Nora Abd Manaf, group chief human capital officer at Southeast Asia's Maybank, agreed that employees of the future need to work on developing their skills, but she also said it's important to develop a future-proofed mindset.
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"What I've found is that it's not just a learning ability but the ability to bounce back. So when you fail, know how to pick yourself up and continue your learning process," she said.
For Rudy Karsan, managing partner at Karlani Capital, a venture capital firm, it all comes down to one word: "Courage."
"It is the single hardest thing for young people to have because of the amount of time they spend on the screen. You forget the difficulty it takes to really, really get to know people," he said.
Meanwhile, Aileen Tan, group human resources officer at Singaporean telecommunications firm Singtel, who has been learning the programming language Python to future-proof her career, said the answer is threefold.
"For me, the three things are agility, curiosity, and a sense of divine discontentment," said Tan. "Because you've really got to be discontented with the current to change the future."
Making future leaders
Once employees manage to master those skills, they can then start positioning themselves as leaders of the future, the experts agreed.
That will require drawing on some of the aforementioned skills, such as curiosity, as well as developing new ones, according to Duncan Hewett, a senior vice president of U.S. software business VMware.
"The key skill that leaders need in the future is both curiosity and a level of humbleness to reach down through the organization and tap into all the different skills," he said.
For me the most important skill is to appreciate the value of people development.
Morne Swart, Vice president, global product and transformation, SumTotal Systems
Morne Swart, vice president of global product strategy and transformation at U.S. software company SumTotal Systems, agreed, noting the need to value your team.
"For me the most important skill is to appreciate the value of people development in your organization," Swart noted.
Niraj Jain, group chief finance officer at Indonesian retailer Kanmo Group, meanwhile, said leaders of the future will need to be increasingly adaptable and willing to change what they think they know as the work landscape shifts.
"It's very important for future leaders to unlearn what they've learned in the past and continue to learn something new," explained Jain.
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