Article: Leadership skilling: How to strengthen leaders for success

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Leadership skilling: How to strengthen leaders for success

Leadership skilling plays a pivotal role here as a good leader with the right skills can turn challenges into opportunities. Read on to know how companies in South East Asia have embarked on the leadership upskilling and reskilling journey.
Leadership skilling: How to strengthen leaders for success

As per a McKinsey survey, out of 200 business leaders throughout the 10 countries that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), 96% believed Industry 4.0 will bring new business models to their industries. However, without the right leadership, many SEA organizations failed to capitalize on the opportunities made possible by the new technologies. 

The recent pandemic changed the entire leadership game. The COVID-19 crisis has been the toughest leadership test. Some leaders couldn’t handle the daunting pressure while a few others emerged stronger by thinking out of the box. 

Despite the remote working boundations, a few teams survived the turbulence caused by COVID-19. A lot of it is attributable to good leadership. 

The examples above speak volumes about the need for good leadership. Strong leadership can lead the team in the right direction and prevent the business from sinking during a crisis. 

Leadership skilling plays a pivotal role here as a good leader with the right skills can turn challenges into opportunities. Many SEA companies have already embarked on the upskilling and reskilling journey. 

One of Malaysia’s largest oil and gas companies with 45,000+ employees explored a role-based skilling platform to upskill their employees. They incorporated microlearning and social learning in their upskilling strategy and witnessed an increase in the engagement rate.  

Employers in Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines) are focusing on defining future workforce needs by restructuring (48%) and active reskilling in 2021 (39%) to future-ready their business and workforce.

Haven’t invested in good leadership yet? 

Whether it’s an unforeseen crisis, digital disruption or evolving market trends, good leadership can help in looking ahead and developing techniques to succeed. 

Definition of good leadership is getting disrupted 

The definition of good leadership is constantly changing. A decade ago, traits like leadership presence, ability to command and control were valued a lot whereas in the last few years qualities like humility, compassion, curiosity, agility, openness, and being inclusive have emerged as critical skills and capabilities. 

Modern leaders are not given the right learning opportunities

Most companies expect leaders to create an agile learning environment for their teams. However, without taking the first step themselves, they cannot lead the team in that direction. Learning agility starts from the top. Instead of ad hoc learning, they need to be engaged in a meaningful learning journey to grow and nurture the team’s growth. 

Much importance is not given to meta skills 

Good leadership is more complex than functional or technical skills as it delves into the individual psyche of the person. So, they need to move a step ahead and develop meta-skills- a higher-order skill that magnifies and activates other abilities. Learning programs focused on the right set of meta-skills can help leaders solve complex problems, make better decisions, and produce superior results with the team. 

How to use technology to identify and fill the leadership skills gap 

Most learning and development departments focus on organizing high-impact intensive training to empower the leaders. However even after this substantial investment they experience a leadership gap. Instead of bombarding information in a single session, it’s better to cultivate a continuous learning environment with the right technology. 

Skills like empathy, compassion and tolerance are crucial for good leadership. An enterprise learning solution can help in identifying and developing the skills needed to be a good leader. 

For instance, Disprz, a complete skill stack, allows you to determine and benchmark the leadership and meta-skills needed based on the leadership level an individual is on. Once the leader is aware of the skills required he can undergo a self-reflection process to determine the gaps. Post that, leaders can engage in a self-paced learning module to fill the gaps. He can then take a quiz for self-assessment. 

This leader can be provided with an assignment or a scenario like “what will you do if your subordinate makes a mistake.” Assignments that closely mimic reality helps leaders understand where they are and how far they need to go for acquiring the necessary skills. It helps in self-assessing one's own temperament and gauging where improvement is needed. 

Retaining the skills for long-term success 

Developing a new skill isn’t the end of the road. It is important to retain the skills through constant practice. The leaders need to be given ample opportunities for practice and self-reflection. 

Bring the leaders on a common platform where they can put forward their opinions, know what others are learning, share information with teammates and conduct role-plays to stress-test each other. 

Social learning gives leaders a space to observe each other’s behaviour, actions, consequences and make better decisions based on their observations. 

John F Kennedy rightly said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other”. The right leadership skill can not only make a difference to a team but the company as a whole. A leader with the right set of meta-skills can direct the team towards the company’s goals. The SEA business market is a highly competitive field where only the strong can survive. So leverage the power of the right technology and resource to unleash the capabilities of your leaders.

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Topics: Skilling, Leadership, #WinningInThe20s

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