AI and human soft skills will drive leadership priorities in 2020s, LinkedIn survey finds

The survey found that a purpose driven and caring mindset was the number one quality leaders should strive for, followed by an ability to embrace technology.

An understanding of technologies like AI and a strong command of human soft skills will be a key theme in the C-level workforce over the next decade, according to a new survey from LinkedIn

Over half of the more than 14,000 survey respondents indicated that a purpose driven and caring mindset was the number one quality leaders should strive for, followed by an ability to embrace technology and a willingness to be agile and nimble. 

Soft skills -- like emotional intelligence and the ability to be motivated, engaging, and inspiring -- will remain an important trait for leaders over the course of the decade, the survey found. Notably, the survey also found that a majority of employees feel like they're taking more definitive action compared to their leadership when it comes to actually implementing these traits and preparing for the future of work.

"The world of work is changing rapidly, and leaders need to adapt their own skills and mindsets to address future trends and challenges," LinkedIn wrote in a blog post outlining the survey findings. "Our findings show that while leaders may feel they're prepared, their employees aren't so sure, and often feel more confident in their own adaptability." 

Meanwhile, another LinkedIn report suggests that employers are looking for talent with a broad mix of technical and soft skills. From analytics and blockchain to creativity and persuasion, employees will be expected to possess a range of hard and soft skills that businesses will need to stay competitive in the 2020s. Here's a look at the employee skill mix from LinkedIn's list: 

The Soft Skills Companies Need Most in 2020

  • Creativity
  • Persuasion
  • Collaboration
  • Adaptability
  • Emotional Intelligence 

The Hard Skills Companies Need Most in 2020

  • Blockchain
  • Cloud Computing 
  • Analytical Reasoning
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • UX Design 
  • Business Analysis
  • Affiliate Marketing 
  • Sales 
  • Scientific Computing
  • Video Production