What specific skills do leaders and employees need today?

Managers are supposed to excel in their expertise, be analytical and strong decision-makers. Employees, however, should be loyal, productive and precise. These or similar skill-stereotypes still hold strong in many boardrooms and HR departments in the 21st century.

But are they still suitable for today’s work sphere?

No! – That’s what numerous current studies on the topic conclude. The Harvard Business Review even presents it as completely outdated and instead recommends businesses hire leaders who are able to motivate global, diverse and digital teams and, at the same time, have the ability to quickly adapt to changes and various environments.

This tendency not only surfaces in scientific studies – it is also becoming more and more evident in real life. While job offers for leadership (C-suite) positions showed a 40% decrease in focus on subject-specific expertise in the last 20 years, the importance of comprehensive social skills rose by almost 30% in the same timespan. 

Source: https://hbr.org/2022/07/the-c-suite-skills-that-matter-most

The same is true for non-management positions. The Word Economic Forum of Davos has been dealing with this topic for a while and already stated in 2016 that “over the years, 35% of skills needed for being professionally successful will change.” The rapid progression of work environments makes hard skills fade more and more into the background. While traditional management skills are hardly found in the top skills list, competencies such as complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity top the list. 

Source: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/01/the-10-skills-you-need-to-thrive-in-the-fourth-industrial-revolution/

Forbes frequently analyzes required skills trends and publishes relevant updates and insights. According to their recent publications, the basic tendency remains, however, new skills such as “active learning and learning strategies”, “leadership” or “cultural sensitivity & awareness” have joined the list in 2022.


At Leaders21

.. our mission is to equip people and organizations with these exact “21st Century Skills” to enable career and business success for everyone. To achieve this mission, we created the Leaders21 model which, on one hand, targets personal and organizational development (“be a role model”), and on the other hand also focuses on team (“develop your people”) and business success (“focus on outcome”).  

Source: Leaders21.com

We work by coaching people on an individual level, training teams in regards to their 21st Century Skills development and by guiding and advising entire businesses through their organizational development

Want to learn more? Get in touch with Fritz, our VP Consulting, and exchange ideas about the possibilities!