Wendy Capland, CEO and founder of Vision Quest Consulting, is an internationally recognized leadership development expert, author of Your Next Bold Move for Women, and the leading authority on "Stepping Into Leadership.” Here are her insights into what skills you will need to fast track your leadership skills.
Technology is dramatically changing the way an organization leads, markets and fundamentally operates. Depending on how many years you’ve been in the industry, you’ve probably noticed a huge shift in the workplace as grocers and CPGs adopt new technologies and work to stay relevant in the social space. If you are new to the industry and a recent graduate, you’re in luck as you might be much more familiar with the social media lingo and cross channel thinking. Regardless, being socially literate isn’t all it takes to be a leader in demand. Here are six important skills every leader (aspiring leaders too!) should be aware of and constantly checking in with themselves to see where they stand.
1. Sense-Making. Can you connect trends to create new ideas? Think of the smartphone. It connects all of our necessary communication channels in one device. We’re not asking you to create something as complicated as a smart phone, but instead: What dots can you connect at work that might offer you or your store a new product, way of reaching customers, or even a new way of operating?
2. Social Intelligence. This is the ability to connect with people in a deeper more meaningful way. One of my sales mentors always told me if you want to build rapport, ask people about things they consider important. Every person has their own goals, desires and motivations. To thrive, we need to understand each other. This allows us to influence, lead and sell our ideas more effectively.
3. Novel and Adaptive Thinking. Adapting to new realities creates value. Every day new technologies impact the way we make decisions and live our lives. Learn the technologies that are important to your business. Ignoring innovations could leave your position obsolete.
4. Cross-Cultural Competencies. Success truly depends on being effective in different cultural settings. Almost daily, we speak and collaborate with people across multiple geographies and cultures, whether it’s in meetings or customers visiting your store. Truly listening is a key to connecting here.
5. Computational Thinking. Are you able to translate vast amounts of data into insights by spotting trends and patterns? This includes spotting trends in what people say on social media about similar products and services. Noticing the trends and utilizing them to your advantage can help you stay ahead.
6. Design Mindset. A design mindset refers to continually solving problems in any situation by focusing on human values and understanding what matters to the people you are serving. Your ability to be empathetic though observations, conversations and experiences is critical. As a retail RD this is something that probably comes very natural to you.
Some of these may come more naturally than others, and we’re all different, but knowing yourself – your strengths and limitations, only helps to make you a more effective and productive leader. Consider how these six skills are needed in your organization and how they can help you meet your career goals.
Wendy Capland, CEO and founder of Vision Quest Consulting, is an internationally recognized leadership development expert, author of Your Next Bold Move for Women, and the leading authority on "Stepping Into Leadership.” For more than 20 years, she and her team of 45 coaches, trainers and consultants have developed the leadership skills and capabilities of thousands of Fortune 500 and entrepreneurial executives. Her advice has been featured in numerous national publications and on radio and television. Wendy can be reached at www.WendyCapland.com and www.VisionQuestConsulting.com.