Leadership is consistently identified as one of the strongest predictors of organizational success. One effective strategy for ensuring the future success of an organization is, therefore, to develop its’ next generation of leaders. It is particularly important that leaders be selected and developed to handle the challenges and crises an organization may face in the future.  In other words, emerging leaders need to be developed to serve an organization in times when good leadership is most critical.  A research study identified the leadership skills most needed for emerging leaders in times of turmoil and crisis (Iordanoglou & Ioannidis, 2014).  A questionnaire was designed based on an extensive review of the most important leadership skills.  The questionnaire along with structured interviews were used with experts and young leaders from five European countries. The results revealed the most crucial skills for emerging leaders to acquire and apply during times of crisis. The top 7 skills, in order of importance, were:

  1. Adaptability
  2. Flexibility
  3. Innovation
  4. Defining and solving complex problems
  5. Inspiring others (engagement skills)
  6. Strategic thinking and planning
  7. Collaboration and teamwork

Those aspiring to lead organizations in the future and those responsible for developing emerging leaders would do well to focus on acquiring and using these skills, particularly in times of economic and social crises within the organization.


Iordanoglou, D., & Ioannidis, K. (2014).  Essential leadership skills for young professionals in times of crisis.  Economics and Management, 19 (4),  359-364.