Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Variety of Leadership Gaps

It's a well-known fact that there is no perfect leader, but the progressive one is on their way to be more effective by bridging multiple gaps seamlessly.

Leadership is about the future, it’s about change, and it’s about making a difference. The business is complex, the world is complex, and leadership is complex. The future of leaders has to deal with opposing views, cultures, constraints and competition. 

There are a variety of leadership gaps that cause blindspots in decision-making and create chasm in innovation. Innovative leadership is in a strong demand to inspire the culture of learning, and accelerate digital transformation.

Vision gap: Top leaders are a visionary role who sets the direction for the enterprise internally and externally. because the essence of leadership is to guide direction via removing the obstacles or breaking down the outdated concepts or things either hard or soft, visible or invisible, in order to lead forward boldly at the steadfast paces. In reality, sometimes, leaders’ visions are clouded and distorted by rosy colored glasses or narrow-minded perspectives, causing misjudgment, and distracting their business from the top prioritized change agenda. Ideally, vision is an integral part of the leadership or directorial role. In most cases, it must be shared, collaborative, and sustainable.

The digital leader has to have the capability to look ahead and imagine what is possible for his/her organization as part of the whole. The business management process is fundamentally an act of trust, mutual respect, and cooperation to achieve the organizational vision. To bridge the vision gap, exceptional leadership will welcome additional perspectives on how to set the vision with clarity and build the future business by taking the step-wise approach, more importantly, to react very quickly and manage both opportunities and risks accordingly.

Cognition gap: People think differently, cognition reorganizes parts of one’s belief system, and thoughts navigate within one’s present belief system as it is. In fact, the cognitive gap is one of the serious problems because it disconnects many things which are supposed to be interconnected and causes blind spots for either defining the real problem or solving it smoothly. It becomes the barrier for connecting the dots to stimulate creativity, or capture insight. Hence, to bridge cognitive gaps, the heterogeneous team with cognitive differences is more innovative than the homogeneous group setting, as good ideas are multidimensional, they take root in unsuspected places and they evolve with time and by unexpected connections.

Understanding cognitive intelligence helps to improve leadership and management effectiveness. Digital leadership is crucial to encourage “Thinking Differently,” shaping the bigger, much bigger box of thinking is evolutionary at the cognitive level. It is important to be able to be objective and gain a different view in order to develop and have a better understanding of certain topics or problems that may occur. Business leaders can practice how to tap into their most powerful and brilliant mode of thinking anytime, anywhere, and under any circumstances. brainstorming is happening in real time with people and plays spontaneous networks of human and business operational concerns, etc.

Expertise gap: The expert power has the foundation of in-depth knowledge, profound insight, enriched experience, and abstract wisdom, to connect the minds and win the hearts. Leadership is not just a status quo, digital leaders and professionals need to strengthen their strength and build a unique portfolio of competency and capabilities, and master the cycle of “learning and relearning,” focusing on what the situation or issues require, not confuse knowledge with leadership ability. They should have a breadth of leadership skills to handle many situations, practicing “expert power” to enforce leadership effectiveness in a consistent way.

Knowledge is path-dependent. The only thing anyone can truly know is themselves and even we grow and change every day. Everything exists in a constant state of change and knowledge of an evolving thing must evolve with the thing. This means that to discover an opportunity, you should have previous knowledge in the field to be able to get recognized. Knowledge is learned, and expert power is earned to make deep influence via the inner drive and demonstrated wisdom. People who have great expert power are often lifetime learners themselves, continue learning and relearning relevant knowledge to renew their expert power and practice it intelligently.

Innovative problem-solving gap: Fundamentally, every work is to deal with problems big or small both from long-term strategic perspectives or at the tactical level on a daily basis. For many complex problems, having “we always do things like that mentality” and conventional ways to solve problems perhaps create more silos and generate more problems later on. In the business world, at least, you can't always wait for the "best" solution to emerge. Innovative leaders reject conventional thoughts and structures without apology. To be creative, one would have to break down some old rules or silo mentality, bridge decision gaps, take risks to get out of the conventional thinking box, broaden thoughts and connect wider dots for coming up with alternative solutions to tough problems.

Creative problem-solving requires an open heart and learning mind. We are in a seamless paradigm shift in thinking from "problem" stickiness and root-cause analysis towards discovering possibilities and creating multiple pathways. With abundant information and powerful collaboration platforms, solutions need to be made from a much broader and encompassing view that is not possible in linear thinking. When solving problems or brainstorming new ideas, being in a state of flow is what a creative mind would like to achieve because it is the most productive state to experiment, explore, and encourage the new way to solve problems.

Leadership style gaps:
In the bureaucratic working environment with overly restrictive hierarchy, command and control is the “default” management style which is not so fit in the digital new normal because today’s digital professionals are more informative and diversified as knowledge is only a click away. The problem of traditional “Command and control” is that you can control people’s behavior, but not their mind. Methodologically, “Command and control” is ineffective if excluding things like listening, accepting feedback, ensuring that expectations are reasonable. It's even more about authoritarian behavior and bureaucratic decision-making.

Digital leaders today can harness innovation by practicing open leadership styles and improve innovation management effectiveness. The digital styles of innovative leadership include taking on the role of a coach by being a good role model for teamwork, setting a good path for leadership development, and inspiring the culture of learning and creativity. Intrapreneur leaders are in demand because intrapreneurship is a unique combination of “being innovative” and high mature leadership behaviors that develop and achieve high-quality business results over a sustained period of time. Generally speaking, digital leaders today are the conductor-leader to orchestrate; attactor-leader to consolidate, instructor-leader to educate, etc, having an open mind and showing flexibility to break down outdated rules, deploy fresh ideas, optimize processes, or explore new ventures to harness innovation.

It's a well-known fact that there is no perfect leader, but the progressive one is on their way to be more effective by bridging multiple gaps seamlessly. The digital leaders of the future sense, feel, read, imagine and intuit possibilities in the digital paradigm shift. Rule-breaking or rule-making is part of transformative leadership which demands insight, understanding, patience, persistence, and courage, among other things. It’s a critical step for game-changing.


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