Saturday, June 6, 2015

What are the Most Critical Qualities to a Successful Digital Leader

Leadership is about the FUTURE!

Leadership is about the CHANGE! With increasing change speed of digital dynamic and overcomplexity of business reality, what are the most critical qualities to a successful digital leader, and how should the leader cultivate these capabilities in order to lead their organizations more effectively?

Authenticity: A genuine acceptance of self - An acceptance of personal strengths and weaknesses; an acceptance of personal non-negotiable values; without a genuine acceptance of self, you may be intimidated when surrounding yourselves with people whose strengths are where your weaknesses lie. Without acceptance of self, you may back down in areas where you are strong and should stand strong. Without acceptance of your values, you may be swayed by the value of others. You will shift from leading to following. Courage is essential, to enable oneself to operate beyond ego such as surrounding yourself with a diverse group of other leaders and followers that will provide you with everything that you do not innately possess yourself. Courage is necessary to allow oneself to fail, and learn and grow from failure. Courage is also necessary to take risks-trusting others being one of the most difficult ones so that one can delegate.

VisionUnderstanding vision is not a dream. There is also a passionate connection to a vision. The vision needs to be a good metaphor - 'the guiding light' so that people can see themselves and their work reflected in it. When a vision is realized, people live with change. A vision is larger than a dream, it’s a responsibility. Leaders have to live and be the vision. If a vision exists only on paper, it is useless. It follows the wonderful quote, "We must be the change we wish to see in the world. A passionate connection to it doesn't mean you will always be excited about it, or "love" it. It means you will be willing to suffer for it as you realize you are responsible for the life-changing effects of its realization - the world is waiting for it.

CharacterCharacter is another fundamental and key component of successful leadership. Successful leadership demands integrity which is included in character. Yet, character leads back to integrity, which is a commitment to do the right thing for the right reasons. Will the leader hold it together when he/she is in the hot seat or facing a crisis? Integrity is included in character -- and that a leader's character should remain intact in every situation. Integrity ensures that these dynamics are channeled properly and used for the greater good. That good being is to serve, to inspire, to uplift and to unify a diverse group of individuals to work together in harmony towards a common goal.

Creativity: Creativity matters more than ever because businesses and world today become overcomplex with rapid changes. Creativity is a type of "Out-of-Box" thinking to see things differently with a new perspective, in order to solve problems more seamlessly. The purpose of "out of the box" thinking is to create things that will fit back in the new box more efficiently and effectively than the current arrangements. The creative leaders can also encourage subordinates to think out of the box and bring back new designs that they might not even recognize using the current context. But, when they examine them in the new context they may be a key element for building the new paradigms and contexts.

Decisiveness: Ambiguity is one of the most significant characteristics of digital age. Dealing with ambiguity is linked with decision-making processes. And decision making is one of the most important responsibilities for leaders. Would you define ambiguity tolerance as the ability to patiently sort through confusion or transitions? If so, would you agree that ambiguity tolerance must be coupled with decision making in order to be truly valuable? They can be under conditions of uncertainty very fast (intuitive decision making) which reduces the ambiguity, or they are very slow ( analytical decision making) due to collecting a lot of data, facts, and figures. It depends on the complexity and the situation which cognitive mindset is the effective one. So digital leaders have to "Think Fast and Slow" accordingly in order to make right decisions.

Adaptability and resilience: It is what leaders do in times of difficulty that truly demonstrates their character and worth. Leaders who keep people on the right path, especially when it's very tempting to do otherwise, are truly inspiring. Leaders must have learning agility to adapt to changes, in order to lead changes. A humble acceptance of a knowledge base that is lacking coupled with a desire to understand is greater than a desire to be right. This will keep the leader teachable and continually growing in effectiveness.

Influence: The qualities that most critical to being a leader are all associated with the ability to be one who can influence others to accomplish organizational goals and tasks. However, in order to influence others, one must have skills in implementing and character that displays high levels of ethics, responsibility, integrity, and empathy: (1).Constant and consistent Integrity, (2).Vision, (3). Congruent representation of executive authority, (4). Ability to analyze both fact-based and intuitive input, (5).Embraces inclusiveness and diversity, including different thinking styles and cognitive difference, (6).Effective decision-making, (7). Excellence in communication both interpersonal and organizational, (8). Ability to manage complexity, (9).Proactive motivator, and (10). Change agent.

The business is complex, the world is complex, and leadership is complex, the future of leaders have to deal with opposing views, cultures, constraints and competition. They are energetic, creative, influential, with multi-dimensional intelligence to tolerate ambiguity and make effective decisions. And they are the change agent to leapfrog their organization’s digital transformation.


Great post. This article is very interesting .its must be helpful
and informative for us. Thanks for sharing your nice post.

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