In my never-ending quest to discover the global perspective on emerging competencies required to lead in today’s environment, I talked with Youssef El Aoufir, COO and Managing Director at Intelcia, headquartered out of Morrocco.

As a leader in global talent management staffing, I was curious about how Youssef sees the future of leadership and the competencies that everyone should focus on, no matter where they sit within an organization. 

Leadership Interview Summary

JH: With a global organization such as Intelcia, you have a unique perspective on what is needed with core competencies for leaders facing an unknown future of work.

YEA: Transparency in leadership was never a top priority in the past. The administration would never consider sharing large amounts of information with subordinates. However, in today’s workplace, with a flatter hierarchy, transparency brings trust, which is required to build high performing organizations. A leader should feel a sense of empowerment by sharing ideas and information within the organization. This high level of transparency will increase communication among the team and allow for genuine 360 feedback and discussion.

Another critical point is a leader’s cultural awareness. This core competence becomes more significant as the world is smaller in terms of connectivity, and you can not lead unless you have a global perspective in terms of business and how you develop your team. Cultural awareness and sensitivity is a leadership imperative. No longer can you lead a global organization if you are not a global citizen that embraces the beauty of diversity and inclusion in all aspects. The combination of transparency and cultural awareness is already the difference-maker in today’s context but will be the norm for all businesses in the very near-term. 

JH: What is one competency that you are working on yourself?

YEA: Agility! You not only have to work on your mindset and ability to adapt quickly, but you also have to be prepared to accept things that you did not even know was coming at you. I can no longer look at situations with firm beliefs and rigidity; instead, I need to become more flexible, think out of the box, encourage opposing views and change like a chameleon when the time comes. The complexity and ubiquity of even common work scenarios expose those who can not adapt quickly, and soon the entire organization becomes at risk with an executive’s inability to lead. Agility wins. 

Key Leadership Takeaways:

  1. If you are stuck in “how you have always done things,” then you are not prepared to lead today and into the future. 
  2. Transparency, awareness, and agility are key leadership competencies required to succeed in the modern work context. 

Leader Action Plan:

  1. Are you green and growing or ripe and rotting? (Growth vs.fixed mindset). Take this to heart; if you think you can stop growing as a leader, you will not be successful. Challenge yourself to learn every day.
  2. Have you considered reexamining your personality assessments and look at them through the lens of an agility mindset? Agility will be the game-changer. Embrace the thought of it, and challenge yourself to break out of your comfort zone. 

What are your thoughts on transparency, awareness, and agility? Please post your comments below and let us begin building a tribe of people who have a passion for followership, mentorship, and leading!