Career Center, College of Business

What are companies looking for in future leaders?

By Zaria Washington | September 26, 2023

Future Leaders

Leadership is an ever-growing topic in the workforce. Benjamin Laker discussed the importance of leadership in his book The Future Leader. This book explores what the top CEOs from companies all over the world are looking for in skills and mindset. The traits discussed in the book, referred to as the “Notable Nine,” are four mindset qualities and five top skill sets.


1. Global Citizen

2. Servant

3. Chef

4. Explorer


1. Coach

2. Futurist

3. Technology Teenager

4. Translator

5. Yoda


Mindset translates to how we see and understand the world. It also determines how we become effective leaders.

As a global citizen, your mindset should be that of one who is open to new cultural experiences.

A servant is one who is able to lead with empathy and humility. A chef embraces all the key ingredients necessary for running a successful business. An explorer is one who seeks to learn due to curiosity. Having an open mindset about different ways of thinking can only increase your leadership skills and abilities.


The list of skills is a little unusual but important.

A coach is one who appreciates the team. This is someone who can motivate and teach others.

Futurists open the door to new possibilities. They bring new and innovative ideas to the table.

Technology Teenagers are tech savvy.

Translators have great communication skills.

A Yoda is one who has emotional intelligence and has empathy for others.

These are the mindsets and skills that businesses are currently looking for. Becoming a master of the specific skills listed will make you a stronger leader in the future.

Leadership Today

Businesses are putting more of a focus on leadership, and universities are creating more leaders. People are able to not only gain leadership experience but also study what it means to be a good leader.

In a LinkedIn article, Kevin Johnson explained that “63% of millennials said their leadership skills were not being fully developed,” while universities are better equipped to develop leaders than ever.

The business world is shifting. People need to learn to lead their followers and be able to manage up. To do this, you will need a strong foundation in leadership. Leaders must be willing to learn in order to grow.

Should You Go Back to School?

You don’t have to go back to school to be a good leader, but why would you not want to improve faster? The best leaders are explorers who have a curiosity to learn. Many universities have developed leadership degrees because of the advantages it gives graduates in their perspective fields upon graduation.

For example, Charleston Southern University offers a Master of Arts in organizational leadership. This program highlights traits of servant leaders while also integrating faith into the curriculum. A servant mindset is not only something companies will look for but expect from their future leaders. This mindset can also help develop the other components of the “Notable Nine.” 

But seizing the investment is up to you.

If you want more opportunities to take on different roles in the workplace you must step forward. You must grow, and then you must be able to showcase your leadership abilities.

You can’t become an excellent leader overnight. It takes time to develop this powerful ability. As Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Lead by example and invest in the future of leadership now.  

Zaria Washington is a field operations associate at Aerotek Staffing. She has been working in the staffing industry for two years and is working toward her MBA at Charleston Southern University. 


Laker, B. (2021, December 10). This is what leadership will be in 2030. Forbes. Retrieved July 12, 2022.

Johnson, K. W. (2021, May 25). Recent leadership data and statistics that you should know. LinkedIn. Retrieved July 12, 2022.

Ellis, P. (2019, March 28). How Nelson Mandela created the conditions for Success. Cambridge Assessment International Education. Retrieved July 21, 2022.

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