Leadership & Business In The Digital Age
Jonathan Foltz Monday, October 16, 2017
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The business infrastructure and atmosphere have dramatically shifted in the last 10 years.
We are seeing jobs being outsourced at an unprecedented rate. We are allowing our team to work from their home computer, a laptop on the beaches of Thailand, or bouncing around from country to country - as long as they have a strong internet connection and didn’t drink too many margaritas the night before, they are ready for action.
We are giving our teams more versatility with the times that they work. We are utilizing the MVP (Minimum Viable Product), Agile, and Lean Start-Up methodologies in order to keep up with the quickening that is emerging within the new age business model.
Not only are our businesses becoming more agile, but outsourcing and having team members work from around the world are becoming the norm - whether we like it or not.
While it is becoming common and there are great opportunities for team members to bring up their productivity if they align with a leader's vision, it is quite dangerous for a business that does not know how to manage this new wave that is upon us.
Not only do leaders need to understand this new wave of business structure, but they will need to have a sound understanding of where they are headed when leading their team, organization, or venture into a new world that will be set with bigger, more complicated, and faster incoming challenges.
A CEO, manager, project manager, president, and any other leadership position must have a true interpretation of the shift that is happening within the digital spectrum. As the current shift is getting upper management and leaders to switch gears quickly, the team management methods of yesterday are slowly rusting away into nothingness as they become increasingly obsolete.
Let's take a look at a few companies known for moving in a new direction of leadership and management: Facebook, Google, Shopify, Twitter, and Salesforce amongst many more.
What do these companies have in common other than being giant tech companies in the highest of levels?
1. They know the importance of making work fun.
2. They are INNOVATORS.
3. They are creating amazing culture within their companies.
4. Leadership within the organization is not only solid, but is the foundational piece that keeps EVERYTHING in place. ←- Did I mention everything? Yes, and for good reason.
These companies started this “new age” of bringing a different workplace into being, away from the old “corporate desk job” type that was here before the takeover and explosion of mobile phones, greater connectivity, shorter attention spans, and the grand curiosity of social media and the internet itself.
These companies are not just about having sleeping pods, ping-pong tables, free organic and vegan food selections, TGIF events, and all else built into their culture. They have something incredible within them - leadership with a grand vision of an incredible future for humanity.
When leaders enter into the arena, whether by creation or by hire, one of the most vital components you will be able to spot is their vision of a grand future for the company.
And of course, this is driven by wanting to resolve giant issues, problems, or pain points in the marketplace. (Elon Musk may say that this is to save humanity and all of its future)
Not only must they have this vision, but they must be able to describe the company’s future and mission precisely, effectively, rationally, and with great inspiration.
If they were not able to do this, would the “Captain of the Ship” be able to persuade the rest of his crew to follow him through turbulent waters from one continent to another? Highly unlikely.
Now, let’s distinguish leaders from bosses very quickly.
Leaders Vs Bosses
You may have seen this illustration before at some point. It is a powerful and vivid interpretation between the two spectrums that a person in a management position can fall into.
It may be obvious to some by looking closely at upper management and the bosses within the companies they work for. Their positioning at the throne is the ideal for discovery. Some of them arose into these positions by stepping up within the organization, others were forced or pushed into them, and others came into power having started the business themselves.
Many of them come in with an elevated sense of empowerment, or shall we call it… overpowerment?
This is where it can become a slippery slope as “power” enters the mind in a form that can bring forth great pride. This overinflated sense of self may not be able to keep itself locked away within the confines of any mind, even with the largest of locks.
Does the quote “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” ring a bell?
Sometimes we are unable to see this shift within ourselves as growth comes quickly and swiftly.
So is this only about ego? Not at all.
It just so happens to be one of the main unconscious attributes that can hold a new leader down within the mission of a company at hand. We are now communicating through Skype, UberConference, Zoom, WhatsApp, Facebook, and the other thousand apps out there for communication with our team members, clients, and even family members and friends - more so than in person, in most cases. Interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, learning about others values, and having a higher sense of care are even more vital in this new digital age.
Your effectiveness to communicate properly, clearly, and most importantly, in someone else’s values will be a key component to where you will stand as a leader. John C. Maxwell, one the top leadership experts on the planet, gives us great insight into a leader’s effectiveness in bringing on great talent and growing your “leadership lid”. Your “leadership lid” or leadership ability will always determine your effectiveness to grow your company and grow as a leader yourself.
A leader with a level 1 leadership effectiveness will never be able to bring forth talent of such at a level 2 or 3. This effectiveness must be brought up, not only to bring greater talent into the organization, but so that there can be a higher degree of respect in what the leader is creating within a company, family, or even the world.
