Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Five Key Elements in Digital Leadership

Digital Leadership is Profound, Positive and Innovative.


With many organizations and the society as a whole reach the inflection point of digital transformation, as always, the spirit comes from the top, leadership is a key success factor for any organization's success. Due to the complexity, uncertainty, ambiguity and volatility of digital age, the leadership in any organization must have the ability to guide, inspire and motivate a group of people toward accomplishing shared visions and goals; what are the most critical elements in digital leadership though?


Vision: Leadership is the foresight to see the future needs of an organization, the commitment to provide whatever effort is necessary to move the organization in the right direction and the grace to do so because it is best for the organization. It is more crucial for leadership today due to the rapid changes and VUCA nature of digital age.


Creativity: Creativity emerges as one of the most critical factors of digital leadership; which is often motivated by curiosity, be curious to discover the new way to do things. Creative leadership avoids unnecessary process and hierarchy. Good leadership sees how bureaucracy can stiffen innovation, strangle understanding, process and action.


Empathy: Listening, challenging and concluding positively in terms that the individual / audience understood, at any level of the organization; knowing his/her team upon strengths, weaknesses, goals and objectives. Ability to see and treat people as people, not as objects. Many of people unknowingly work and live within their own boxes and often times fail to see co-workers, bosses, and subordinates as people but objects, and in doing so fail to see and hear their viewpoints which cloud the judgment of leaders. In a broader scope, today’s global leaders must understand multiple cultures, multiple points of views, moving leadership from apathy to sympathy to empathy.


Collaboration: Collaboration is imperative. Leaders need to inspire others to want to work together to deliver on the goals. Leadership is about collaboration, fostering an environment where creating success together has greater rewards than individual performance. Leadership is getting other people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.  A leader is able to inspire best-ever individual and team performance in support of the organizational mission while ensuring that each member of the community has the support, resources, and guidance to succeed. Leadership is the capacity to manage volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous situations in order to create commons to address challenges.


Wisdom: Only wisdom can transcend leadership from good to great. The significant tasks of leaders are making decisions, wisdom has to do with the soundness of judgment.  Wisdom mainly consists of having experience and yet knowing when to discard that experience, when you come to new knowledge - new frontiers to existing knowledge. Wisdom is a full set of learning, unlearning and relearning. Plus an open mind -wisdom is a function of knowing what you don't know and keeps curiosity to know more.


Sometimes leadership is at the front, sometimes it is from behind - depends on what is required by the circumstance. Surely digital leadership is profound with such five key elements, and beyond, integrity, consistency, perseverance, character, forthrightness, enthusiasm, attitude, knowledge, industriousness, etc, for all values. We all respect things which reflect the highest standards of values and want more of them and disrespect things which reflect their opposites, leadership is a journey, and digital leaders are the forerunner of digital transformation.

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