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Leadership competencies, historically, could be ineffective when coping with a turbulent environment. The prime objective in this study was then to empirically propose 21st century leadership competencies. VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) concepts, crisis management and leadership competency theories, were used to frame the conceptual framework. The unit of analysis in this studying was Thai-listed companies across eight industries. To quantitative analysis, with 138 respondents, based on analysis of variance (ANOVA), it was shown that the types of industry were insignificant toward the level of VUCA, maturity of agile leadership and ways of managing crises. Regarding regression model, important managerial competencies for the 21st century are increased ability to determine both short and long term vision, capable to engage stakeholders, people-strategy and understanding new paradigm of management tools. Leaders who only understand day-to-day problem solving are not enough. Moreover, the most vital functional competencies for a future leader concluded from qualitative analysis is communication with trust as an initial response. Apart from communication skills, predictive, cognitive, digital and good networking skills are all necessary to fix the turbulent environment. The author then proposed a training roadmap for potential leaders.
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