In an economy increasingly shaped by automation, the demand for workers has shifted towards those with wisdom, empathy, and heart. Consequently, soft skills, also known as PowerSkills, play a vital role in shaping today’s successful leaders. As our economy has transitioned from an era focused on physical strength to one centred around intellectual prowess, it has now entered an era that values empathy and emotional intelligence. In this article, we explore the concept of PowerSkills, their significance in leadership, and how organisations can cultivate them to foster a thriving and dynamic workforce.
‘PowerSkills’ are essentially a rebranding of the concept of soft skills, but one that carries important significance in the realm of professional development. This rebranding is not merely a cosmetic change, but rather a deliberate emphasis on the indispensable nature of these skills and the influential role they play in the workplace. By shedding the perception of soft skills as a "nice-to-have" or secondary leadership attribute, labelling them as ‘PowerSkills’ underscores their foundational significance in fostering strong leadership. The term ‘soft’ itself can be misleading, as it belies the critical nature of these skills, which require dedicated time and effort to cultivate. Recognising the power and potential of these skills is crucial for personal and professional growth, forming the bedrock of leadership excellence in today’s dynamic and interconnected world.
PowerSkills encompass a set of soft skills that are indispensable for effective leadership in today’s world. They include:
Continuous learning… and more.
Leaders who possess these skills have the ability to cultivate a positive work environment, inspire their teams, and drive organisational success.
The Shift in Economics and Business
The importance of PowerSkills extends beyond individual leadership abilities; it also holds considerable implications for economics and business. Previously, economies reliant on routine-intensive roles experienced sluggish growth. However, with the rise of automation, the focus has shifted towards job roles that demand wisdom, empathy, and emotional intelligence. In alignment with this shift, companies can engineer jobs to avoid economic loss and stimulate growth.
The Impact on Employment
Another remarkable trend is the potential persistence of low unemployment rates. Traditional economic models suggested that businesses would lay off workers during economic downturns. However, the landscape is evolving. Work is in a constant state of flux, giving rise to new roles while making others obsolete. Additionally, declining fertility and marriage rates contribute to a limited labour pool. Consequently, productivity increases, and filling job vacancies becomes more challenging. Healthcare providers, for instance, can harness PowerSkills to restructure work processes, automate routine tasks, and invest in training and development to excel in this dynamic environment.
The Future of Work
The future of work does not entail a world where technology replaces people, but rather one where jobs continually improve and evolve. Harnessing the power of PowerSkills is crucial for growth and success in this future landscape. As automation takes over routine tasks, individuals who possess and continually develop PowerSkills will have a competitive advantage. These skills enable individuals to navigate complex problems, collaborate effectively, and demonstrate emotional intelligence in a technology-driven work environment. The future of work is about leveraging the unique capabilities of humans in conjunction with technology to drive innovation and create meaningful impact.
To cultivate PowerSkills, organisations can:
1. Redefine Job Roles:
Engineer job roles to align with the rise of automation.
Emphasise skills that require wisdom, empathy, and emotional intelligence.
2. Foster Continuous Learning:
Prioritise PowerSkills in education and training programs.
Provide resources and support for ongoing personal growth.
3. Embrace Technology:
Utilise automation and technology to streamline routine tasks.
Invest in upskilling employees to leverage technological advancements effectively.
4. Encourage Collaboration:
Foster a collaborative work environment that values diverse perspectives.
Promote cross-functional teamwork and effective communication.
5. Support Personal Development:
Offer coaching and mentorship programs to enhance leadership skills.
Create opportunities for self-reflection and professional growth.
To cultivate PowerSkills, organisations must transcend technical skills in their education, training, development, and recruitment endeavours. Educational institutions, policymakers, and companies need to prioritise PowerSkills as the "essential skills" of the future. Defining PowerSkills, facilitating meaningful discussions, recognising their inherent value, and consistently fostering their growth are foundational imperatives.
Creating a Coaching Environment
Coaching plays a significant role in PowerSkills development. However, currently, only a fraction of leaders (23% according to Forbes) have access to coaching and mentoring opportunities. By providing coaching and mentoring programs focusing on leadership skills, companies can reduce turnover and enhance employee engagement. Coaching assists leaders in gaining self-awareness, compassion, and empathy – core tenets of emotional intelligence. By embracing coaching as a strategic tool to cultivate PowerSkills throughout the entire workforce, leaders will help to create a more engaged, motivated, and high-performing organisation.
PowerSkills: Leadership’s Indispensable Foundation
PowerSkills are indispensable for successful leadership in the contemporary world. Building proficiency in effective communication, emotional intelligence, collaboration, adaptability, decision-making, inspirational leadership, and continuous learning empowers leaders to navigate challenges, cultivate high-performing teams, and propel organisational success. Organisations can benefit from prioritising the development of PowerSkills through coaching programs. This fosters a culture of continuous learning and development, ensuring that leaders and employees achieve their maximum potential. By nurturing PowerSkills, organisations can create a positive work environment, foster growth, and thrive amidst the ever-evolving landscape of work.
Interested in levelling up your team’s PowerSkills? Hello Coach can help – book your complimentary demo today.