Leadership is now becoming a paramount competency whether you are leading people or not. Every business / management / human resource magazine always has an article or two or indeed section dedicated to leadership. This is because most people who read these are career-orientated and therefore want to progress in their career; and in order to progress in their career, they must have excellent leadership skills, talents and abilities, so as to help their organisation achieve their business goals.
High potential employees who want to be the future leaders of or in their organisation need three key skill sets to realise their career ambitions namely:
- Business acumen
- Strategic acumen
- Financial acumen
Where is the organisation going, what strategy do they have and how do they plan to achieve their financial targets? Having this acumen (knowledge and expertise), will propel you to new heights in your organisation.
High potential employees need to be smart, hardworking committed, trustworthy and resilient; they need to be great with their customers, be able to empower their teams, negotiate effectively, manage conflict and be great communicators.
High potential employees (who want to be leaders) need to understand the business, where it is going and their role in taking it there, have the ability to scan the external environment and identify risks, opportunities, make strategic recommendations, understand the financials of the business, the story they tell and take appropriate action or make appropriate recommendations. This is the door-opener to career-advancement in your organisation i.e. business, strategic and financial acumen. All the other competencies are what make you different.
So, if you aspire to leadership i.e. going from middle management to senior management you need to develop the skills, competencies and acumen in business, strategy and finance. This can be achieved through mentoring, further education, training, reading and initiating / leading innovative projects…
Source: Susan Colantuono (TEDTALKS – Audio – November 2013)