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Leadership: Out with the Old, In with the New

During the last decade or so, technological advancements brought major shifts to the way people lead their businesses. This landscape is also expected to change greatly over the next decade due to changes in the areas of artificial intelligence and robotics. However, we should not get too stuck into these transformational aspects of the tech itself. There are also great changes in leadership: we need a transition from analog to digital leadership.
Key Competencies of a Digital Leader

Today’s digital leaders differ from the analog in many ways, with the most core difference being people-oriented and cooperative. New school leaders are both self-aware and culturally aware, they listen, give appraisals, know how to take feedback and leverage it to improve their company culture.

  • Learning agility. To put it simply, learning agility is about knowing what to do when you don’t really know what to do. It encapsulates a person’s ability to study new problems and use their learning process to understand it before making a decision. Learning agility requires a receptive and open mindset for studying, analyzing and understanding new business problems and situations. In the unpredictable global market that constantly adapts and evolves, learning agility enables leaders to walk forward towards making their visions a reality.
  • Cooperation. Anybody should be able to tell their business leader anything, and that’s the culture that today’s leaders strive for. Collaboration is crucial to the success of an organization and a true leader knows how to make it happen. In the past, with the analog leadership and top-down organizations, all the knowledge and power were at the top of the hierarchy. Digital leaders understand that they need to spread the power throughout the organization and foster a collaborative environment by sharing ideas, insights, and information.
  • Bringing purpose. Digital leaders know that an employee is motivated when he feels as an important part of an organization. Besides making money, digital leaders need to be people first, because it’s the only way to personalize their brand and bring a higher purpose to the company’s existence.

Continuous Feedback Process
Digital leaders foster an environment that promotes a constant flow of feedback between them and their employees. It’s a two-way street that depends on consistent communication. Leaders are the ones who set the example because their job is to influence their employees. A feedback culture supported by the right tech can greatly contribute to building a healthy and successful learning environment.

In the past, analog leaders were the ones providing the ideas. They expected work to be done in their way and weren’t transparent at all. But things have greatly changed, because today’s Millennial workforce doesn’t want to accept this kind of business operating. Out with the corporate pressure and in with the collaborative efforts towards serving a mutual purpose.

Jan Kwint

Jan Kwint is founder of and CEO of LTP. Through his work as an Executive and Consultant he has developed a strong interest in how a feedback culture can help develop individuals and teams. This is also part of a book he recently published on Psychology and Agility: ‘Ik ben Erica!’ (I am Erica!).

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