Which drivers of change will affect their skills?
A range of trends are having effects on leaders’ skills in the private sector, although many of these also apply to the public sector and special interest organisations:
New technology is radically changing the way companies can organise themselves 
. Digital networks are facilitating the growth of organisations with remote working practices being combined with new ways of work. Many companies are developing flexible networks of skilled workers, which encompass teleworking and online communities 
to tap into talent wherever it may be 
. Such developments require new leadership and management skills: emphasising less on ‘command and control’ and more on motivation, encouragement and empowering teams to establish their own targets and make independent decisions 
. Business leaders also require the skills to develop digitally oriented strategies, which make full use of available technology 
. Cyber security issues also need to be addressed, which requires specialist expertise from those in this occupational group 
. Skills in risk management are needed along with collaborative skills to work with both internal and increasingly outsourced partners  
Greater consumer power, linked to social democratisation and the explosion in social media usage, means CEOs need to pay increasing attention to their organisations’ corporate citizenship and its impact on local, national or even global society. It is vital that CEOs possess strong awareness of any negative externalities that may be associated with their business operations, to remedy any potential failings. Thus businesses are looking to better understand customers and their dynamic needs, going beyond simply providing goods or services at a low price 
. Active listening and communication skills are especially important when negotiating with a diverse array of stakeholders who have differing ideas, values and agendas
“CEOs are now placing more emphasis on what their customers are trying to achieve than on what their companies are trying to sell. As a result, the importance of being innovative and agile, CEOs believe, cannot be overstated. The Conference Board Council on Innovation suggests we are moving into an ‘experience economy’, where customers value the experience of using a product or service, not just the product itself. CEOs recognise that the basic value proposition of providing a good product at the most competitive price is not, in itself, enough to win new customers or to retain current ones”.
Source: The Conference Board
Globalisation and continuous developments in emerging markets demand business leaders to be fast in setting direction and fully capitalising on new opportunities; establish management and operations staff who understand, or can adapt to, local regulation, risks and market conditions and optimise the potential in these new areas 
Creating more flexible and adaptive workforces, with a large pool of talented staff and future leaders 
supports business success from local to global markets CEOs need to support staff members, demonstrate a results-driven mentality, understand and consider different perspectives, and solve problems effectively 
. In close collaboration with human resources experts, CEOs can also establish leadership development programmes that promote distinctive workplace cultures and values, which benefit businesses as a whole and make organisations more attractive to prospective employees.
Leaders and senior officials in the public sector, as well those as in trade unions and employer organisations are also affected by more specific developments:
In the public sector there are increasing public expectations in relation to quality and service. . Emphasis on efficiency and effectiveness in public management is stimulating an increasing use of targets and performance indicators 
. These developments require enhanced skills on monitoring the quality and cost effectiveness of services.
Senior officials also need strong competences in relation to communicating effectively with citizens in an age of social media, where the ability to communicate accurate and factual messages has become much more challenging than hitherto. Technological advancements paired with e-tools of communication have become especially prominent in recent years in the health sector
, which has been affected by the additional factor of rapid medical and technological advances.
In the wake of the financial crisis in 2008, EU economies and societies have also been challenged with a range of adverse effects that have called for legislative reforms, along with a reshuffling of political and strategic priorities. Complex problem solving in the public sector is important, while in-depth expertise of present economic, social and political affairs demands continual professional development that is in line with new legislation.
EU and national-level regulations play a significant role in promoting environmental sustainability, promoting good employment practices and adapting to the externalities that come from technological development. Senior officials should understand businesses’ activities, and the environment in which they operate, to minimise the impact of constantly changing regulations on economic growth and direct policies and services towards fulfilling skills gaps and employment opportunities 
The shifting trend towards more flexible forms of work will have a significant impact upon public and trade union officials in respect of understanding the rights of workers in a more fragmented labour market 
. Extensive knowledge of labour market regulations and these expanding forms of employment, which include telecommuting, freelancing and crowd working, will prove essential for trade union and government officials as they seek to introduce measures which protect workers from the negative externalities associated with changing labour market relations. Innovative measures include modernised employer organisations, such as digital freelancer unions, and adapted labour market regulations 
Risk of automation: As a part of its Digitalization and future of work project
, Cedefop estimates the risks of automation
for occupations. The most exposed occupations are those with significant share of tasks that can be automated – operation of specialised technical equipment, routine or non-autonomous tasks – and those with a small reliance on communication, collaboration, critical thinking and customer-serving skills. The risk of automation is further accentuated in occupations where employees report little access to professional training that could help them cope with labour market changes. . CEOs, officials and legislators are reportedly an occupation with very low risk of automation.