Monday, January 18, 2016

Digital Master #127: Three Trends in Digital Leadership

The digital leaders win with purpose and fight for the better world.

More and more organizations are heading to the digital journey, it takes digital leadership to encompass the right direction, empower the right talent and enable the long-term transformation. People tend to make leadership very complex, but in its most simple form, leadership is about the future and direction, innovation and improvement, and it is about how to practice and amplify positive influence. Now we live in the hyperconnected digital age with always-on businesses, interdependent ecosystem, and multi-level digital communication channels, what are emergent trends of digital leadership?

Creative Leadership: Creativity matters more than ever because businesses and world today become over-complex with accelerated changes. The more "creative leaders," we have, the better for the world. Creative leaders are futuristic and forward thinking. Creative leadership can be described as "Adaptability meets Agility.” Creative leadership is the unique combination of leadership behaviors that develops and achieves high quality and meaningful results over a sustained period of time. Creative leaders do this by challenging him/herself and staff to find optimal high-value solutions to provide clarity on high priority objectives, criteria, quality, and results. Therefore, a creative leader can influence and build a culture of innovation. If there’s idea gap, it means the cause to gap may have something to do with corporate culture, it is imperative for improving the organization's culture to one that is more innovative, inspires creativity, celebrates or allows failure or prototyping. 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. The ultimate criterion of "creative leadership," is the ability to create more leaders, to spread leadership - or, more precisely, to groom more authentic leaders with the ability to think differently, independently and innovatively.

Thought Leadership: At today’s “digital dynamic with VUCA” (Velocity, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity) characteristics, Being thoughtful, mindful and multi-dimensional thinker is more crucial to improve leadership effectiveness. For example, besides creativity, digital leaders need to master at critical thinking which is the mental process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion; Learning critical thinking is also about un-learning bad thinking habits and mistakes in reasoning. A mindful leader is more knowledgeable, insightful, and ultimately wiser. The significant tasks of leaders are making decisions, wisdom has to do with the soundness of judgment, insight is about to see things others usually can not, and empathy is one of the most important attributes of being a great leader -have the ability to think as if you were in the other party's position. Sometimes this attribute can get lost when hard decisions must be made, or conflict arises. So a mindful or thoughtful leader has a better perception to be a good communicator upon thinking profoundly, upon knowing when to voice out, when to keep silent; upon striking the right balance without any sort of extreme thinking or bias. They often think deeper before speak louder; use fewer words to express more; master of crowdsourcing and enjoying collective wisdom, continue practicing thought leadership and bringing leadership wisdom to the table.

Global leadership: Global mindset is a worldview that looks at problems or issues in such a way that a solution emerges through a collaborative multicultural approach involving global psychological capital, intellectual capital, and global social capital. Being “Global” involves a personal intention to focus on being global with intellectual curiosity. Thanks for the digital technologies, now we can share knowledge, brainstorm, and co-create ideas with “similar-minded,” or “complementary-minded” talented people at every corner of the world, and we can embrace the diversity of thoughts and enjoy the color of character more effortlessly today. In addition, at the age of digitalization, ‘being who you really are as a global leader’ is more critical than ever, be authentic is a sort of prerequisite of global leadership because your digital footprint is omnipresent, the working life is converging with personal life, you have to be real and true to yourself and others. This will translate and distill into believability throughout your entire organization and beyond. You will be seen as a person and leader who can be trusted not just by your employees but also by your customers or clients. Being authentic means to be original, positive, progressive, courageous, conscious, creative and curious, and to adopt mindsets of not knowing, challenging convention, maximizing diversity and being willing to experiment, as a basis for then being able to think differently, independently, and globally. Global leadership is shifting toward grooming historic digital leadership skills embodying effective communication in networks of global conversations that inspires creativity in diverse domains of expertise.

The digital leaders win with purpose and fight for the better world. 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 need to be positive, energetic, creative, influential and global, Besides these emergent digital leadership trends, the top leadership traits are not limited to truthfulness, sincerity, generosity, flexibility, diligence, dependability, wisdom, enthusiasm, resourcefulness, initiative, decisiveness, loyalty, justice, listening, empathy, attitude, drive, risk taking, solutions (problem-solving), humbleness, integrity, perseverance, and multi-dimensional intelligence to tolerate ambiguity and make effective decisions. Digital leaders are the relentless change agent to fight for fairness, progress and greatness.


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