“The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.”
Sydney J. Harris
Leadership mastery in the digital age requires an integration of skills. Whether your dominant skill is technology aptitude or your dominant skill is dealing with people the future requires all of us to integrate our skills to achieve mastery of leadership in the digital age Media Focus.
If you are a tech-savvy leader it is likely that you are smart, capable, analytical, process oriented, fast and focused. These skills are highly valued in the workplace and now it is time to integrate tech skills with people management skills in order to improve overall leadership effectiveness and to move your team and the organization forward. The skills needed to be a masterful leader in these digital times include being tech-savvy AND being an evolutionary.
In the past the development of people skills have often been put aside as too ‘touchy feely’ or non-important and in the past decade there has been a higher value placed on technological skills. Since the global economic challenges of 2008 progressive organizations have noticed the gap and have been investing in training and developing their leaders to now include highly developed leadership skills as they relate to the ‘people’ side of the business. A talented, trained workforce is an asset that companies are now understanding the value of and as such now know that they must have great leaders who inspire and develop the talent within or their good talent will leave and go elsewhere.
A few years ago I had a consulting contract with a high tech company that was experiencing challenges with keeping their Generation Y employees. Upon investigation it was discovered that the Baby Boomer leaders were not adapting to the attitudes and work styles of the Gen Y. In that company the Baby Boomer leaders had an attitude of superiority and demanded all employees to conform, the old style of ‘my way or the highway’. As you can imagine this did not go over very well with the Gen Y employees and a good number of highly skilled employees were leaving in droves.
As leaders in technology become younger and younger the challenges have switched to having the leadership knowledge and understanding of human behavior in order to keep the team happy, functioning and creating superior results.
Baby Boomer leaders had an attitude of superiority and demanded all employees to conform. As you can imagine this did not go over well with the Gen Y employees and a good portion of them were leaving in droves.
There is a need in today’s modern workplace and the workplace of the future to have leaders who are adaptable, astute, and able to mobilize people to perform their work at their highest levels, manage remote teams and flexible work teams and be technologically savvy, leaders who are more than good leaders; leaders who have leadership mastery.
With a lot of focus being put on the technological aspects of the work many leaders have lost sight of good change leadership tactics or have never been exposed to them.
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In this chapter we want to look at the difference between a tech savvy leader and a people savvy leader.
Let’s take a look at the chart below to see examples of some of the main differences:
Tech Savvy Leader
Focused on computer
Focused on data
Focused on output
Impatient with people issues
Communicate in tech language
Less aware of emotions of others
People Savvy Leader
Open and curious
Focused on people
Focused on what data does for people
Deals with people issues with understanding
Highly aware of others’ emotional states
As you read through the lists for each description of the tech savvy leader and the people savvy leader you may have found yourself judging some of the items on the lists. Or you may have thought that you have a high level of each of the skills listed.