Monday, July 19, 2021


Leadership is intangible, but there are many tangible ingredients to make it shine.

Modern organizations have their own sophistication with silo functions, the sea of information, and the pool of talents. To deal with uncertainty and ambiguity, business leaders need to be the specialized generalists who should develop a broad set of skills, capabilities, and build a comprehensive portfolio of leadership competencies with the very characteristics such as openness, courage, temperance, adaptability, creativity, sound judgment, inclusiveness in order to practice expert power, lead empathetically and managing effortlessly.

Navigation competency: Leadership is supposed to be the guiding force in the enterprise, envisioning and leading the business towards its future. A leader changes the course of the business by seeing beyond what all others see and by understanding issues from new perspectives. The strategic organizational goal must comport a vision for a better state. Navigation competency of leadership requires the multidimensional understanding of both tangible and intangible business success factors, overcome silo or overly rigid polarity, strike the right balance to lead change steadfastly. Now we are moving in the hyperconnected and interdependent digital economy, businesses today are more like organic living things keep growing, business leaders 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 and unprecedented uncertainty.

Authentic leadership, like a compass, leads the right direction with sound judgment, clear vision, creativity, empathy, humility and shared human values. To improve judgmental intelligence, the biggest challenge is knowing what you don't know, it is a reasonable moniker for decision making blind spots and biases. It requires business leaders to look beyond what might be the known facts to consider what's not known (“knowing unknown, or unknown unknown”), etc. They need to have broad business acumen, deep expertise in the specific field, transdisciplinary knowledge, and cross-functional experiences in order to have a holistic perspective and lead effectively to ensure long term success.

Innovation competency: Being innovative is the state of mind to think and do things from a new angle. Top leaders with high-level innovation competency can set the tone for encouraging innovation and advocating changes. When people have the courage to leave inside box thoughts and standards to seek additional resources, updated knowledge, and new experiences, they are open for change, stepping outside that box into unfamiliar territories. Because leaders of the future will not be mere automation, but continue to discover, explore, improve, and achieve “the art of possible.” In fact, innovation competency differentiates transformative leadership from transactional leadership. Innovation becomes simply “creating value by solving simple or complex problems in alternative ways.

Creativity is a flow, an abstract, an imagination, and an association, or simply the connection of the unusual dots. It takes a long-term endeavor to develop innovation competency which is the right mix of leadership substances and styles. The essence of innovative leadership is to be openness, show flexibility, break down outdated rules, deploy new ideas, optimized processes, or new ventures; the style of innovative leadership is to be inspirational and inquisitive, to lead boldly by asking “Why not,” to articulate the strategic rationale and boost creative energy by asking “What if” to reimagine new possibilities, and asking “How about” to bring up fresh viewpoint. Set a high standard and take the further steps in catalyzing innovation, and driving transformative changes.

Influential competency: There is a surging need which is related to the realization that the gap is widening because people live in their own personal perception, taste life with their own set of experiences, and adapt to changes with different speed. Cognitive gaps disconnect many things that are supposed to be interconnected. Contemporary leadership skills required for professionals in any organization must be built on the foundation of the moral competencies –wisdom, justice, courage, and temperance, etc, in order to build strong influential competency. Leadership is situational; to deal with uncertainty and ambiguity, make discernment and establish insight into leadership approach and style in different situations and have the ability to learn to reflect, have the inter-disciplinary knowledge to understand perspectives different from your own to improve leadership effectiveness.

To build influential competency, being an authentic leader is critical because if you know yourself, you are also better suited to tackle different challenges that will come your way as a leader; to make you think about what truly drives you to lead and why. The linear mechanical system perception is replaced by the adaptive digital system perspective, and technical behavior is replaced by socio-technical behavior. There needs to be a better appreciation for real critical thinking and interdisciplinary problem-solving abilities. It allows you to leverage that knowledge to increase the influential outreach for the betterment of others, access to and gain a better understanding of information, develop a potential portfolio, and balance thought leadership and behavioral leadership accordingly. They know how to delegate, trust their staff to get things done without having to do all things themselves so that they can spend more time on strategic thinking building a unique set of competencies to lead effortlessly.
Leadership is methodical, but there is some magic in there. Leadership is intangible, but there are many tangible ingredients to make it shine. Great leaders are great coaches who share knowledge with passion. Great leaders are great educators who test class by asking questions and seek a variety of reasonable answers. Great leaders are great influencers who instill values by being a role model.


Post a Comment