That digital leadership fundamentally differs from other modes of leadership is an unfortunate assumption. When organizations act on this belief, they risk complicating rather than supporting the digital workplace.
Leadership in the digital work life is still about to inspire, establish trust, and direct energy and resources of the organization to meet its objectives. But although much remains the same, there are some traits digital leaders can incorporate to maximize the likelihood of success and comfort for the organization.
Digital to promote culture and behavior
Digital leadership should connect the dots between organizational objectives and digital opportunities. Such a holistic perspective recognizes that technology must be related to organizational-specific cultural and behavioral dimensions. Although a separate plan to implement digital ways of working can be beneficial, digital leaders should include digital tools and systems early in the general workflow. By doing this, they can mitigate discouraging attitudes relating to change.
Importance of empathy
Research shows that empathy is one of the most fundamental traits of good leadership. Interestingly, the importance of empathy only seems to deepen as digital aspects continue to enter work life. The pandemic highlighted this development when stress and anxiety followed drastic adjustments to digital working conditions. Since the digital work landscape is constantly changing, leaders must be prepared to face potential employee stress factors and find supporting work processes.
Knowledge and open minded
Effective digital leadership is attentive to possibilities that digital tools provide and continuously adapt the organization. An open mind and willingness to critically assess own operations are keys in this process. Being knowledgeable also relates to how the implementation of digital systems and tools are received. In this process, the digital leader should identify the right KPI’s and engage in dialogue with end-users to learn about frictions and positive tendencies of the digital workplace.
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