Most leaders sense, even know they have to lift their game substantially; start thinking and leading on another level entirely, at a faster pace than ever before. Life and the world we lead in is and will be very different from now on, because of COVID-19. Whether we got it right or not; whether this is a huge conspiracy or not isn’t the issue. Irreversible change in how we think, engage and operate structurally as a society has occurred, whether by design or authentically doesn’t matter either. We have been dealt a card and it’s in our hand.
But how do we assist leaders to lift themselves and their game, almost overnight?
This pandemic caused geographical barriers and boundaries between countries, states, provinces, communities and even families. This is traumatic and a vicious attack on everything we ever worked to achieve – a boundary-less, peaceful, economically vibrant, global village. We were sure the evolution of transport, media, electronics, smartphones and the digital age helped bring about this vision, but perhaps it’s not to be. Or, at least not as envisioned.
Here is how it unfolded, in the blink of an eye. Geographical boundaries shot up overnight to threaten human interaction as we know it. Logic dictated a significant decrease in human engagement. But no, it was instead followed by a monumental increase in conversation, communication and collaboration. And how? The geographical boundaries were offset by the use of existing boundary-less Social Ecosystems known as Social Media and Digital Platforms. Take a moment and try to imagine what it would have been like without Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Microsoft Teams and of course the now household brand called Zoom? How would we have responded to the challenge, communicated about it, collaborated and mobilized to fight the virus and keep relationships, businesses, extended families and friendships going?
The digital domain landed firmly once and for all, cementing its rightful place in society by doing and continuing to do its part. Of course, it didn’t do just good, but in this instance, it played its part.
However, this impact could be less than significant – even dangerous – in the absence of the following crucial NEXT step. As the digital domain and economy asserts itself, in tandem leadership and leaders – that’s human beings – should also rise to the occasion and lead from where they stand. We have to lead ourselves out of this state, with the able support of unrivaled digital power. There is no alternative – leadership and digital must combine forces. And I am not only referring to leading us out of the COVID-19 crisis but the unprecedented woes that will most certainly follow – business graveyards followed by shrinking work forces, confused and demotivated people, in many cases independent employees that will require trust from outdated leaders, the VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world on steroids, political leaders that have tasted the addictive power of dictatorship, unmanageable job losses, crippling poverty, unserviceable debt, violent community resistance, emotional strain, physical illnesses and too much more to mention.
Leadership. Leadership. Leadership. We need it desperately…we WILL need it desperately. We crave it, like we did before COVID-19. Yet, sadly and collectively speaking trust in leaders and leadership was already in short supply then, so where is it going to come from now, so suddenly? Where is that “factory” that will churn them out at break-neck pace?
Here is where organisations need to step up to the plate if leadership is going to do its part. Even if you have a strong leadership pipeline in your organisation – but especially if you don’t – you will have to expedite quality, authentic and purposeful leadership to secure your future and also that of our society. We need every organization to have its own robust leadership development system (“factory”), to hasten the work and ensure they aren’t too dependent on outside entities. The way to achieve this is by planting a powerful digital platform inside your organization to compliment whatever you are doing, borrowing from the Social Ecosystem Model – Social Media, Digital Platforms. Sending leaders on leadership programs in isolation, for the sporadic face to face day session or coaching, just won’t cut it anymore. You need a vibrant “Leadership Ecosystem” that functions much the same way as social ecosystems; that aligns conversations, communication and collaboration on everything leadership, between leaders and experts around the world, inside your organization, inside teams and personally, like we have and are about COVID-19.
Inside such a Leadership Ecosystem, leaders must be able to immerse themselves in everything to do with leadership, to speed up and continually update their leadership thinking, understanding, development and growth.
The Ecosystem must address how we lead as a society and within that, how you lead as an organization, in teams and as individuals. It also has to increase individual, team and organizational leadership fitness, action, accountability and improvement.
Forward steps ThinkLead, perfectly timed. It was created for all the above and many more reasons. It is a digital Leadership Ecosystem in which you immerse your leaders so that they learn to THINK and LEAD at an unprecedented level…faster; so that they can build authentic character by changing behavior faster, through their Personal Leadership Development Plan inside I-LEAD that sends regular reminders; so that they can act and align with their team, organization and environment within the WE-LEAD space; so that they can engage the ever growing, relevant and interactive resource library inside the I-LEARN space, in order to Re-Learn and THINK at an unprecedented level.
Let us help your leaders lift their game substantially, to THINK and LEAD on another level entirely…inside your own ThinkLead, to expedite the emergence of authentic and purposeful leaders.