moving forward at an unrelenting speed, future CEOs need to be comfortable with one major thing – change.
And in order to react to that change, aspiring business leaders must be willing to keep learning.
“As a CEO, you need to become an infinite learner to make yourself more adaptable,” says Reid Hoffman. “The world of business is changing, and you can’t rely solely on your previous expertise, no matter effective it has been until now.”
The report suggests looking towards successful CEOs who dedicate time each week to learning, and gives Mark Zuckerberg and Oprah Winfrey as key examples.
4. Being active on social media
Social media is inextricably linked to our professional lives nowadays, so it makes sense that having an active social media presence is an essential skill to have.
The business leaders who are active on social media – Holmes, Hoffman, Huffington and George among them – have a platform from which to share their message directly with the world, not to mention an opportunity to showcase their purpose and attract the best talent to their company.
“For CEOs, social media is, in no uncertain terms, a core competency,” says Holmes.
“Those who are able to master it tap into the most dominant communication platform today. Those who ignore it risk having the competition eat their lunch.”