Thursday, October 13, 2016

To Celebrate #3200 Blog Posting: Accelerate Digital Leadership Shift

No frictions, no authentic leadership.

Leadership is about change, the substance of leadership never changes, it’s all about making positive influences, and providing direction, both for oneself and others. However, the journey of great leadership is never going to be smooth, with numerous obstacles on the way. No friction, no authentic leadership. You have to make continuous influence via envisioning and innovating. It is the time to celebrate the #3200 blog posting of the "Future of CIO" blog, not about writing, but about brainstorming the digital way to lead effortlessly. Imagining the blog is the knowledge power made of 3000+ building blocks, mightier than the magic bullets, to remove the barriers and overcome obstacles not for winning, but for progression, to advocate innovative leadership and accelerate digital leadership shift.

The shift from transactional leadership to transformational leadership: Digital offers a nearly unprecedented opportunity to take the lead in an organization - in the best sense of the word. But competition at the leading edge of businesses is fierce at the age of digitalization and globalization. Successful companies need to grow and innovate, investing in, and developing the next generation of leadership is one of the best ways to do that. It requires real vision, a sense of mission, an ability to foster a collaborative clarity of focus with customers, and willingness to be learning agile with high-level changeability. Much is possible for the transformational kind of leaders because they focus on the long-term perspective with broader lenses:
-A transaction is to do things right; a transformation is to do a right thing.
-A transaction has a short-range view; a transformation has a long-range perspective.
-A transaction is about how; a transformation is what and why.
-A transaction focuses on a bottom line; a transformation is on the horizon.
-A Transaction seeks continuity. A Transformation seeks to change.
-A Transaction focuses on goals for improvement. A Transformation focuses on goals of innovation.

Transform from controlling and wholesale leadership to influential and innovative leadership: The leader’s role is to empower their people to reach their full potential. This has a liberating effect. The digital leadership means to give a clear direction of what's expected, then allow those that follow you to choose how they get there. At the industrial setting with silo thinking, scarcity of information, hierarchical structure, and reductionistic management practice, controlling only can maintain the certain level of stability, but fear or mistrust will significantly diminish leadership effectiveness. Metaphorically, C&C style might scare the sheep, but can't tame the tiger. The other issue with C&C is that it’s process driven, not begin with 'the end in mind. Though control can come into play when one monitors the process to see it is reaching the desired vision which has a managerial element. Digital leaders must lead via envisioning, influencing, innovating, and multidimensional intelligence. Creating a balancing act is a challenge for today's leaders to lead by influence, not brute forces.

Clarify leadership substance and style to advocate insightful leadership: Often people get confused about leadership substance vs. style, or due to lack of substance, they amplify the style and ignore the substance. Surely it degrades leadership effectiveness. If vision is the leadership substance, larger than selves than the moment, and then, presentation is a style: open vs. closed; proactive vs. reactive; pull vs. push. If trustworthiness is the leadership substances, leaders keep their word, transparent, and candid; adventurous and decisive; and then, collaboration is a style: flexible vs. stubborn;  understanding vs. argumentative. If empathy is leadership substance: Leaders perceive things via multiple angles; and then communication is style: listen to vs. talk; introversion vs. extroversion; monolithic vs.mosaic. We still live in the world with information abundant and insight poor, it is the time to be mindful and lead profoundly.

We all lead in different levels, no fiction, no authentic leadership. In essence, leadership is about future, there is no generic set of leadership skills, but you can and should abstract leadership substances and capture leadership quintessential. Effective leadership differs by level, the type of organization, the stage of organizational evolution, the mindset of stakeholders (particularly boards of directors), the complexity of the product, and many other variables. There is also no one size fits all leadership formula, the authentic leaders discover their own path, build their own strength, fill the variety of leadership gaps, and lead with their own unique way.


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