Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Five High-Influential Digital Leadership Strengths

Leadership strength is different from leadership style, the style is often at the skin level, but strength is built in underneath.

The substance of leadership never changes, it’s all about future and change, making a positive influence, and providing direction, both for oneself and others. However, leadership trends continue to emerge due to increasing speed of changes and imminent challenges facing the business and the world. And, transforming leadership from good to great, from local to global, from command-control to profundity is a journey, how to cultivate high-effective and high-influential digital leadership via practicing, practicing, and practicing?

Visionary Leadership: A great leader is a visionary. Leadership is one's ability to paint a vivid picture, a vision of a future state and motivate others to achieve it. Despite our present condition and realities, we must never abandon the hope that generations to come will view things differently and breathe new life into an old and dysfunctional system. Thus, visionary leadership is crucial to zoom into the future as if it were closer because leadership is all about future and change. There are too many transactional managers who overly focus on short-term thinking due to the pressure of stakeholder, risk aversion, or ineffective strategy. Technology changes very quickly, and the speed of business changes is also increasing. Visionary leaders have better sense to capture the business trend, be genuinely curious about information, knowledge and future perspective, so they can drive changes more confidently.

Knowledge-based leadership: Digital leadership needs to be highly intelligent and highly influential. Coaching and mentoring are going to be increasingly important now, and that’s why expert power is perhaps more powerful than other types of powers in the age of digitalization and globalization. What keeps leaders successful is their intellectual curiosity and ability to continuously be open to learning and applying these learnings as they move forward. The authentic leaders with high intelligence have adaptability, consistency, profundity, and empathy to master business dynamic and cultural differences. A top leader needs to have both broad business acumen & digital fluency and deep expertise in the specific field as well, transdisciplinary knowledge, cross-functional experience and leadership skills required for professionals in any organization must be built on the foundation of the moral competencies –wisdom, justice, courage, and temperance.

Creative leadership: Creative leadership is the unique combination of leadership behaviors that develops and achieves high quality and meaningful results over a sustained period of time. Creativity is a higher level of thinking because it often imposes a higher cognitive load as you think 'harder' and consciously use different kinds of thought actions and thinking tools like association, perspective shifting, opposites etc. when you are wanting to come up with a creative solution to a challenge. 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.

Change leadership: Change is not for its own sake, the drive of Change Leadership is for making progress and inspiring innovation. People are the very reason for the changes. Help talented people to be successful and bring the wisdom to the workplace. Embracing change and making it integral to how we engage in the world is a river which you willingly step into and enjoy facilitating with others.  As a change leader or agent, managing change is no longer a one-time initiative, but an ongoing strategic capability, leading strategy is different from managing the operation. Therefore, you have to be learning agile and be a change agent yourself first, in order to lead change more effectively. A change leader is a problem-solver, enjoy understanding the complexity and guide people through it; finding common ground and initiative dialogue. Change needs to be people-centric, not process focused. Leading change starts from the mind shift, the high mature leadership should evoke positive emotions in order to make change sustainable and lead business transformation more effectively for the long term.

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. Because 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. Authenticity is the foundation to be a thought leader. When we dig deeper in ourselves the questions arise - Who am I? Why am I here? Where do my thoughts come from and so on? When we get some answers to these questions and get some clarity, the fountain of thought starts to flow, it helps us in identifying our purpose, which instills action to serve the purpose and is perceived as leadership for our cause, and is moving into embedding distinctive attitudes and behaviors around the norms.

Leadership strength is different from leadership style, the style is often at the skin level, but strength is built underneath, the strength is both innate and can be strengthened further via practicing. Focusing on leadership style alone to attract the followers is, at best, a short-lived adventure. Therefore, it’s important to discover and enforce your own leadership strength, in order to amplify leadership influence and improve leadership effectiveness. Leadership is complex, and although it has many facets, at its core, the foundation of leadership is the character. The ultimate criterion of "high-influential 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. Make today 3/8-the International Women’s Day, also a digital leadership refining day!


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