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Leading in a Digital Age

Although most of us know that commanding and pace-setting styles of leadership are passé, leading in a digital age is a delicate balance between EQ and “making it happen”. Change is happening too quickly to enable passive styles of leadership. It has become essential to balance soft skills with data driven information to create meaningful results.

1. Expertise and Flexibility
Gone are the days when leadership required technical proficiency – regarded as a baseline competence today. Leaders who may not have expertise in technology use their wisdom – known as Phronesis by the ancient Greeks – a combination of experience and wisdom to guide decisions. Use data and wisdom – flexibility to gain insights and knowledge from employees and customers to make appropriate decisions. Be flexible in your decision-making process and reverse wrong decisions if necessary, by always taking responsibility for the decision.

2. Transformational and Transactional leadership
Visionary leadership is essential. However, the roadmap for getting there may be a little opaque. Get around this by making sure your vision is realistic and communicated clearly to followers to allow for ownership of the vision. Focus on tangible first goals that can be expanded into other areas.

3. Active listening precedes decision making
Listening carefully to seek to understand before being understood is vital to allow for ownership. Empower others to achieve goals and hold them accountable. Once careful listening has happened, be decisive.

4. Intuition and Rational
Research has shown that EQ is a superior intelligence that processes information a hundred thousand times faster than the conscious brain – it can make 10 million connections in one second. However, in today’s digital world analytics data driven decision-making should precede any intuitive decision. However, once the data is provided and intuition is conflicting, look harder before informing any decision.

5. Speed and Perfection
Perfectionism is a long outdated concept. Better to fail fast than to risk missing the boat completely. However, find the balance between perfectionism with testing and consideration to avoid making premature decisions that could be disastrous

What to do:
Know thyself, wrote the ancient Greeks. Participating in a scientific EQ assessment will indicate your level of self-awareness that is critical. Knowing yourself so that you can deepen strengths and bridge growth areas is key in leadership today. Know that when you commit to continuous learning you grow. It’s not always comfortable. Listen more, we have two ears and one mouth and should use it in that proportion.
However, above all, believe in yourself.

By Gail Cameron