Develop good digital leadership skills

30.11.2020

To be able to play good leadership in the digital age, it is necessary to master all kinds of skills related not only to the handling of new technologies in itself in a market that is already very unstable, but also to know what is the way to act and collaborate with the workers.

We live in a time when there are five different generations coexisting in the business world, generations that think, act and cope with new technologies in very different ways. Not taking into account means not knowing what to expect from the beginning.

Next, we will discover what are the main skills of a leader in the digital age, all of them aimed at being able to carry out all types of companies and contribute to a good organizational culture.

The most important leadership skills and abilities in the digital age

To be successful in any organization, it is necessary that whoever is in charge of everything knows how to exercise good leadership. In order to make any company an efficient, productive organization with great potential, it is necessary to know and understand how the market in which it operates moves, a market that if already before the appearance of new technologies was very unstable, now it is. more in the digital age.

Today's business context is changeable, volatile, complex and uncertain. The leaders and executives of the organizations frequently face unknown situations, many of them causing great confusion and fear, a natural fear but that if not knowing how to handle it implies ruin. For this reason, those who are at the forefront of any company should take into account the following leadership skills in the digital age.

1. Good communication

A leader in the digital age must have good communication skills, clear, direct and efficient. Whether executive, department head or any high position, the leader must act as a kind of communications director whose objective is that the messages and directives are transmitted within the organization in a complete way, reaching clearly and unambiguously to the teams that make it up. A clear and well-delivered message allows other professionals to know what is required of them and what are the objectives to be met.

2. Control of the sense of urgency

In the digital age, process execution times have been shortened thanks to the fact that fewer steps are required. This in turn has meant that the final results are requested earlier since if a faster method is available there is no need for them to take as long as before. However, when specifying the objectives and needs of the company, it must be clear what the priorities are and what must be done urgently.

The sense of urgency must be logical and well measured and it is an aspect that must be taken into account in decision-making. There will be things that will require getting done as soon as possible, while others, while important, can wait. The leader must have good control of the sense of urgency which, in addition, must be flexible, since on more than one occasion what was not thought to be urgent can become something that must be done now, with changes in the list of priorities.

3. Credibility and authenticity

A good leader is one who is credible and consistent with what he says and what he does. You must be honest with the message you send as well as integrity in making decisions. You must stay true to your own identity and experiences, including the values, beliefs, emotions, needs and goals that characterize you as the person in front of everything. And this must be reflected in their digital identity, taking into account which are the main nodes for issuing messages and where one is most exposed to public opinion.

4. Courage in decision making

As we can well imagine and more than one has lived, the business world is not a bed of roses. On more than one occasion, there are going to be tough times in which risky and difficult decisions will have to be made.

Although urgent, these decisions should not be made desperately. There should always be a deep process of reflection and the pros and cons should be taken into account, being consistent with what comes next.

5. Empathy

A leader is not a cold and calculating robot who only thinks that the company works like a machine. The leader must have empathy, taking into account what the workers feel and think since their effectiveness depends a lot on their mood.

Frustration, disappointment, and fear are feelings that can prevent a great project, which is perfectly possible, from moving forward. As leaders we must know how to recognize these feelings and know how to redirect the situation to transform those doubts and fears into hope, motivation, enthusiasm and concentration towards the resolution of the goal.

6. Contextual intelligence

The leader must understand the particular environment in which the organization or work group is located, that is, possess contextual intelligence. In this skill, three fundamental components are taken into account:

First we have the retrospective understanding, which implies taking advantage of and putting into value what has been learned throughout the history of the organization and that is considered to be still useful.

Second, we have foresight, related to the ability to carry out what is desired and articulate the actions to be carried out to achieve it.

Finally, we have the convergence that allows the adequate integration of the two previous aspects, using them to identify and define the desired future.

