Friday, December 19, 2014

Are you Leading Forward or Backward

The emerging digital trend is the constructive disruptor for broadening leadership touch point and deepening leadership cognizance.
In this day and age, information is only a click away, and knowledge life cycle has significantly shortened, the digital world is hyper-connected and always on, the leadership effectiveness is no longer defined by a few spotlight moments, by through the continuous delivery and consistent progression.

And the tough choices are on the way: Shall you just focus on your own workloads and being a transactional manager or shall you make a leap become a truly transformational leader: shall you keep the status quo by watching the rear mirror only; or are you really open-minded and creative to push the human progress? Or to put simply, are you leading forward or backward? And what are the leadership pitfalls?

The position has been marketed for the purpose. The big difference in today's society is that leadership has become a destination.  Leadership is not about gaining a certificate or even being skillful to climb the narrow corporate ladder, in fact, in many cases, the higher you climb via the traditional ladder, the more you may lose your true color of the character or fundamental professionalism, due to the unhealthy competition. The authentic leadership starts with the purpose, leadership starts with one person who finds passion and clarity towards a specific cause or goal...and starts moving towards it. Organizations and institutions have tried to change it into a packaged product that they can sell, teach, and distribute; or become the inner circle to maintain the status quo. The point is leadership is both art and science, it has to be inspired via both heart and mind.

Lack of prioritization: At today’s information overloading business dynamic, leaders need to be able to prioritize their work and manage their time more effectively, laser focus on the critical things which really matter; sadly this is one area that is lacking in many areas which then results in a drop in leadership skills. If a leader can manage their own workloads, and ensure their staff is led, managed and developed correctly only then, are you carrying out your role in the truest fashion? The issues these days is that with all this information and the inevitable workload that comes with a position of responsibility, the leadership now faces adverse but critical conception and in most cases, the opinion of the 'subject' defines the entry and exit pathway.

Lack of intelligent inquisitiveness: In the industrial age, the ones in leadership positions assume they have all the answers, because the business is considered static and there’s scarcity of information, and many managers live in their own silo, and never see or understand the other side of coin, such polar thinking confuses complimentary concept as opposite, messy leadership as controlling only. Empowered with all the answers make you feel more like a leader; however, at the digital age with the information explosion, framing the right questions is more critical for the leaders to attract the diverse thoughts and out of the box thinking, and make strategic decisions by leveraging multiple PoVs. Leading by questioning, and practice leadership & followership accordingly.

The substance of leadership will never change, it is the vision to make the positive influence, to lead your organization and the world forward, not backward. And the emerging digital trend is the constructive disruptor for broadening leadership touch point and deepening leadership cognizance. The trend towards people learning to have their voices distinct themselves from those who just hide behind their true natures. Leadership has to continue to improve via self-reflection, lifetime learning, and wisdom refining, it is a progressive journey.


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