In their book “Why Should Anyone Be Led By You?” Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones come the conclusion that the best way to lead is to “be yourself with more skill.”
This very sound advice is timeless in that it can never be discounted or rejected as invalid. In leading any organisation, your special attributes must shine through and complement the culture of the organisation. Trying be someone else or an image projected as an ideal leader is doomed to failure or at the very least will fail when tested in a crisis.
However the element of this statement that needs constant updating is what skills are relevant in the modern age and in particular the Digital age. As a leader, how can you ensure that you remain authentic and true to yourself with such a fast pace of change occurring in the environment around your organisation? There is a fear among some leaders that embracing the digital age will require them to take on new skills that they will make them feel uncomfortable. This is where a Digital Transformation framework can be of real benefit.
At Ionology we believe that you need to:
– Develop strategy with more digital skill
– Develop culture with more digital skill
– Develop capacity with more digital skill
For a leader, the skills required are an understanding of the Digital world and how to leverage its benefits, rather than detailed working knowledge of specific digital tools.
Understanding how real time information can influence your strategy, how devising tests and experimentation of your assumptions can lead to insights, how engaging based on communication theory and digital methods can lead to indispensable information, how more than ever structure must complement strategy and how internal digital networks can provide the collective intelligence for innovation.
These are not scary skills that should make any leader feel uncomfortable. They will not dampen your authenticity, but indeed can help your authenticity shine through. Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones point out to have a low skill base and to try and be someone you are not leads to a ‘David Brent ‘ Style of leadership – unaware and clumsy.
For more information on what it takes to be a great leader in the Digital age, check out our Free Digital Transformation Training course or give us a call to find out more about our new Digital Transformation Leadership Programme on 02890455911.