7. Strategic intelligence

In this context, we can define strategic intelligence as the ability to anticipate trends and changes in the market, a market that in its digital aspect is very unstable and insecure. In addition to changes in the market, the leader must take into account the value chain of the organization itself and direct the transformation in the desired digital field. It is the ability to visualize how the future can impact the results of the company.

8. Adaptability and speed of learning

The leader must have a high adaptability and agile learning capacity, must be very flexible with the changes that occur in the market. It is essential to learn quickly from the experiences that have been lived before a certain behavior of the market and to be able to apply it immediately in all kinds of new contexts. This agile learning capacity allows us to face the ambiguity and uncertainty that many companies face today, since with so many changes in the market executives can be undecided about which new strategy to apply.

9. Seduction and combination of talent

Today's companies are places where up to 5 different generations share space, each one with a different handling of new technologies and different ways of seeing organizational life:

  • traditionalists (1928-1945)
  • baby boomers (1946-1964)
  • generation X (1965-1980)
  • generation Y (1980-1990)
  • generation Z (1990-2000)

The last two generations, and especially Z, are considered digital natives. These people have grown up in environments where new technologies were either breaking into the work and educational landscape or were already widely implemented. Both in the Y or X gen, the use of computers and the search for information is done quickly and superficially, but effectively, while in the three previous generations it is chosen to read everything and act much slower with the use of new technologies.

These seemingly contradictory aspects can be exploited in an organization, as long as you know how to properly exercise leadership. The leader must seduce and combine talent, knowing that the veteran are much more careful with what they select while the new generations opt for speed. Different abilities, styles, motivations and objectives between generations must be taken into account, taking advantage of them for each type of situation.

10. Psychological capital

At the individual level, we can relate psychological capital to their satisfaction and personal performance. In the business world, it can be associated with four psychological states, represented by the acronym HERO:

  • Hope: is the state associated with the desire and ambition necessary to be constant in achieving the established goals.
  • Efficacy: it is the ability to achieve the established objectives in contexts that are dynamic, unstable and unforeseen.
  • Resilience: the leader must possess the ability to face the adversities that may appear, resisting changes and managing the uncertainty of the commercial context.
  • Optimism: you must have the ability to associate positive events with team members, and consider negative events that may occur as learning, situations that no matter how bad they may be will involve greater knowledge.

11. Creative and innovative thinking

Creative thinking is one of the fundamental skills in the field of business and, in fact, it is considered to be key for the 2020s. Taking a strategic perspective, the leader must position himself as a source and engine of innovation in two ways. This makes a difference especially in a historical context in which the Internet and the development of new technologies allow the rapid development of tools and inventions of all kinds and have a great reach.

On the one hand, the leader must act by establishing a work environment focused on the creation and innovation of new methods and, on the other, it must serve as a means to achieve competitiveness in the face of changes and the environment faced.

12. Collective leadership

Current leadership is not authoritarian or associated with power or position exercised, it must be focused on facilitating and empowering employees, each of whom has a way of seeing and opinions about the measures that are being taken in the company. Collective leadership must be exercised, that is, involving employees in the analysis and decision-making instead of deciding a strategy unilaterally.

This helps to generate empathy, commitment and motivation among the workers of the organization. Through collaborative leadership it is possible to promote decentralized decision-making, promoting high levels of collaboration and a feeling that the objectives within the framework of the company are shared by all team members.

Summary

Cultivating all these skills allows you to exercise effective, collaborative, creative, innovative and strategic leadership in the digital age. Today's business world is an environment of uncertainty, an ambiguous, dynamic and complex place in which the leader and his followers must work as a team, adapt to the business context and work on emotional and work skills to anticipate any adverse event. A long-term and optimistic strategic vision should be prioritized.

The Internet and new technologies in general will continue to be an engine of transformation, opportunities and growth in any organization, but for this it is those organizations that must know how to adapt to the new methods of the digital age. Leadership that takes into account the new characteristics of the digital economy will allow the development and emergence of all types of successful organizations.

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