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The art of skill stacking

Change is not just inevitable but the only constant; skill stacking therefore becomes essential as leaders are under immense pressure to be Jacks —and Jills— of all trades. The expectation? To seamlessly juggle a myriad of skills, from strategic thinking and emotional intelligence to technical experts and decision-making prowess. Yet, amidst this kaleidoscope of competencies, one skill outshines as the linchpin: human leadership. 

What’s the big deal with skill stacking? 

At first glance, skill stacking might sound like a buzzword that’s floated around on LinkedIn. But dive a little deeper, and you’ll uncover it’s a formula for leadership success. Skill stacking isn’t about being the best in one area. Instead, it’s the art of combining multiple, varied skills to create a unique and compelling value proposition — a leader who’s more than just their job title. 

For senior HR leaders, understanding and nurturing this concept within your organisation can be a game-changer. It’s about recognising that the sum of part-skills — when correctly identified and developed — can lead to an exceptional leader who navigates the complexities of today’s corporate world with ease and humanity. 

Why human leadership is the keystone 

Human leadership is the practice of leading with empathy, respect, and understanding, fostering an environment where everyone feels valued and empowered. Human leaders champion a culture where diverse beliefs and perspectives are not just tolerated but celebrated, paving the way for innovation and excellence. 

Having this as part of your leaders’ skills stack is pivotal because, at its core, every business challenge is a human challenge. Whether it’s driving change, fostering innovation, or navigating uncertainty, the solutions lie not in processes and policies but in empowering people to bring their best selves to work. 

“The future requires different skills — human skills based on relationships, communication, trust, authenticity, collaboration and creativity. More than anything, there needs to be humanity in the system.”

Elke Edwards, Founder of Ivy House

Leadership development: The path to getting skill stacking right 

Acknowledging the importance of skill stacking and human leadership is one thing; developing leaders who embody these principles is another. This is where leadership development comes into play. It’s not just about enhancing a leader’s skill set but about transforming their approach to leadership itself. 

But how do you get there? Here are some suggestions: 

  • Embrace a holistic development approach: Look beyond traditional training that focuses on technical skills. Develop programmes that nurture emotional intelligence, resilience, and adaptability — qualities that underpin human leadership. 
  • Encourage self-awareness and self-leadership: Leaders should lead by example. Programmes that foster self-awareness and self-leadership equip leaders to manage themselves effectively, setting the stage for them to inspire and lead others. 
  • Create a culture of continuous learning: In a world that’s constantly changing, the ability to learn and adapt is crucial. Leadership development should encourage a mindset of continuous growth, pushing leaders to evolve with the times. 
  • Foster diversity and inclusivity: Diverse perspectives fuel innovation. Leadership development should emphasise the value of inclusivity and diversity, teaching leaders to create environments where every voice is heard and valued. 

Why partner with Ivy House? 

Embarking on the journey of developing extraordinary leaders requires more than just intent; it demands expertise, insight, and a tailored approach. That’s where Ivy House shines. Our expertise in designing and delivering leadership development solutions not only engages and ignites leaders but also acts as a catalyst for behavioural and organisational change. 

By partnering with us, you’re not just investing in leadership development; you’re investing in a future where your leaders are equipped to tackle challenges with skill, empathy, and humanity. A future where your organisation doesn’t just survive but thrives. 

Ready to transform the leadership landscape of your organisation? Dive deeper into the skills our leaders need in our white paper. It’s not just a resource; it’s a roadmap to creating leaders who are prepared for the challenges of tomorrow’s corporate world. 





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