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How To Be a Leadership Master In The Digital Age

November 14, 2013


Right now there is a wonderful opportunity for leaders.

Never before has there ever been a convergence of people and technology like we are seeing and experiencing right now.

New technology is being created every second of every minute of every hour of every day and people are connecting, communicating and working differently now then they have ever worked before. Today the speed of technology creates expectations which not that long ago would seem totally unreasonable and unfathomable.

With opportunities very often their old nemesis comes along with we call challenges. A major challenge facing leaders and business owners is what I like to refer to as the ‘leading in the digital age’ where there exists digital divides. Until recently it was considered that the biggest challenge was among the different generations in the workplace and in fact some experts have labeled these two challenges a ‘clash’.

My opinion is that in reality what we are experiencing isn’t a ‘clash’ at all- we are experiencing is different levels of adaptation of technology and this in turn has created a ‘digital divide’ which has now created a high need for superior level leadership. Mastery of leadership in a digital age.

To be a great leader now and in the future ‘Leadership Mastery’ will be required, having good leadership skills won’t be enough to achieve the extraordinary results that companies will require to grow and succeed.

The digital age consists of leaders and their teams who with varying levels of technological knowledge and are struggling with leading change, collaboration, innovation and productivity. The challenges involve adapting to rapid change, increasing technology and varying work attitudes among the teams.
Leaders who have mastered the skills of leadership will be able lead change in the digital reality of rapid onslaught of technology, inspire their teams to collaborate and innovate and create a culture of commitment and engagement.

There are different scenarios where technology and generations challenges can show up in the workplace. You may have a young newly graduated employee who brings education and technical knowledge to the workplace but does not know how to tie that knowledge to the business goals or strategy. Another scenario is that you have an employee who is in their late thirties who has adapted to technology and has even leveraged it to be able to increase life/work balance but they lack the ability to lead people at a high level of effectiveness. And finally a third scenario is that you have a long-term employee who has on the job experience and lots of company knowledge but is slower to adapt to the new technologies and is resisting the changes being presented.

All three of the above scenarios are opportunities to lead, coach, and provide skills development and to balance technological knowledge with enhanced people management skills. There is an opportunity to integrate at this time the technological side of the business with the people side of the business, but it requires more than just good leadership skills to do so, it requires ‘leadership mastery’.

This means leading entire teams to adapt to change, to view change as an opportunity to learn and grow and to provide coaching and support to increase buy- in by each person on the team of the purpose and direction of the company.

Leaders today are faced with ongoing changes in technology as well as the reality of generational attitude differences around technology and work ethic. It is the speed with which leaders integrate the skills of leading people to adapt to technology that will drive innovation and growth for the organizations.

Leaders are faced right now with managing issues such as remote workers, telecommuting workers, global teams, and developing plans and strategies for retaining their good people.

Work itself is being redefined among all of the generations. Regardless of age or demographic most people want similar things such as flexible work, meaningful work, project based work and the option to work from various locations.
These options allow workers to be happier however at the same time they create challenges for today’s leaders to manage these ongoing realities of the changing workplace. Many of the solutions are found in maximizing technology as well as improving leadership abilities to manage their teams through change.

Some of the questions a leader seeking to achieve leadership mastery in the digital age should be asking are:

What are the dynamics of my team when it comes to technology knowledge? Who is tech savvy? Who isn’t? How do we close the gap?

As a leader am I using skills that have worked in the past but are not as effective in this new digital age?

How can I evolve my own leadership skills so that I am even more adaptable, flexible and able to lead the changing dynamics of leading in the digital age?

How can I as a leader leverage technology to do the things that are mundane and help me to focus on leading my team to higher performance?

Am I willing to change and learn how to become a better leader so that I can effectively lead and support the individuals on my team to change?

How can I effectively manage a remote, flexible workplace and multi-generational team effectively?

How can I increase my knowledge and application of technology to do my job as a leader more effectively?

How can I bridge the digital divide within my own team?

The answers to these questions will help to direct your attention and focus and will help you to effectively achieve the leadership mastery required to lead in the digital age.

Want to know more check out the new book: “Leadership Mastery in the Digital Age”

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