Leadership Master

Leadership Master Introduction

The defining qualities that will distinguish great leaders from the rest are stemmed from the mindset level.

Many think digital is the age of innovation. Digital is a disruption with rapidly increasing speed and hyperconnectivity to break down silos and rigid hierarchy. Digitalization implies the full-scale changes in the way business are conducted and society is running, and it starts with leadership innovation. The substance of leadership never changes, it’s all about making positive influences, and providing direction, both for oneself and others. Leadership is about CHANGE. It is a basic human ability to inspire self and others to look beyond limitations and make continuous improvement. This ability becomes a capability if we constantly nurture our basic human instincts of humility, curiosity, and creativity.

The purpose of Leadership Master - Five Digital Trends to Leap Leadership Maturity is to convey the vision of digital leadership, share the insight about leadership maturity, and summarize five emergent digital leadership trends:

  • Thought Leadership: Thought Leaders are the ones who sense, feel, read, imagine and intuit possibilities in the digital paradigm shift,  bring a new insight or perspective, and set a course for others to follow.

  • Creative Leadership: Creative Leaders are the one who are able to think “out of the box,” capable of predicting future trends, manage the presence and delegate the past.

  • Global Visionary Leadership: Visionary Leaders are the one who have the ability to paint a vivid picture, a vision of a future state and motivate others to achieve it.

  • Inquisitive Leadership: Inquisitive Leaders lead by questioning, they are comfortable and confident in asking questions rather than only giving answers, to value collective wisdom and facilitate premium solutions.

  • Profound Leadership: Profound Digital Leaders are the one who are able to grasp or comprehend information, amplify influence through leading deeper, to touch hearts and minds, to practice the power of pull, and to harmonize via positivity and intelligence.

Leadership is complex yet simple: Complex in that there are so many traits and characteristics that are considered when evaluating a leader. Simplicity in that the substantial of leadership never changes, it’s all about future and change; direction and dedication; influence and innovation. The reason the great leadership being so rare is that people are more often conditioned throughout education to be followers, to conform, only one right answer, etc. The industrial age required followers, those, including some being put in a leadership position, that would just do their jobs and not to question. However, we are not in the industrial age any longer. On one hand, now at the digital age, there are many informal leaders  who practice professional influence via digital channels - throughout organizations, industry and beyond. More digital leaders are emerging via their power of positive influence; not the title of status quo. On the other hand, digital also raises the bar to be a great leader, because everything becomes so transparent, leadership is no longer just about a few spotlight moments, but a journey of continuous learning and delivery; leadership is also no long only about what you talk, what you act, but about what you think - the thought processes can be much easily tracked down via your digital footprint. Digital  leaders are those who carry themselves with an air of confidence, vision, direction, and with the right dose of anger and empathy to fight for the better world. It is the level of consciousness of the leader, or the level of self-development in regards to the ability to embody the human experience, inspire both self and others, influence the surrounding positively, and innovate both hard things such as products/services, and soft things such as communication or culture, to make the world a better place. So how can you take an ongoing leadership journey from the industrial style to digital centered, from good to great? What are the important ingredients and emergent trends for digital leadership, and how to leapfrog leadership to the next level of maturity? Here is the brief summary of the book “Leadership Master.”

Chapter 1 Thought leadership: At today’s “digital dynamic with increasing speed of changes and hyper-competition, being a thoughtful, mindful and multi-dimensional thinker is more crucial to improve leadership effectiveness. Authenticity is the foundation to be a Thought Leader. Digital leadership is less about "HOW," more about "WHY," and “WHAT.” Leadership brand is less about what you look - the stereotypical leadership, and more about what you think - Thought Leadership. The digital Thought Leaders of the future sense, feel, read, imagine and intuit possibilities in the digital paradigm shift. The digital brainstorming is happening in real time with people and plays spontaneous networks of human and business operational concerns, to co-solve many thorny problems and overcome numerous challenges facing humanity. Being a Thought Leader also means you truly understand the purpose of leadership. Why do you want to be a leader, and which value can you bring in. Being able to quickly articulate the value that you bring to others is critical to helping others learn about how you can benefit them. For example, if using one word to convey your leadership brand, what would it be - innovation, wisdom, empathy, authenticity, global vision etc, or the opposite -dictatorship, stupidity, narcissism, or narrow mindedness., etc. If you are unclear about your own value, others have no hope of understanding how you can help them, and will move on to someone they can understand.     

