Leaders are often dragged down by information overload. Vast amounts of email communication leave little time to think about strategy and future planning. Endless meetings and hours spent in airport lounges also steal valuable time for productivity. What are those few things you can do that will help transform your leadership?
Become tech savvy
Be tech savvy beyond the standard company systems. Artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive technologies are the new game changers. Leaders who are not prepared to embrace AI and its associated progress will be left behind. AI and cognitive technologies are no longer regarded as the future of the workplace – it is very much the present! It is happening all around us. AI will transform key dimensions of the business, and it is critical we embrace it.
Invest time in your learning
How much of your “off” time do you spend learning? Limit your consumption of social media, as this is time generally lost with little worthwhile gain. Spend more time reading books and learning about new technology, methodologies, and ideas. Expand your horizons. Ongoing self-education is the best investment. Also, remember to share what you have learned. By sharing your new thoughts and insights, you become a leader-teacher.
Run to the fire
When you see a problem, find ways to provide whatever support is needed. Be innovative. Move away from utilizing traditional, more comfortable methods of problem-solving. A great leader will see challenges as opportunities to innovate and create. Take a calculated risk and run towards the fire.
Get to know the world outside your office
Senior leaders and executives are uniquely positioned, as they have a broad perspective of the entire organization. Why not use this opportunity to get to know everything about your business, including your people and the issues they face? Remember to step outside the confines of your office and genuinely get to know people.
Be courageous – have those difficult conversations
At some point, every executive finds themselves in a situation where they are forced to take a stand. It takes great courage to have those difficult conversations. But without robust conversations, the organization – and, indeed, the leader – cannot grow. As a senior leader, it is your responsibility to initiate these discussions. If you do not, who will?
Recognize the potential in your position
Do not play it safe. Everyone else does. Great leaders recognize that with their position comes great responsibility and opportunity. They put themselves squarely in the business. They counsel when decisions have potentially adverse consequences and are not afraid to be held accountable. It is easy to command and control from the vantage point of your title, but transformational leaders understand the difference between power and influence. Influence is far more sustainable and builds long-lasting credibility.
Fortunately, making a few small changes will make your life as a leader easier. It will also add value to the business.