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As leaders around the globe assess lessons from the pandemic, they are adopting new methods for navigating this forever-changed landscape. While some industries have yielded increased market share in the past couple of years, others have experienced rapid sales declines – jeopardizing not just organizational stability but individual career growth. Facing this new economy requires bridging the discrepancy between the skills leaders have and the talent needed in a new era.

According to Meena Wehrs, associate dean for The University of Chicago Booth School of Business Executive Education, skills such as courage, creative problem-solving, negotiations, innovation, and motivating change – once considered ancillary to measurable skills – are in high demand post-pandemic, especially for next-generation leaders. “Executives and organizations are placing a high value on these essential leadership skills and seeking executive education to navigate future uncertainty and disruption,” says Wehrs.

Embrace change by adopting leadership skills for the future

In a recent report, Deloitte estimated that essential-skill-intensive occupations are on a sharp rise across all industries and professions, and will account for two-thirds of all jobs by 2030.

History shows that in times of economic turmoil, professionals turn to education and upskilling. From leadership to strategy to resilience, professionals who have cultivated these essential skills will find a way to adapt and overcome personal and organizational challenges. In this context, executive education becomes more pertinent than ever before. Some of these critical skills include:

Resilience

We all need resilient leaders in times of uncertainty. Such leaders dare to tackle tough times and embolden others to do the same. Bumps and setbacks happen, and leaders who build resilient their teams can overcome these obstacles together. Ultimately, resilient leaders understand that both mistakes and failures are part of the journey towards success.

“Resilient leaders live by their values and do not engage in dysfunctional behaviors or bring harm to others. They are willing to be direct, tackle tough conversations and questions, and show empathy. Such leaders produce the highest impact on their organizations,” says Susan Lucia Annunzio, President and CEO of The Center for High Performance and Faculty Director of Chicago Booth’s Resilient Leadership for High-Performing Organizations program.

Motivation

When faced with a new challenge, especially under duress, executives may often feel overwhelmed and may not know where to start. Ayelet Fishbach, Jeffrey Breakenridge Keller professor of Behavioral Science and Marketing and an IBM Corporation Faculty Scholar at Chicago Booth, says: “Things are constantly changing, and we need to adapt.”

The author of “Get It Done: Surprising Lessons from the Science of Motivation” and faculty member in Chicago Booth’s Negotiations and Decision-Making Strategies program, acknowledges that change is difficult, but says: “Start by deciding: What is it that you want to achieve? What’s your goal? There are some great techniques that we can use to set goals that actually work.” Professor Fishbach discusses the most significant barriers to behavioral change in this episode of the Chicago Booth Review.

A digital, disruptive mindset

Organizations face fundamental digital transformation as “tele-everything” has impacted almost every industry. This rapid migration to a digital-centric world has placed new pressures on organizations to rely on technological advancements to service customers and manage employees. Rob Wolcott,      adjunct professor of entrepreneurship, Chicago Booth, co-founder and chairman of The World Innovation Network (TWIN), and faculty director for Chicago Booth’s Digital Innovation Strategy and Management program, says: “Digital technologies enable us to more effectively, efficiently, and economically drive the production and provision of products and services closer to the moment of actual demand. We call this ‘proximity’.”

Bridge the skills gap with Chicago Booth’s stellar programming held in various formats

Executive education

Today’s executive education programs, held in various formats, offer a vibrant learning experience to participants around the world to help leaders navigate a new business landscape. Source: Chicago Booth School of Business

Next-gen leaders will need these essential skills to thrive alongside their teams in the modern workplace. In addition to offering live-online and online programs, Chicago Booth Executive Education is bringing in-person programs back to Gleacher Center in Chicago this fall. Booth’s in-person, live-online, and online programs are designed to bridge the skills leaders have with the talent needed in a new, forever-changed era. Whether attending in-person or the virtual classroom, take your career to the next level.

Learn more about Chicago Booth Executive Education by requesting a catalog of programs, or contact the School at +1.312.464.8732 or email exec.ed@chicagobooth.edu for questions or consultation. When requesting the catalog, you’ll also receive a collection of specially curated thought leadership articles to help you navigate this new era.

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