Chapter 2 Creative leadership: Creativity becomes significantly important in the age with the advanced technologies because the leaders of the future will not be mere automatons. Great leaders are pioneers, innovators, and creators of a better context. Creative leadership is the unique combination of a growth mindset and leadership behaviors that develop and achieves high-quality results over a sustained period of time and risk tolerance. Creativity is not a "thing," it´s a process that happens as a proactive mental activity to a problem. Creativity is as much defined by the problem as by the capacity of the individual to connect things to resolve that problem in new and sometimes unexpected ways. Creative leadership is essentially anchored on the leader's overall multifaceted resourcefulness. That is, the multidimensional competencies to formulate creative, unconventional alternatives or solutions to resolve problems, to show versatility and flexibility in response to unpredictable or unanticipated circumstances.

Chapter 3 Global Visionary Leadership: Leadership is forward-looking, to make progress. Leadership starts with having a vision, then develop a plan to achieve it. Top leaders are visionary roles, they set the direction for the enterprise (internal and/or external) to step into the uncharted water, and they orchestrate the digital transformation of an organization, its people, from the organization's current position to a position that best serves the interests of its customers, shareholders, and people. The means of 'orchestrate the transformation’ is, what distinguishes a great leader and a great organization. A great leader is one that can trust his or her instincts and relies on them at a crucial moment. Not that you wouldn't let the facts speak for themselves, however, how many times does the leader simply take in all opinions surrounding them and at the end of the day must do what they believe is right for the situation at hand. In all cases, a vision of the future is the key to getting started as a digital leader.

Chapter 4 Inquisitive Leadership: With “VUCA” characteristics (Velocity, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) of digital new normal and today’s cross-functional, cross-cultural, and cross-generational workforce, what keeps leaders successful is the intellectual curiosity and ability to continuously be inquisitive, open to learning and applying these learnings as they move forward. Their inquisitiveness makes them more open to asking the right questions, embrace the other point of view, be empathetic to understand others, practice leadership without prejudice. The authentic leaders with high and multi-intelligence have inquisitiveness, adaptability, consistency, and empathy to master business dynamic and cultural cognition. They present the ability and wisdom to manage complexity in high digital transparency and stressful digital dynamic. They can make a fair judgment and better decisions by analyzing and synthesizing information accordingly. “Believe half of what you see, nothing that you hear, and everything you feel."   - Nick C. Ciccone

Chapter 5 Profound Leadership: Back to the root of the word “profundity,” it means insightful and understanding. Climbing Knowledge-Insight-Wisdom pyramid is an important step in gaining profundity. It’s not just about knowing, but in-depth understanding; it requires a person's ability to grasp or comprehend information, too often assumptions and prejudices get in the way of understanding. It is the responsibility of each leader to examine themselves and to make sure they are open to true understanding. A mindful or thoughtful leader has a better perception to be a good communicator upon thinking profoundly, upon knowing when to voice out, when to keep silent; upon striking the right balance without any sort of extreme thinking or bias.

The substance of leadership never changes, it’s all about making the positive influence, and providing direction, both for oneself and others. However, transforming leadership from good to great is a journey, the challenge is that what is often needed is a 'wake up call' to that leader. That wake-up call can come in many forms, one of which we know is a crisis -that is the hard lessons, and that's the ones we don't want, but it’s the trial to test leadership authenticity; and there were those inevitable moments when leaders faced open resistance. It was in these moments that you built up the skill to understand that what was needed in some situations was a combination of stick and carrot: never one without the other. Still, the high mature leadership shall evoke the positive emotions in order to make change sustainable and lead business transformation more effectively for the long term.

Digital Leadership Manifesto

Digital leadership transcends from the mind set to MIND FLOW!

Digital leadership is the capability and capacity to manage volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous digital dynamic in order to create commons and address challenges during digital transformation.  

Digital leadership goes Deeper over louder;  Global over local.
from Apathy to Sympathy to Empathy.      
from Diversity to Inclusiveness to "Inclusiversity."

Digital leadership requires multi-dimensional vision and creative communication:
       Positive influence over status quo.
       Continuous delivery over static credential.
       Problems Solving over bureaucracy.
        Creativity over Hierarchy.

Digital leadership achieves high maturity in pursuit of mastery.
             Character over Charisma.
            Authenticity over Perfection.
      Collaboration over Command & Control;
              Wisdom over single dimensional smartness.


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