The 21st Century Leader

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In work places where engagement, collaboration, and innovation are a focus, it has become a desire for work group leaders to possess a quality called ‘soft skills’. Many moons ago, managers and work group leaders were promoted to their ranks due to their technical and subject matter expertise. Because, of course, if you knew what you were talking about, you knew how to lead projects that would get the work done, right? Not so, anymore. A combination of both technical and soft skills would help propel leaders to maximize their team members’ potentials and outputs – and differentiate outstanding leaders in corporate and many other organizational environments.

What are ‘soft skills’, you ask? According to the American Management Association, they are the Four “C’s”: creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking. In his article Boosting Innovation: Are Your Soft Skills Up to Par?, author Don Mroz states,”They [soft skills] are the trans-formative skills necessary for innovation to take root and grow in any organization”.

Soft skills is about building and maintaining relationships, motivating and engaging team members, displaying an overall positive attitude, and understanding – in general - how your behavior affect others. For some people, they inherently understand what is required to exercise these traits, and for others, they can be learned.  In fact, everyone can benefit on how to maximize their soft skills. Many agree that they are series of traits needed for career success in the 21st century.

One way to learn or brush up on those skills is through the ACS Leadership Development System® (LDS). The LDS is focused on four main area of core leadership competency, in addition to character, that are identified as essentials for leaders. They include personal capability, interpersonal skills, focusing on results, and setting a clear direction. The competencies directly align with building and enhancing your soft skill sets.

Find out more about the ACS Leadership Development System® and how it can enable you to enhance your soft skills set and be a more effective leader within your work place!

This article was written by Judith Jankowski, an instructor for ACS Leadership Development.