Reflections On Leadership Traits In The Digital Era
As stated by numerous thought leaders “ the best way to predict the future is to build it ourselves”.
Emerging Leaders are a perfect embodiment of this quote as they are paving the way to a new future, have already made significant contributions to their fields of endeavor, and are poised to make a global impact on our society. In the current post-pandemic global landscape fraught with social, political, and economic risks and adversities we need authentic, purposeful, inspirational leadership.
As a society, we are embarking on a new generation of the internet and are likely at the cusp of the next industrial revolution. These unprecedented times call for innovative solutions and a revised approach to manage this volatile global business environment, as well as adaptation to major emerging technology mega-trends. The key domains global leaders are dealing with currently include employee wellbeing and experience, the great resignation, managing a global hybrid workforce, reskilling and upskilling to adapt to automation, and a global digital and business transformation.
Global leaders are essential for long-term success in this journey and serve as great role models for young generations, stimulate innovation and accelerate business transformation. They represent the vibrant core of the global entrepreneurship ecosystem and act as powerful catalysts for economic growth.
Today, emerging global leaders today have the opportunities to act as change-makers and redesign, reshape and recalibrate the global business ecosystem for future generations. Social entrepreneurship, ESG-consciousness, and a human-centric approach are all traits that are found in future-ready leaders and ensure sustainable success.
Adaptability, agility, and resilience are required for young aspiring leaders to succeed globally in this new digital era. Leaders in this new global hybrid workforce ecosystem need to rethink how to identify, select, retain young talent and invent novel methods to keep older generations productive, engaged, and content.
Emerging digital era leaders will first have to redesign and rediscover their digital era leadership brand and leadership style signature, their new workplace leadership identity, understand what values are important to current generations in this new business ecosystem, and be comfortable evaluating and deploying new frontier technologies, new business models, and new disruptive ideas. They must also function in multi-sensorial, immersive, and embedded collaboration or training models, as traditional instruction methods are not meeting the needs of the current generation entering the workforce.
Global leaders in this digital era are also expected to lead with integrity, as ethical leadership, ESG-consciousness, and empathy are demanded by the post-pandemic workforce and society. Forging strong strategic partnerships can also strengthen credibility and offer enhanced resilience during novel emerging global risks.
Versatility in building a culture of digital ethics and cyber-resilience is essential in this era due to the complex ethical issues and increased cyber-threats as a consequence of hyper-automation and augmented intelligence infused in our society. By embracing a design thinking methodology and an abundance mindset global leaders can more accurately capture the opinions, needs, and pain points experienced by all stakeholders, benefit from the enhanced creativity generated when fostering an innovation mindset, and more easily adapt to a highly dynamic economic landscape. Design thinking requires empathy, encourages iterative processes, instills creative confidence, creates comfort with experimentation, and allows for potential failure due to a continuous quality improvement approach.
Global leaders that wish to gain competitive advantage and a transformative impact must also realign enterprise goals with the UN SDG 2030 agenda as global citizens of the future are highly interested in the quality of life, sustainability, and building a more inclusive and diverse business ecosystem.
Last but not least, global leaders must mentor and coach young aspiring leaders, and design and build talent retention programs as “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world ” as stated by Nelson Mandela.