Thursday, March 8, 2018

Following “ADVANCE” Principles to Build “Future-Proven” Digital Leadership

Following “ADVANCE” principle is critical because if you can’t lead forward, you would lead backward. 

The rule of thumb about leadership is for ADVANCEMENT. Advancement is about forward-thinking, progress, improvement, fresh insight, modernization, or innovation while the opposite of advancement is primitivity, outdated concept or knowledge, lagging, backward,  etc. When following “ADVANCE” principles, leaders become more mature; people are becoming more progressive; the life or the business reaches up to the next level of maturity, and the society as a whole is advancing to the next stage of prosperity.

Authenticity: Being authentic is the state of self-consciousness, self-discovery, and self-improvement. Leading is only possible when you truly know yourself. Who you are and why? The foundation of leadership is based on AUTHENTICITY. Ask the big “WHY” question to discover your intention to lead. Daring to start to find an answer to this question enables anybody to lead oneself and possibly others. The leadership authenticity is based on the purpose of leadership - why do you want to lead; the leadership strength -what can you bring to the table; and the leadership practice - how can you lead differently and more effectively. Being authentic make leaders more truthful and influential. If they can keep pursuing the better version of themselves, they are on the right track to follow “ADVANCEMENT” principle and proactively drive leadership maturity.

Delight: Digital is the journey to reach the state of delight. In practice, creating positive change and building a delightful working environment is a joint effort and co-responsibility of both leaders and employees. To shape a delightful business, one of the key determinants of whether an organization can move to new digital structures is the development level of the people, either at the cognitive level or skill/capability level. If the substance of leadership is about influence, and then, convincing is a more delightful style than controlling, because effective leaders need to involve their entire team at all levels, exhibit positive thinking and develop a delightful workforce.

Vision: Leadership is one’s ability to paint a vivid picture, a vision of a future state and motivate others to achieve it. Vision is to imagine the future; a visionary leader is effective in manifesting his or her vision because she/he creates specific, achievable goals, initiates action and enlists the participation of the vision. Visionary leaders see possibilities before others, but they also need to tackle great challenges with grand consequences over long time spans. They embody vitality, will, imagination, hope, and sense of energy. When they follow the “ADVANCE” principle, they manifest their visions based their leadership on an inspirational, positive picture of the future, as well as a clear sense of direction as to how to get there.

Adaptability: Adaptability is to be understood as the ability of people adapts themselves smoothly and fast to changed circumstances. Due to increasing pace of changes and shorten knowledge cycle, adaptability is a critical leadership quality. Adaptability starts at the mindset level. An adaptive mind is an open mind that is able to adjust its thinking processes according to changes in its environment, or a learning mind to absorb all necessary knowledge and abstract it into insight and wisdom. Adaptive leadership teams comprising a diverse range of individuals with the cognitive difference will be able to draw on a wider set of experiences in order to inform their decision-making. At the strategic level, adaptation is the approach to foresee the business dynamic and prepare the best scenario to adapt to it. It’s meritocracy at its best – a highly diverse set of people collaborate seamlessly to represents nature of how successful organizations work today.
Niche: Every human being, by reason of his or her uniqueness, has the potential to "lead" in one or more areas for which he or she is especially "equipped." The leadership niche is based on leadership substance + leadership strength + leadership style + Leadership brand. The niche of digital leadership also depends on a number of factors, the purpose to lead, leadership intelligence, the mix of knowledge and experience, the quality of information they receive and their collective leadership ability to operate as a team. A top leader needs to have both broad business acumen and digital fluency and deep expertise in the specific field as well. Transdisciplinary knowledge, cross-functional experience, recombinant capabilities and leadership skills - a balance of hard skills and soft skills are all important ingredients to build leadership niche.

Creativity: Creativity is the #1 wanted skill in the 21st century. Therefore, creative leadership has also emerged as one of the most important digital leadership trends to improve leadership maturity and accelerate collective progress. Creativity is an innate ability and the capacity to think and act beyond the boundaries that limit our effectiveness. It’s about creating new ideas or figuring out new ways to do things. Realizing that what has worked in the past isn't today's best solution and having the vision to see what it has now become. By following “ADVANCE” principle, a creative leader is always conscious of the changes needed to connect the past with the future, to reach the next stage of making the new paradigm shift.


Energy: Great leaders radiate positive energy. People need to be developed and grown so the positive energy can flow and collective human capabilities can really be transformed. A positive mind can encompass a positive mental attitude, which is much broader than trust, empowerment, competitiveness and personal responsibility. Setting principle guidelines, grounding rules and policies by following “ADVANCE” principle is important to shape the positive culture. Positive thinking is a basic human ability to inspire self and others to look beyond limitations and set the right direction for advancement. The difficult situations, challenges, problems, all those things that make you suffer lead to greatness if you could overcome and learn from them.

Following “ADVANCE” principle is critical because if you can’t lead forward, you would lead backward. The goal of leadership is about steering toward the right direction, with abilities to reach the destination for achieving the collective progress.


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