Today’s Soft Skills Are The Hard Skills

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Author: PASA

In Aurecon’s latest Just Imagine blog post, Chief People Officer Liam Hayes argues that for  leaders and organisations to build anything great, it will take more intuitive, fluid forms of leadership that can leverage the power of human connections and the ability to inspire and envision others.

Soft skills are the hard skills inside the glass walls of today’s organisations. 

Hayes tells PASA, “In the procurement environment, working in teams is essential to success. Failure at any ‘link’ in the chain is tantamount to the failure of everyone because of the interconnectivity of processes and systems. What we often forget is that it is people that turn the cogs of processes and systems. Within this environment, especially, a focus on people is essential to realising organisational success.
He continues, “Procurement firms should not only be asking what and how to sustainably procure; but who is managing and guiding the procurement process and how they can be managed and guided toward personal (and as a result corporate) success.”

In his latest piece, Hayes writes, “Every year, Indra Nooyi the CEO of PepsiCo, sits down to write a letter… in fact, 400 of them. In each one, she tells the parents of her senior executives what their child is doing for the company, and why they are a gift to the company. The response from her colleagues: ‘This is the best thing that’s happened to my parents. And, it’s the best thing that’s happened to me!’

“Needless to say, Nooyi is enjoying a high approval rating in her 11th year as CEO. Why is that? Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence (EI) theory would say it has everything to do with her mastering ‘the soft stuff’.

“Before this new paradigm infiltrated business schools and boardrooms, strong leadership was top-down, empirical and calculated, emotionally invulnerable. Bedside manners and empathy were optional at best. But increasingly business is waking up to the idea that IQ and Ivy League-splattered résumés won’t necessarily translate into running a tight, productive, happy ship.

“It will take more intuitive, fluid forms of leadership that can leverage the power of human connections and the ability to inspire and envision others. If you want to build anything great, you’re going to have to get it the hard way. Soft skills are the hard skills inside the glass walls of today’s organisations…”

  • Keen to learn more about building a successful future in procurement? The PASA CPO Summit, ‘Future Proofing You’, will be held on 13 & 14th March 2018 in Sydney. 

* Aurecon’s Just Imagine blog provides a glimpse into the future for curious readers, exploring ideas that are probable, possible and for the imagination.

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