Bold Leadership: An Ability Needed to Thrive in the Digital Age

July 21, 2022
Aaron Tan Dani

To thrive in the digital world, organisations need to reinvent themselves on a regular basis. Reinvention in the digital age requires 2 things, a belief that digital transformation is within reach, and the ability to change points of view on what was previously known as fact.  Neither of these is truly accomplished without strong bold leadership.

The exponential changes in technology are creating an accelerated business pace that requires organisations to reinvent themselves regularly in order to remain relevant.  Hence the need for an approach to bold leadership.

One of the primary roles of a bold leader is to set the vision for the future. To thrive in a digital world, that vision needs to be courageous. At the same time, the vision must be believable. This requires the leader to move beyond the typical role of setting the vision, to also being a preacher for the vision.  A preacher in the digital age keeps up with the latest technology (even if not in charge of IT or digital products), interacts with experts, and finds real examples of where at least components of their vision have been realised in the market.

The approach to bold leadership jumps right into the gap, providing ways to learn faster and govern smarter.  To achieve an exponential pace without burning everyone out, it’s essential to change points of view on things that were previously known as facts. This is essential given the pace at which business models need to be adjusted and requirements change.  Reaching an exponential pace also requires adoption of current technologies like artificial intelligence, augmented reality and blockchain.

Strong execution has always been a requirement for success. Strong execution in the digital age requires the adoption of process accelerators. For example, organisations, regardless of how large, will never have all the talent they need to thrive in a digital world. Hence it is critical to make sure the organisation is working on the right products and services.

Many people have the misconception that bold leaders must have larger-than-life personas. Some do have them. But it is not a requirement for bold leadership. True boldness in leadership does not come from shouting loudly and showcasing accomplishments. Bold leadership incorporates the traits mentioned above to create positive change for all.

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