Great leadership skills don’t come to us at birth. These essential skills are learned. It’s all about being adaptive and building the right mindset. You have to challenge yourself and be able to learn and grow constantly.

Leadership isn’t just about having the hard skills you need. It’s about developing your soft skills, working with people, and trying to see things from their perspective. You need empathy and creativity, and you need to keep being curious about the world.

Today, when digitalization is present, you do need to be digitally literate. It would be best to be open to new experiences and different cultures.

Being an exceptional leader is about creating an environment where people feel seen, but keeping your confidence and humility. It’s about creating that balance, demonstrating those essential skills and living what you preach.

How Has Leadership Evolved?

Around a hundred years ago, leadership was all about maintaining control and following the hierarchy. There was a focus on discipline, and being a good leader meant having a strategy and making other people see it and follow it.

In the 21st century, we are letting go of formal authority and using leadership as a form of forcing our strategy onto others. We are adapting, co-creating, and learning from the world around us. Authority isn’t the only source of power, knowledge and innovation are.

It’s about inspiring people to take action instead of forcing them to.

Professor Linda Hill talks about “the ABCs of leadership”. She says you need to be an architect, bridger, and catalyst, to become a great leader.

The Architect

You need to be an architect in the sense that you need to create a culture where people can “collaborate, experiment, and learn”.

Leadership is no longer about one person leading the crowd, it’s about synergy. We all have a unique point of view and a unique way we can contribute to an organization, and a great leader creates an environment where people feel comfortable enough to share their ideas.

The Bridger

Being the bridger means understanding that you don’t have all the answers. You need to be able to collaborate with people outside of your company and create bridges that will help all of you evolve.

The Catalyst

Being the catalyst means co-creating with other organizations. Being an exceptional leader means changing the world we live in, inspiring innovation all around the globe, and working with others to find new, optimal solutions.

What Essential Skills Do You Need to Become a Great Leader?

We talked about how leadership has evolved over the years, but what skills do you need to work on to become a great leader? Here are the nine we picked out for today:


To be an imposing leader, you need to adopt a mindset of curiosity. Don’t think you know everything. Have an open mind and a willingness to grow and learn from others.

Try to see things from different perspectives, always ask questions, and seek new experiences. It will help you stay ahead and grow as a person and a professional.


Agility is the ability to think and move quickly and with little effort. In a world where everything can change in an instant, you need to be agile to respond effectively.

This means being able to make quick decisions and adapt to new circumstances without losing momentum. Agile leaders are not afraid to take risks and are equipped to deal with uncertainty.


Great leaders embrace change rather than resist it. They understand that the ability to adapt is crucial for survival and success. As a leader, you need to be able to adapt to new technologies, market shifts, or changes in your organization.

Step outside of your comfort zone, talk to people you wouldn’t normally talk to, and try to see things from their perspective. This will help you nurture your adaptability.


We’ve established that to be a great leader, you need to be able to create a positive environment for your team. You need to be creative, but also create a place where others feel seen, valued, and comfortable enough to think outside the box.

You can have brainstorming sessions, where your ideas brush off of each other’s and you come up with creative solutions together. Encouraging creativity in your environment and mindset will help you find new ways to deal with problems and expand your organization.


Empathy allows leaders to connect with their teams. Understanding and sharing the feelings of others helps you build strong, lasting relationships.

Empathetic leaders are better at resolving conflicts, motivating their teams, and creating a positive work environment. By nurturing your empathy, you can be attuned to the needs of your employees, which enhances team cohesion and productivity.


Innovation goes beyond creativity. It’s about implementing new ideas and driving change. Great leaders don’t just come up with amazing ideas, they turn them into reality.

They encourage experimentation, look at failure as an opportunity to learn, and always seek new ways to improve their organizations.


Leading today is all about collaboration and co-creation. We’ve talked about how important it is for you to create a safe space for your team and strive for innovation.

But you also need to be able to co-create. Know when to let others shine and how to lead them in the right direction. Collaborate with your team and other organizations and work on finding the best solutions together.

All of these skills are things you can learn. While you may be better at some things compared to others, you can nurture all of your skills and improve over time.


Problem-solving is an important skill for any leader. Great leaders approach problems methodically, analyze the situation, and develop strategic solutions.

They are experts at identifying the root causes of issues and finding and implementing adequate measures to address them. Strong problem-solving skills help you fight challenges and keep your organization on track.


Great leaders face challenges head-on, even when the going gets tough. You need to be able to address your obstacles with no fear and instil confidence in your team.

There will always be unexpected challenges and crises. You need to be able to cope with stress and recover quickly, especially in today’s competitive market.

What is Digital Leadership?

Today, when the world we live in is becoming digitalized, leaders need to work with people who know more about the new tools that are being brought to us and understand how they work.

You need to stay on top of the competition, and that means constantly learning and adapting to new technologies. You need to be digitally literate and know that the world around us is changing.

We Can All Be Great Leaders

Great leadership is about service, bringing out the best in others, understanding them, and inspiring them. We can all learn these essential skills and work on them.

If you want to be an amazing leader, work on your empathy, creativity, and curiosity. See how well you can work with others and be truthful to yourself about any qualities you lack. Recognizing the need for change is the first step.

You must be able to work with your team and other organizations to find the best solutions for your company. Don’t be scared of change, embrace it.

We wish you luck on your leadership journey and developing those essential skills.  Just focus on what you can change and expand your knowledge. You’ve got this.