Our effectiveness in being a powerful leader is not an innate ability or given talent, but is instead forged through experience and sheer willpower to become an effective guide for the company.
Here are three quick & powerful steps that can get your leadership skills up to par in the digital age… and FAST:
1. Define your team's values and purpose on this planet.
Sound a little philosophical? This may very well be the most important thing that you may do when hiring, building, and growing your company and team.
When you can fully grasp and understand the top 3 values of your team members, managers, business partners, and all others around you, you enter into a new realm of possibilities.
Having this fundamental grasp of someone’s actual value systems allow you to speak to them uniquely in a language that they will not only listen to and resonate with, but will follow and be inspired to help you.
There is also a very interesting area of study called Axiology - which is the study of human values and worth. Depending on what teacher you speak to, they may say that your values and worth determine your purpose on this planet. Meshing together your top values can, and will, eventually lead up to something much bigger.
I call it the “Triple Entwinement”. This triple entwinement is your top three values showing you the way to what you were put on this earth to do.
Did you really think your life’s purpose was to make money? Or that you lacked one entirely and were meant to wander aimlessly through life? Definitely not.
Look at these high-level visionaries, CEO’s, moguls, and the men in history that have shaped the world of today.
They all had one thing in common - a powerful purpose and will to help humanity in one way, shape, or form. Their goal was not solely to achieve financial wealth. (Although money can definitely help you on your mission to do something amazing for our world!)
As business gets more digitally oriented and enhanced, the more important it will become that you can speak to someone within their values, which will, in turn, give them the self-motivation that is needed today more than ever. And trust me, you need self-motivated, inspired, initiative-taking team members as you grow and scale your business - but it all starts with the leader and slowly trickles down into the rest of your organization.
Now, let's get to the juice:
a. Questions to ask yourself about your team and partners: What does this person value most in life? Family? Travel? Business growth? Finances/Money? What will that person get for being within your organization or mission you are all on? How does this help them with their highest values?
This is all about asking the right questions.
b. An easy way to determine the values of a new hire or current members is by taking the “Values Determination Process” By Dr. John Demartini
c. Dr. Demartini is an expert in human behavior, leadership, psychology, business, finance and very wide array of subjects.
As a polymath, he is reshaping the way we look at, and interact with, the world around us to achieve greater performance and fulfillment. This exercise will not only inspire you, but also those around you, to realize that you are there for them and the highest of their values.
This is a game changer if you actually apply it.
Read, learn, and imitate the great leaders of history and of modern day. Want to go back and see the book that Alexander The Great kept under his pillow that helped him become one of the greatest leaders in history? Read “The Iliad” by Homer this story is quite old but a timeless classic. Want to learn how to raise your leadership lid in a more modern day setting? Read “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” by John C. Maxwell. An oldie but a goodie to learn about interpersonal skills and human relations. “How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. Want to learn what separates brands from the regular ol’ companies that pop up quite often and just as quickly disappear? “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek. Learning why is very entwined with purpose, which is a huge part of leadership. Discover your very own telos deep within yourself. Aristotle believed that man has a very strong notion for “the end in mind” or what some would call your “purpose”.
Take a look at the greatest leaders and you will see that they all answer to a higher calling that makes them nearly unstoppable.
After doing the exercise from step 1 by taking the “Values Determination Process” from the Demartini Institute and getting your top values do the next steps:
Grab your top values
Find a unison between the three with a deep desire to do something big for humanity, solving an issue. For one week (or two) find situations that truly inspire you and bring you GREAT joy. So much so, that they nearly bring you to tears. Write all of these down in a document that says “Moments of Inspiration” this exercise is usually done through a much longer period, 3 months/ 6 months/ 1 year, but shortened due to finding a street to drive on sooner. Think about what you would love to do, even if you were not paid for it. Gather all data and see where you can serve humanity while doing something that truly inspires you, and no matter the circumstances you will arise from challenges.
This exercise will absolutely translate over to your leadership skills and the genius within you will arise stronger than ever.
You may not find it right away, but you will definitely be on the right track.
If you look back in history at the greatest nations, governments, cultures, businesses, movements, and organizations of all kinds, you will see that there were even greater leaders that got them there. Rome may not have been built in one day, but without some of the greatest leaders and commanders of the day, this powerful country in all of its glory, would have never been built at all. Never underestimate your leadership skills to take you, your organization, your business, and those around you to incredible new heights. Follow these three tips to step up your game in business and in leadership. We have an incredible future ahead of us. Go out there and do something amazing to solve problems. Do so, and you will certainly gather an amazing following to help you on your journey.
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