Digital Age Leadership Mandates New Mindset, Not New Skills

Jul 19, 2022 3 Min Read
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Eight Simple Leadership Insights in the Digital Age

The desired change in leadership though well recognised and appreciated is sadly being addressed with the same wisdom that demands change but refuses to be the change. The wisdom that invests in skilling and reskilling; leaving the core permanently unaddressed.

In my interactions with corporate boards and promoters I hear lot of conversation around changing the culture, business re-invention, digital infusion but no serious action on leadership renovation.

Corporate world is deeply infested with conventional leadership practices. The disconnect between transformational goals and the leadership stereotypes are deeply responsible for sustained failure to reinvent and repivot. 

According to a research by Brandon Hall Group only 10 percent of organisations have aligned leadership programs with competencies required in the Digital Age. Discover 8 simple insights that could change the leader in you.

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Digital Age Leadership

Eight Simple Leadership Insights in the Digital Age

1.    Digital Age follows the Holacracy Model- no one is the boss, all are leaders.

Holacracy aims to distribute the authority of decision-making and innovation through teams that govern and lead themselves. No classical hierarchical system where authority and decision-making are concentrated at the top. Leaders key role is enabling the interchangeability of role play and learning the art of being led while leading. 

2.    Leaders learn to hire and engage people smarter than themselves

Leaders today need a team with diverse core skills and competencies, intrapreneurial approach to business and a mindset that deals with agility, autonomy and innovation. Identifying, influencing and engaging such talent is now the leaders responsibility and not the human resource department.

3.    Today’s talent works for leaders not organisations. 

Leaders ability to connect, collaborate and communicate defines retention. Talented teams come with their own set of ego’s and idiosyncrasies. It is the leaders job to overlook the non-critical ones and harness the talent within. Learn to explore not exploit.

4.    Strategic Thinking is not the prerogative of top leadership. Democratise.

Strategic thinking is the art of collecting nuggets of information and piecing the puzzles to foresee trends. These nuggets of wisdom can be found anywhere and everywhere- more so at the operational and customer enabling side of the business. Strategic thinking is not the prerogative of top leadership, democratise and see the strategic shift in your business.

More on Organising in the Metaverse: Five FAQs for Managers

5.    Modern leaders practice “managed empowerment”.

Today’s leader practices “managed empowerment. Progress no longer hinges on a leader’s approval of every action. Such micromanaging alienates talent, impedes innovation, and cedes ground to more agile competitors. 

6.    A leader’s success is measured by innovation, not execution.

The leader’s mission is empowering innovation. Business survival hinges on innovation and agility. Leaders must learn to recognise trends, identify opportunities, and embrace promising ideas. 

7.    Training digital leaders requires new mindsets, not just skill sets.

The traditional leadership development practices are incompatible with the modern team. These skills no longer fit the contemporary workplace. It needs a whole new mindset, a transformational shift. Skills enable actions while mindsets provide context for those actions.

8.    The informal-incognito Leader is omnipresent and ambidextrous.

It’s imperative to develop leaders at all levels of an organisation. Informal leaders shape the progress of teams despite formal titles or designation. In a recent survey, 91 percent of respondents agreed that these informal leaders can be more effective than formal leaders. 

This article was first published on Raj Grover's LinkedIn.

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Raj is a global CEO and entrepreneur turned thought leader and mentor working alongside promoters, business leaders, corporate boards and start-ups. Raj helps incubate and accelerate managements vision for exponential growth through personally designed and practised thought leadership principles on strategy, business innovation, market creation and digital transformation.
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