Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Three Perspectives of Future of Leadership

A great leader or coach should have an abundance mindset.

Leadership is about the future, and it is the most crucial leading factor to accelerate digital transformation. Still, there are so many inquiries about the future of leadership. What has shifted in the context of leadership and management? Do leaders just fall into whatever their culture says leadership looks like or do leaders change the culture? Shall leaders lead at the front or from behind? Will leaders speak louder or think deeper? Is leadership becoming more “virtual” or physical? And what’re the most critical elements in digital leadership?

Technology should continue to affect and impact leadership: The test for leadership is how they engage people and technology in a way that enhance rather than exploit human potential. Leaders active and real involvement in the development of human potential will be more critical than ever. Regarding the impact of technology, leadership must be comfortable with remote team participation and work to develop team cohesion and synergy with the multi-location, multicultural, diversely skilled team, chartered with delivering the team's objective. Development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills by the team are paramount. Leadership will need to encourage and develop these skills within the team. Additionally, use of intelligent risk taking will be a critical skill which will need to be cultivated in the team by those in a leadership role. This implies that there will be mistakes. Here, leadership will need to understand the root cause of the failure, share the learning with the team and communicate lessons learned in such a manner as to not extinguish the risk taking the flame of the team. Less focus on command-control style management, more focus on peer-to-peer collaboration. Technology will help through transparency, idea sharing, linking and openness - only managers who will become leaders will survive.

Digital Context of leadership: What exactly do you understand by 'context.' Is that the internal systems of a business? Or the externalities, things the business does but is not taking responsibility for unless forced to do so? One reason context is critical is that context defines the problem. Leadership emerges or fails to emerge as a function of the training, experience and cultural (professional) orientation of the individual charged with the responsibility for the problem. Every effective leader needs to fill a certain gap or multiple gaps in order to lead to the future. The "context" may be the evaporation or increasing ineffectiveness of the content they are currently comfortable with. The need may be to help design a new context, and objective, that will help them pull new approaches out of all of the tools and contexts that have emerged as a result of the combined knowledge and experience of mankind. Context now has to be understood in terms of externalities, those you cause and those that impact you, it is a business ecosystem.

Creativity - "Thinking out of the box:" The purpose of "out of the box" thinking is to create things that will fit back in the new box more efficiently and effectively than the current arrangements. 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. Either way, leadership development must be tied to context not in a way that promotes satisfaction or comfort with the context, but rather in a way that creates agility in them to be ready for fast changes and at the same time to create the abilities for them to be pioneers, innovators, and creators of a better context. Creativity becomes significantly important in the age with the advanced technologies because the leaders of the future will not be mere automatons. It would be very disconcerting if tomorrow we wake up to find the leaders of tomorrow inapt because they've come to expect technology to solve so many of their problems that they can't apply critical thought and creativity to drive the next level of human progress accordingly.

A great leader or coach should have an abundance mindset. Leadership is not an expertise or specialty, it is an influence and a practice. Good leaders are continually practicing, experiencing, learning, adjusting, and they understand that ultimate mastery of leadership does not exist. The path to mastery is something that unfolds day by day. The future leadership should think that every minute of their time counts. There is no time to waste.


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