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Leaders Shifts 15 - SKILLS to STRENGTHS

This is the fifteenth in a series of posts which articulate fundamental shifts in leadership paradigms from the 20th to the 21st century.

In line with the “channel” paradigm discussed in Post 7 in this series, Leaders in the 20th Century were valued for their skills in specific disciplines. Every role or occupation came with a defined skillset and skills were generally only recognized if they were attained in the formal learning system. However, the skills required to lead people are not based on dexterity, best practice or rules. They tend to be far more subtle abilities rooted in mindsets, values, character and innate strengths.

Leaders must be skilled, but skills can be learned. In the 21st Century, skills are not enough. They must be founded on innate personal talent honed to value-adding strength in a nurturing and challenging context. The changes, complexities and conflicts which characterize the Receding Now and the Imaginable Next worlds require leaders to navigate numerous paradoxical perspectives. They need to know and to learn, to think and to sense, to build and to sustain, and so on. Most importantly they have to intuitively know which approach to take, when to step up and when to step back. They need to know how to maximise constructive energy and to foster progress. These abilities cannot be taught in a classroom.

Every person alive has natural talents. #AstuteLeaders develop strengths which enable them to add huge value in any situation. In symphony with others, they see, think and respond better in the face of challenges..

Reflection question: Do you know your personal strengths and are you honing them to maximise the value you can add in any challenge?

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