We always hear that leadership is the essential ingredient for a successful business, everyone needs leadership capability, leadership, leadership and more leadership? If I hear it again, that is, “What does the business world need more of? Answer, Leadership.” I think I will write a book on the subject!!!!!
The real question is, what is leadership? People talk about it but very few can clearly articulate it and what it really means and what traits you need to have to be an accredited Leader. I mean, people say Martin Luther King was a great leader, but why? People say Lee Qwan Yu was a great leader, but why? People say Nelson Mandela was a great leader but why, tell me why then I might believe you!
But then let’s ask, would their leadership style be relevant in today’s business environment? Would King’s challenging and lobbying traits be appropriate today? While Lee established one of the most dynamic global cities, would his autocratic style be appropriate for today? And Mandela, while he broke what supposedly couldn’t be broken, at what cost?
Yes, we can talk about a leader being a great communicator, being a risk taker, a visionary, charismatic, an empathetic person but I say these attributes should be a given, that is no one has the right to just assume the mantle of a leader by just possessing yesterday and today’s qualities. Now it is time to take a quantum leap and start talking about Curiosity, Creativity, Contextification, Acceleration, Block Chain, Socialfication, Thingification, Cultural Coding, Disruptive Innovation and lots more. Not just a trendy new business language, but a smart new way of thinking and this is the true essence of this article, a new way of thinking, a new key requisite of a modern day global business leader.
Thinking spans a wide scope including business growth, use of technology, innovation, people, culture and being able to ‘see’ what the future will look like. There are two key words in this world of new thinking, curiosity and technology! Why? Curious people are not content with the status quo, in fact they are never content, they are always questioning, looking for new ways and instead of saying why, they say why not! They challenge the current boundaries, they do not have to consider thinking outside the box because to them there is no box in the first place!!! They create and reward a constant environment of creative, innovative thinking, they respect the past but are only interested in the future. I mentioned earlier contextification, a trend identified by which people will be addressed by others based on their place in the world, a type of neuro marketing science if you like and this is where technology and curiosity become a mighty powerful weapon. Finding out more about the fine art of contextification will determine the consumer in their context. Using the factors of space and time, that is, the what, when, where and how best to communicate through technology based solutions in providing your consumers with information. Context is the dominant determinant of what is of immediate interest to the data driven consumer and as such, contextification will become the primary driving force behind how organisations engage with their audience. It is a new way of thinking and so is the concept of thingification. What a word! It is simple though, computer industry speak for making things more intelligent. Thingification is driving the growth of a new Internet, an Internet of Things if you like where automation devices are increasingly dominating the growth of data traffic on the Internet. A boom for companies seeking increases in efficiency and effectiveness in the company’s operations as more and more of the objects we interact with day to day are becoming smart. Think about it, driverless cars, pilotless planes, holidays in space, virtual offices…………? It’s happening! Companies that embrace this thinking and leverage the information, use creativity, exercise relentless curiosity and technology will become market leaders.
This is leadership of the future! Calculated technology strategically fed into the unknown and who knows what can happen! After all, people laughed at the light bulb when Edison put it forward, people laughed at the concept of Curie’s vaccination against disease and even scoffed at Steve Jobs and Steve Wosniak’s Atari Game Boy invention when presented to Hewlett Packard and IBM. I wonder if a modern day global business leader would have had a different view.
A good leader is a wonderful communicator, collaborator, motivator, empathiser and listener but a modern day global business leader is already all these things but also a new age thinker, a blue ocean kind of person who is out there walking to the beat of a different drum making sure things are happening not for today but for tomorrow and the day after and years after.
About the Author: Richard Coller (Director of Professional Readiness Programs – PRP)
Richard Coller currently works as the Director – Professional Readiness Programs with SP Jain School of Global Management. Prior to taking up this position, Mr Coller worked as the Director of Retail Management (Colliers International) and the General Manager-Marketing (Stockland Retail). He has also worked with numerous other prestigious firms including Westfield, Jones Lang LaSalle, DDB Needham, Industrial Equity Limited, and Merlin International Properties.
Over the past twenty years as an industry expert in the property and consumer marketing fields, Mr Coller has conducted several lectures on Services Marketing and Strategic Marketing Management at TAFE NSW, APM College of Business and Communication, and The Australian Institute of Professional Education, among others.