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Technology has had a hugely significant impact on our working worlds. Whether it’s how we address the expectations of a more tech-savvy workforce, leverage digital opportunities to create a competitive advantage or forecast potential disruption on an entire industry, our opportunities in the workplace have been furthered.
By discussing the required skillset as individual traits, it became apparent that there were some natural pairings, creating the need for a careful balancing act. Between each pair there is a natural tension, and so finding an equilibrium will ensure leaders are well-equipped to manage an ever-changing workforce.
Curiosity is an imperative for leaders in the digital age, but allowing it to remain boundless could lead to organisational paralysis – a team can easily become mired with too many options laid in front of them. It must, therefore, be balanced with critical thinking skills to ensure that while new possibilities are explored, people remain focused on the end goal.
It is also just as important as ever for a leader to empower their people, which requires an air of confidence. However, with this comes the need to know when to draw in the reins, balancing autonomy with direction. Leaders must be equally comfortable admitting that they don’t know something as they are asserting the correct way forward – the balance between confidence and vulnerability is crucial.
That leads into the pairing of empathy and decisiveness, where leaders make each member of the team feel appreciated and able to contribute, but can also make difficult business decisions when required. The workforce relies on its leaders to step up when decisive action is needed, and being easily guided by emotion may cause you to subconsciously avoid such decisions.
The list goes on; leaders must be brave enough to disrupt and challenge the business but in an engaging and non-threatening way; they must encourage creativity and risk-taking but ensure that is matched with a drive to achieve a business result; and they must be quick to adapt to changing circumstances while being able to control distractions and keep focus.
Achieving a healthy balance is the goal. Inherent in these traits is natural tension which can be seen in either under- or over-achievement of any individual competency. These points of tension can create adverse situations for the business, and so must be kept in check. Leaders need a sixth sense to determine any semblance of imbalance and act upon it efficiently.
Hemsley Fraser create, deliver and execute learning experiences to drive higher levels of engagement. From their roots as a UK training company, they’ve been empowering talent for three decades, evolving the business into a global, award-winning provider. Experts in their field, today they’re transforming how businesses learn and engage. Providing blended, virtual and on-demand learning experiences, training courses and managed learning services.
For further insight into these six trait pairings that leaders require in the modern working environment, please view the full guide Leadership in the Digital Age – A Careful Balancing Act on https://www.hemsleyfraser.co.uk/leadership-digital-ageDownload guide