Leadership has many definitions in different contexts. One definition is that “leadership involves the capacity and will to rally people to a common purpose together with the character that inspires confidence and trust“. Another definition of leadership, a process of social influence in which the “leader enlists the support of others to accomplish a common task”.
In the digital age or information age, the role of the leader remains the same while the approach slightly shifts to accommodate changes in technology in terms of Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, networking, open source technology, and smartphones.
The One Skill A Fearless Digital Age Leader Must Possess
With the knowledge society taking over, the one skill a fearless digital age leader or professional needs to nurture is that of openness to learn and adapt to the digital revolution.
A survey was conducted whose participants included about 1,293 millennial employees based in the U.S., U.K., India, France, Brazil, and China. The results published in Millennial Compass Report indicate that the participants highly admired those with knowledge and experience rather than power or authority. Now, keep in mind that the millennials constitute a majority of the workforce.
The benefits of openness to learning
- Understanding technology to make intelligent use of data and processes to not only provide direction to the team but to guide the integration of trends across all sectors is secondary to this openness to learning.
- Openness to learning the technological shifts in areas such as cloud computing, robotics, and automation will enable the digital age leader to be fearless in integrating these into the functions of the business organization.
- Constant learning will also help the leaders cultivate a symbiotic interaction and relationship with technology.
- It is important for digital age leaders to think like journalists and adapt investigative journalism. While the digital age leader is open to learning all that technology has on offer, he or she does not force conclusions but rather offers evidence based insights to be debated on.
- With the openness to learn comes the willingness to constantly experiment and change as necessary as change is the only constant in the new digital age. When leaders are fearless in learning and understanding the information, thinking can become expansive and forward looking.
- With these traits, it is easy for the digital age leaders to develop teams that are integrated with the technological advancements and think dynamically as well. Such adoption of expansive thinking allows teams to shed traditional and conventional thinking in lieu of the demands of the highly competitive digital era.
- As data becomes more extensive and specialized skills are developed, informed leaders can better integrate processes with these hyper specialists.
Technology is constantly evolving. The only way to remain a “Leader” in this digital age is to embrace it!