We are at the tipping point to digital transformation. The cookie-cutter like homogeneous leadership style might fit in industrial silos, however, with the complex and volatile nature of digitalization, it is only with a new type of leader that we can even hope to pull ourselves out of the mire. The qualities of such transformational leaders include, but not limited to authenticity, creativity, insight, empathy, and graciousness, etc. These are not merely qualities, as you no doubt know, but reflective of a higher consciousness. Higher consciousness is not attainable through a deductive or inductive process. It demands a certain proclivity (to put it mildly) on the part of the individual as well as kind of environment that will nurture (instead of oppressing) it. Metaphorically, what're the most wanted digital leadership pros?
The fountain of Creativity: Creative leadership can be described as “adaptability meets agility” and “innovation meets principles”. Creative leaders are futuristic and forward-thinking, realizing that what has worked in the past isn’t today’s best solution and having the vision to see what it has now become. And creative leadership is when you think, act and enable others with a creative spirit, open mind and drives positive changes.
The diamond of character-based leadership: the leadership substance is over style; character over charisma; gravitas over charming; and quality over quantity. The character-based leadership has authentic nature, with a raw diamond type of leadership consciousness. They continue to reflect, as an individual, who are you, what’s your authentic self, gracefulness and appreciation of life, the character-based leadership illustrates the tension between the good and the real, and achieve leadership effectiveness via influence, confidence and humility.
The Valley of Insightful leadership: Digital is the age of information abundance, however, how to amplify signal from noise; capture insight from knowledge; an insightful leader is like a valley, with nature depth of his/her view and profundity of his/her perception; they have ability to perceive clearly or deeply penetration, it is not the acquisition of knowledge that will make the leader, but the desire to apply it and transform into the insight that will make the leader. The difference comes from altitude, attitude, and aptitude.
The bridge of transformational leadership: The prefix “trans” means "across, on the far side and beyond", the transformational leaders are like a bridge to mind the gap between industrial mindset to digital mind flow; from local to global; from older generation to newer generation, and from present to the future. The transformational leaders are capable of creating something new out of old; to reach the new horizon, to influence upon vision and to inspire via intellectual stimulation.
The tree to grow him/herself, and the forest to see the whole –Thought leadership is a mindset: Digital leaders have to have a tree-like growth mind, and forest-like holistic view. Cutting edge thinking is the key in a fast moving, rapidly changing and the hyper-connected digital world of business, thought leadership provokes the next level of leadership thinking and focus on change the culture of an organization, it is a human growth capacity, with long term, oversight perspective.
All change requires leadership otherwise it will not have the necessary momentum, even in "a mature, disciplined, and continuously improving" organization, the digital leadership is imperative to set goals and ensure ongoing commitment. While we can move along a continuum of caring and sharing in times of turbulence we tend to return to our natural proclivities. High-potential talent, continue to self-reflect, who are you, and what's your unique symbol of leadership; forward-thinking organizations, focus less on mapping the exact same skills from your current managers to future leaders, otherwise, you are hunting for followers, not leaders. The style of leadership may change, but the leadership essential is the same, inspiring, influencing and empowering. In summary, we are in need of a new vanguard of enlightened leaders if we wish to transcend the digital chaos to the harmony.