Leadership to achieve a competitive advantage in the next Decade.

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For companies navigating through the next decade, leadership for competitive advantage will be more important than ever. Technology is advancing rapidly, Artificial Intelligence is coming more and more to the fore, with the world becoming more interconnected, companies will need to have leaders who can not only negate these changes but also stay ahead of the curve.

The rapidly changing environment and increased competitiveness necessitates the need for leaders with the following characteristics: 

Agility and Adaptability

Stephen Covey argues there are three constants in life – Change, Choice and Principles. The trick lies in acknowledging these aspects and be prepared to make them part of the organisational culture. To achieve this, leaders will need to be agile and adaptable to keep up with the ever-changing business landscape.

They must be able to pivot quickly, when necessary, change course when needed, and be willing to take risks. The ability to learn quickly, be open to new ideas, and embrace change will be essential for success. The elimination of red tape with flatter organisational structures, is the playground where the leaders can instil adaptability and agility in the company. 

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence will be a critical skill for leaders in the next decade. As workplaces become more diverse, leaders will need to be able to understand and manage their own emotions and those of their team members. They will also need to be able to communicate effectively, listen actively, and build strong relationships with their colleagues. Leaders with a high emotional intelligence will build better relationships, reduce stress, defuse conflict situations quicker and improve job satisfaction in general. All building blocks for an innovative organisation. 

Visionary Thinking

The Nobel Laureate, Dennis Gabor, said: “The future cannot be predicted, but futures can be invented.” Leaders must have a clear and compelling vision for the future to inspire their teams and stakeholders and invent the future of the organisation. They must be able to articulate this vision in a way that resonates with others and motivates them to work towards a common goal.

They must also be able to anticipate future trends and make strategic decisions that will position their company for success. The Vision of the organisation in then not a framed picture hanging in the boardroom, but a journey everybody in the company bought into and are working towards.

Digital Fluency

Digital fluency is becoming increasingly important as technology continues to evolve and transform the business landscape. Artificial Intelligence is a technology that is transforming every walk of life. It is a wide-ranging tool that enables people to rethink how we integrate information, analyse data, and use the resulting insights to improve decision-making. Leaders must be comfortable with new technologies and able to harness them to drive innovation and growth. They must also be able to understand data and analytics to make informed decisions and stay ahead of the competition.

Purpose-Driven Leadership

Purpose-driven leadership is another essential element to be successful in the next decade. Companies that are committed to making a positive impact on society and the environment will be more successful in attracting and retaining customers, employees, and investors. Modern trends indicate that companies are ploughing back into communities to enhance general standards of living. Leaders must be able to articulate their company’s purpose and values and embed them into the culture of the organisation and the impact on the environment.


Collaborative teams can often solve complex problems more effectively than individuals working alone.

Leaders must be able to collaborate effectively with others, both within and outside their organisation.

They must be able to build partnerships, leverage networks, and work across teams and departments to achieve common goals.

Collaboration will be essential for driving innovation and sustainable competitiveness. 

Continuous Learning

Einstein famously said, “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.” Leaders must be committed to continuous learning to keep up with the latest trends and technologies.

They must be willing to invest in their own development and that of their team members. They must also be able to create a culture of learning within their organisation, where employees are encouraged to learn and grow.


Finally, leaders must be resilient in the face of adversity. They must be able to bounce back from setbacks, learn from failures, and keep moving forward. Resilient leaders are able to inspire their teams and maintain their focus on the long-term vision, even in challenging times.

The next decade will require leaders who are agile, adaptable, emotionally intelligent, visionary, digitally fluent, purpose-driven, collaborative, committed to continuous learning, and resilient. Companies that invest in developing these leadership skills will be better equipped to succeed in an increasingly complex and competitive business environment.

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