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What makes a great digital leader?

2 August 2017 by

What makes a great digital leader?

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Charley Stoney Digital, alternatives

WHAT MAKES A GREAT DIGITAL LEADER AND WHY ARE THEY WORTH PAYING FOR?

 

As digital disruption and transformation becomes ever more ingrained in everything we see and do, the question we’re constantly being asked by clients is “what is it that makes a great a digital leader?” In response, here are some common traits which seem to resonate time and time again…

 

A RISK TAKER

Whilst it is true that leaders of the corporate world are not completely risk averse, the dawn of the digital age has produced a whole new breed of risk-takers. And not just someone who isn’t afraid to fail, but to a certain extent, welcomes it. Living by the mantra – the more you fail, the quicker you succeed. And succeed they do. As if they shied away from taking these leaps of faith, if they were too afraid to make the occasional blunder, then their desire to get ahead in the digitisation of their business may never be realised. And that would be the biggest injustice of all.

 

BARRIER BLASTERS

As well as challenging the boundaries, skirting around them or ignoring them completely – when it comes to implementing a new plan or process, digital leaders should be incapable, or at the very least reluctant, to see any potential barriers which could hinder their plans. For them, obstacles, which could easily put off the most experienced executive, will swiftly become put aside. In fact, this is often as a direct result from their penchant for risk-taking. And an almost romantic yet somehow rationalised notion that nothing, no matter how inconceivable, should stand in their way. All in the name of digital progress.

 

THEY ASK LOTS AND LOTS OF QUESTIONS

Curiosity may have killed the cat but it can be the making of a great digital leader. Asking questions, searching for insights, being open to all possibilities enables them to not only identify problems, but seek to solve them through digital. And when they do, it can completely transform the many debilitated processes and procedures which still exist within a business. Recognising that even the smallest of changes can revolutionise things for the better.

 

SPEED WINS

If there is one thing a digital leader is never guilty of, it’s standing still. A mind-set that thrives on innovation and consistently embraces the need for change. Unlike their more traditionalist counterpart who tends to opt for a much more considered approach, a digital leader is constantly adapting themselves and their practices, ensuring they remain one step ahead of the competition at all times.

 

I’M SO EXCITED!!

Throughout our careers, we’ve all experienced varying forms of leadership styles. While passion and positivity are qualities thankfully many senior executives do possess, when it comes to a digital leader, it’s without doubt one of the most crucial. To be a great digital leader they also take on the role as a mentor. Someone who naturally positions themselves as an influencer. And above all, their enthusiasm for digitalisation needs to be contagious. If they’re not excited by the endless possibilities of digital – then why should anyone else in the business be?

By Charley Stoney Group Managing Director at Alternatives.