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3 leadership characteristics in a data driven world

Over the course of the coming years and beyond leadership and management requirements are going to be challenging and in many ways are likely to take on a different style and shape than what we are used to. We have entered a new norm of unpredictability. This is driven by both powerful macro and micro forces. On the one hand we have the rise of the super powers in the East and the huge emerging markets of the likes of India against the West. Then there is the glut of technology and the impact this is having on business models and how they are disrupting established consumer and business markets. Whilst we also have an aging population and in the neediest parts of the world a scarcity of important resources such as water, and all this is happening at the same time.

Here are three characteristics that will help us succeed:

Leadership: Whilst there is volatility and such steep short term changes we can often lose sight of our goals and become preoccupied with just the short term. The reason being that there is so much to try and do in such a short tome but I see it only getting worse. Leaders of today and tomorrow are more than ever going to require a long-term lens, thinking a few years ahead and plotting the course of their organisation and having a clear and precise understanding of where we are able to win and where we can be successful. Depending on the situation you are in, that may be quite different from where you are currently. So start to balance and align more effectively the short term with the long term.

Network: The aspiration we may have of being that singular dominant and leading personality who claims to know all and where things should go has become a dangerous inaccuracy. The world and our environment are moving so quickly that we are going to have to concurrently work with multiple leaders and experts both inside and outside our organisations as it isn’t feasible that one individual, no matter how talented, can digest and navigate through all the challenges we are going to be presented with. I advocate that the idea of having and maintaining a network of leaders and experts who are capable of collectively exploiting the opportunities and avoiding the threats is important.

Character: Today and tomorrows leader is going to have to be resilient. We are going to unfortunately make mistakes and because of the environment we are in, it may be more often and at times they may be big. Consequently, we are going to have to be resilient and have the sense of character to pick ourselves off the floor when hit and be more persistent than we ever thought – there is some truth in what Rocky once said “But it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!” Along the way there are also going to be moments of compromise as to how we wish to run the enterprise and at these times information may well be lacking and that is why I called this paragraph “character”, as more than ever we will need to dig deep in both yourself and your network.

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