Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Corporate Board’s Mentorship Competency

Digital leaders including board directors are more as a great mentor than an entitled commander, in order to harness leadership through pulling, not pushing. 

Coaching or mentoring is going to be increasingly important now because the "command & control" style of management is gradually losing its steam in the digital era of abundant knowledge and hyperconnected business normality. The mentor style board directors play a critical role in developing next-generation leaders and help the current leadership stay attuned to the realities of their industry and business ecosystem.

Mentorship is about guiding, advising, interpreting, and influencing: This is radically different from the command-and-control style of management. Great leadership includes mentoring capability, and excellent mentorship is both art and science. To be the most effective leader, board directors need to present a clear vision, proficient knowledge and communication skills and practice open leadership style. The digital leader today is more of a great mentor than an entitled commander. Not everyone (even many top executives) makes a good mentor. There are many skills & abilities that a good business mentor needs - key amongst them are the ability to listen & observe; the ability to ask probing open questions; a degree of imagination to put oneself in the mentee's shoes to understand his/her perspective; and openness in discussions. From the boardroom to the front desk, mentoring has always been a very integral part of an organization’s success.

Great leaders should be ideal mentors, by mentoring, you are showing that you value others: One of the most important traits for any senior leaders including board directors is self-awareness which is about understanding your impact on others, the surroundings, and how to leverage your strengths and build a high-performance team with complementary skills and experience. Even many board directors are top seasoned business leaders with decades of enriched experiences. Still, it doesn't mean they always have all the answers due to the overloading information and shortened knowledge life cycle, The mentoring style leaders are not about providing all the answers, but about facilitating continuous dialogues and help others explore their own natural skill sets, talents, and strong sides, take into account their own objectives in line with working needs. By mentoring you are showing that you value others, and in order to add value to others, you need to hold people in high regard, not only for who they are but for the potential that lies inside of them. The titles and qualifications, if well managed, are needed in every society to improve leadership maturity.

Leadership is methodical, but there is some magic in there: Every effective leader needs to fill a certain gap or multiple gaps in order to lead to the future. Expert power has the foundation of in-depth knowledge, profound insight, and abstract wisdom to connect the minds and win hearts. Effective leadership is methodical, it takes hard work and endurance, the substance of leadership never changes, A well established and functioning mentoring process is invaluable for an organization to develop its next-generation leaders and for the current leadership to stay attuned to the realities of their ecosystem. Learning, coaching, and practicing leadership are methodical processes that are improved by constant learning and practice. It has to be institutionalized and lived by the top of the organization to be successful.

Digital leaders including board directors are more as a great mentor than an entitled commander, in order to harness leadership through pulling, not pushing. Besides their vision and leadership substance, as well as a unique set of leadership competencies; they will also need to adjust their leadership styles accordingly in order to catalyze change and drive digital transformation effortlessly.


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