Article: Here are the ingredients of successful leadership in the digital world

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Here are the ingredients of successful leadership in the digital world


In a business world that is being increasingly disrupted due to technology, here are a few skills that leaders should focus on.
Here are the ingredients of successful leadership in the digital world

We are in midst of a new reality today. The world is experiencing a global readjustment in which the powerful forces, primarily due to rapid advancements in technology, are creating a new reality where business models will have to be reinvented and value propositions redefined. Look around, technology is disrupting business models every single day. There is hardly any industry that has not seen new entrants with products/solutions, that driven by technology. Companies like Uber, Airbnb, Amazon, WhatsApp are often quoted as case-in-point. This is indeed the “Digital Age”.  


In this new reality, human potential and enterprise have increasingly become the major agents for economic growth. Any subset of human, which is ahead of the curve of digital transformation, will wield power (be it economic, political, or social) over others. The subset could then be an entire state, large corporations or smaller social groups. People’s passion will become the source of change and the driving force behind the enterprise. This is indeed the “Human Age”!

The interesting fact-of-the-matter is that the Human Age and Digital Age feed and lead to each other. It is the Human Enterprise that had triggered the fast pace of technological advancement; and in this age of rapid technological advancement, the human potential and agility that will be the key drivers for success. The world that we live in today is at the intersection of the Human Age and the Technology Age. 

So, what will be the ingredients for success for a corporate leader in these interesting times? What are the must-have capabilities in today’s tech-disrupted world of work? 

A few years back Daniel Goleman made the concept of Emotional Intelligence popular. EI was defined as a measure of one’s ability to recognize, understand and manage his/her own emotions; and recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others. This was defined, and rightly so, as a key ingredient for success in addition to IQ (the whole of cognitive or intellectual abilities required to obtain knowledge, and to use that knowledge to solve problems). But are a combination of Intelligence Quotient and Emotional Quotient sufficient for a leader to succeed in a Digital Age? Is there another ingredient that needs to be added to this already rare concoction? 


Today, there is an additional dimension that is expected from leaders (especially High Potentials). Let’s call it a leader’s ’Digital Quotient’. DQ is a leaders’ ability to have a futuristic view of the disruptions that technology is going to bring in; how it is likely to impact their industry; and their ability to respond proactively to ensure that their organization is ahead of the curve compared to its competition. Leaders of today have the challenge of displaying this rare combination of IQ + EQ + DQ, which will define success for them. 

The interesting challenge will now is to have a measure of DQ. An organization’s Digital Adoption Quotient (DaQ) could be a lead measure and predictor of its financial success.  Organizations will do well to bring DQ into focus in their Talent Management strategy as this could clearly be the differentiating factor for them. 

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Topics: Leadership, Technology, #HIPO, #HiPoWeek

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