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What’s Your Leadership Style? Old School or New School?

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are you a leader

Leadership has been around since man began to organize in groups. Cavemen had to organize themselves for hunts, just in the way modern business men organize themselves to achieve their goals. Leadership itself, has gone through many changes: including switching from being analog to digital.

Analog leadership is very much the old way of thinking. It’s very linear, very big-project oriented. Not big picture – big project. It’s also very slow and inefficient. Digital leadership is very speedy. It jumps around a lot. It maximizes resources, and doesn’t worry too much about following a process from start to finish as much as getting the best results.

Here are  5 differences between analog and digital leaders:

1. Approach to failure

In the analog world, failure was not really an option. You were given a task, and you had to see it through. There is no such thing as failure. You must succeed at all costs. Follow this line, and bust through all obstacles.

The digital world looks at failure much different. It allows for failure, and even encourages it. Only by failing will you be able to get to the destination quicker. Where an analog leader would push on and try to bust through a brick wall – no matter how long it takes – the digital leader would simply accept the failure and build a new path to get to the destination.

“Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.” – Morihei Ueshiba

2. Organization structure

As you’ve read on about leaders previously, managing millennials is much different than the traditional analog structure. The old analog structure was very much a top down organizational chart, with a clear line of subordinates.

In the analog world, the power and influence was highly concentrated at the top. This meant that managers just passed instructions down, in a straight line, until they reached the employee.

In the digital work environment, collaboration is a lot more important. Everyone has a voice within the company structure. Ideas and decisions are made at the lower levels amongst teams, and passed to the top. The power is spread out, ideas come from everywhere, and the organization is able to adapt much quicker.

 

3. Staff management

Too often in the analog world, management would attract staff and do everything they could to try to keep them happy and productive. This was considered talent hoarding. It’s a very analog approach: get talent, stick them in a chair, make product, and repeat. The goals of the employee were not important. Company first. Always.

The digital leader knows that’s not how you create the best possible product. They don’t try and hoard talent. They only bring in talent with the ambition to become more. They nurture talent, trying to grow their abilities with the hope that they’ll one day leave the team when they reach their peak.

Digital leaders don’t look at this as a loss, they look at it like it’s the only way to get the best possible people working for them and for the company. If you’re not hiring people with ambition to do more, what kind of people are you hiring?

 

4. Product development

The number one barrier to leadership is not listening. Product development is no different. In the analog world, leaders would develop or invent a product, and then send it to market. If the product fails, that’s the end of it.

Many companies now do it the digital way – they look to the market first, and develop products based on this need. Apple is a great example of how the marketplace guides the development process. Steve Jobs is a digital leader in his approach to making the products people love.

Steve never let the engineers tell him what was possible. He always pushed the engineers to design the products with the customer in mind. It’s why so many products were so consumer friendly.

This also ties in with organizational structure. Steve never said “do it this way” and passed it down, he let the customer tell him how to do it, and that’s what he communicated to the engineers. It’s not that Steve wasn’t in control, he just used the voice of the customer to guide him, which is what a digital leader does.

“If you don’t listen, you’re never gonna learn.” – Frank Lero

5. Inside the box or outside the box

Analog leaders are very much working inside the constraints of the organization. Ideas come from the top down, only certain things are possible, work within your means, and always look to the most experienced person in the organization for information.

The digital leader knows no boundaries. They learn to think outside the box. They don’t rely on the advice of the most experienced employees. They look to them for their input, but ideas matter so much more than experience.  They don’t just look at the organization and figure out what’s possible. They figure out what they want to do, no matter how impossible it is, and rework the organization to make those things happen.

Being a digital leader means things like yearly performance reviews are a thing of the past. Today, it’s about real-time communication with employees. A constant feedback cycle so that the business can involve everyone.

So which type of leader are you? Analog Leader or Digital Leader? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Success Advice

A Salesman’s Guide On What To Do When Your Prospect Misses Your Call

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what to do when a prospect misses your sales call
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Regardless of what you are selling, or what your business is, it’s a common occurrence that a prospect doesn’t answer a sales call. It has definitely happened to me as a salesperson and entrepreneur. Now as a CEO, I help my sales teams as well as my clients with increasing their sales ratio from what many salespeople would perceive as a dead lead. (more…)

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How a Nighttime Routine Can Make You More Successful

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If you ask successful people how to have a productive day, they’ll tell you to start the night before with an effective nighttime routine. How you go to sleep each night sets the stage for how you wake up the next morning. After all, no matter how many hours you spend preparing for an important meeting or presentation, it can still be ruined if you don’t have enough energy to execute it. (more…)

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3 Books to Help You Learn How to Write Better and More Effectively

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books that will teach you how to write better
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“It’s been 2 years since I left writing, how would I start it again?” I cried to my friend. Telling him how I failed to generate regular income from sources other than writing, and how I am drowning in 1 million dollars of debt. I left writing because I felt it was the core reason for my depression, but I was totally wrong. It was not the writing that triggered my stress hormones, the real culprit was not knowing “how to write and grow”. (more…)

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The Incredible Journey of Steve Jobs and How Apple Revolutionised the Tech Industry

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the steve jobs story
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Steven Paul Jobs, a well-known American business magnate, and successful entrepreneur, is widely renowned as an innovator of the microcomputer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s. By being kicked out of the company he helped create, he took it over again and created a unique image of a computer for the rest of us.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” – Steve Jobs

Blue Mail Media has neatly curated this story of how Apple was built and the man behind its creation and growth. Although it’s impossible to sum up Steve Jobs’ success in a single shot, this Infographic has taken some key points, and it helps you in discovering the lessons from his efforts along with a brief history of his successful empire.

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