Leveraging Technology to Develop Leaders
“The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born – that there is a genetic factor to leadership… That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.” Warren Bennis
While circumstance and need have an impact on the development of natural leaders, the belief that leadership is innate prevails.
The result is that businesses search for “natural” leaders, often hiring them at great cost based. These decision are made primarily on the personality they present during the interview process or previous performance track record within established organisations.
However, leadership is evolving alongside business itself, and with this shift comes the need to investigate fundamental perceptions – including preconceptions around the origin of leadership potential.
Focus on Individual Strength for 8x Engagement
Recent research from Gallup suggests that employee engagement in an environment where individual strength is not an area of focus is around 9%.
The challenge for leaders is to give individuals and their strengths the attention required, which sees this figure rise to 73%, according to the study*.
However, with remote teams and global offices, inspiring individuals has become more difficult.
Reliance on outdated leadership thinking cannot deliver the required individual attention the modern employee needs.
What is required is fluidity, and the ability to upgrade leadership qualities in an ongoing cycle of improvement that is focussed on collaboration and feedback.
Technology Incubates Leadership
Leadership was traditionally viewed as a developed set of psychological markers, rather than a skill that can be taught.
However, with developments in the fields of AI and adult learning, this is no longer the case.
With the ability to gain real-time insight into performance-related behaviour, it is possible to identify the strengths and growth opportunities for any employee through simple digital engagements.
Feeding this data into trained algorithms that are continuously learning means that leaders can not only understand what is holding them back, but also learn how to improve – all based on interactions with familiar technology.
For organisational boards and executives, the mandate is to spend less time trying to find pre-packaged leaders, and to shift their focus towards cultivating a culture and approach to operations that identifies leadership attributes that can be leveraged and taught within the individual.
Advances in adult learning and the rise of analytics mean that employee data can be used to shift output and create a workforce of accountable leaders.
Through the integration of real-time measurement and feedback, we believe that technology can be used to identify and leverage each leader’s strengths. This allows the development of perpetual improvement cycles that produce greatness that drives exceptional business performance.
*Data courtesy of The Gallup Foundation accessible here: http://strengths.gallup.com/110251/gallups-leadership-research.aspx