27 Oct 2021

The real skills of leadership

Peter Shepherd-banner

In 2017 bestselling author, world renowned speaker and now mentor and friend, Seth Godin wrote this viral Medium article encouraging leaders to stop calling soft skills, soft.


Instead, he proposed, we call them what they are: the real skills of leadership and human connection.

Skills like curiosity, coaching and creativity.

Skills like decision making, storytelling and question asking.

Skills like empathy, enrolment and dancing with imposter syndrome and fear.

Skills that can’t be memorised or looked up online.

Skills that everyone has the ability to cultivate.

Skills that require deliberate and intentional practice.


Seth provided language for something I had felt for a long time having worked with thousands of leaders and hundreds of companies around the world.

That the framing and importance of ‘hard skills’ versus ‘soft skills’ is increasingly less relevant.

That what our rapidly shifting world calls for is not merely people who fit a technical job description.

That what the world calls for is people who choose to lead, no matter where they are in an organisation. People who choose to practice, model and hone these real, human centered skills.

These are the leaders, and organisations, who will create lasting, meaningful change.


The question is: will that be you?


Pete Shepherd is Founder and Director of Human Periscope, enthusiastically engaging, collaborating with and opening the minds of leaders, executives and changemakers from right around the world.

For over a decade Pete has worked with companies like Google, Westpac and Kraft Heinz and some of the world’s brightest minds, including 20 times best selling author and world renowned speaker Seth Godin and Broadway Acting coach and Optimist on Simon Sinek’s team, Jen Waldman.

As evidenced by this post, Pete loves to nerd out and focus on the real, human (not soft) skills of leadership, workplace culture, and making change.


More info on Pete here

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