Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Leadership Sophistication and Maturity

Digital leadership sophistication is based on a unique combination of the leadership mindset, attitudes, and behaviors that develop and achieve high quality and meaningful results over a sustained period of time.

We slowly, but steadily move to the era with an abundance of knowledge and rapid change, it has raised the bar of leadership significantly. Digital leadership is sophisticated because there are many variables in it, and there is a delicate mix of expertise, interpersonal skills, along with a lot of different attributes. Sophistication implies intelligence, uniqueness, unban fit, and complex problem-solving, and the following aspects.  

Leadership sophistication is on versatility and flexibility in response to unpredictable or unanticipated circumstances: The “VUCA” new normal acknowledges that we can never know about an issue or a business completely; it requires us to look beyond what might be the known facts to consider of what’s not known (“knowing unknown, or unknown unknown”), etc. Thus, digital leaders, today should become more future-oriented, set a clear vision, have the breadth of leadership skills and depth of insight to handle many intricate situations, be versatile and flexible in response to unpredictable circumstances, solve problems and drive change relentlessly.

Great leadership is a good combination of mindsets, attitudes, expertise, insight, and behaviors, etc. it’s about trying to determine which competencies or capabilities should be used in which combination, and with what level of weight for each, for different situations, in order to improve leadership maturity. Forward-looking companies should keep leadership substance on checking: identifying and articulating digital paradigm shifts, setting trends, not a fad, molding leaders that go out and promote changes in people’s mindsets, make influence through vision and insight, and lead transformation smoothly.

Leadership sophistication is on framing the right problems to solve and solving them innovatively: Many of today’s business problems are complex, it requires leaders leveraging multidimensional mindset, taking systematic views, having sophistication and creative abilities to reframe the circumstances or conditions around problems, and solve them innovatively. It’s about having multi-dimensional competencies to formulate creative, or unconventional solutions to resolve problems cost-effectively.

Creativity becomes significantly important because leaders of the future will not be mere automation, but continue to discover, explore, improve, and achieve “the art of possible.” Digital leaders with systematic views can encompass the impacts and consequences of their thinking and actions, distinguish interconnections and interdependencies of situations, embrace diverse points of view, make wise choices, and premium decisions consistently. They do this by challenging themselves and staff to find optimal high-value solutions to provide clarity on high priority objectives, criteria, quality, and results. Collaboratively, leadership teams with cognitive differences can shape a broader view that is not possible via linear thinking, and have the better capability and complementary skills to solve problems creatively.

Leadership sophistication is based on making continuous progress, rather than perfection: Leadership competencies are interrelated with traits and expertise. Neither one overshadows the other, they complement each other. Digital leaders envision changes, keep learning agile, grow relentlessly with continuous delivery. They should have an in-depth understanding of how to motivate multi-generational and multicultural workforces through inspiration, positivity, and co-creation, less focus on “command & control,” more focus on “peer-to-peer” collaboration.

Digital leaders with high sophistication can keep building their professional competency, orchestrate strategic changes, and achieve high quality and meaningful results over a sustained period of time. Great leaders are also great coaches who demonstrate unique insight and expert power to instruct and influence, show the team how to explore their skill sets, talents, and strong stregth, taking into account their own objectives in line with working needs. The qualifications, if well managed, are needed in every society, ensuring respect for the leader’s influence and maturity.

 There is NO one single attribute to digital leadership; there is a good combination of hard and soft skills, enriched experiences, and high professionalism to become a great leader. Moreover, the use of these skills and attributes happens in different proportions for each major undertaking in order to improve overall leadership sophistication and maturity.


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