The future of leadership in the digital economy

Human potential is limitless, and priceless. Doubly so when it comes to leadership potential, for as John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more—you are a leader.”

The rapid rise of the digital economy and the destabilizing disruptions the new ecosystem brought about in every industry makes digital leadership one of most critical factors that shape the future of every business (for better or worse).

That’s because digital-economy leaders must show the way forward amid constant transitions, disruptions, chaos and ambiguity. Moreover, digital-economy leaders increasingly must operate and drive change in non-hierarchical environments, where traditional command-and-control levers give way to inclusive, participatory, and collaborative dynamics and emerging expectations.

Effective digital leadership requires, therefore, a unique mix of skills, competencies and mindsets. These include a great degree of humility, a learning mindset, intense curiosity, confidence and courage in the face of uncertainty, change agility, drive and motivation, grit and perseverance, critical thinking, experimental and innovation mindset, and, of course, strong interpersonal and collaborative skills.

Given the high stakes, businesses everywhere ought to make sure they take full advantage of the smartest digital tools to help them uncover future leaders everywhere and unlock their full potential. (In fact, the insistence of many people in leadership positions that they know how to identify leadership potential, coupled with their failure to acknowledge their limitations, learn, innovate and to embrace change, illustrates precisely what leadership is not!).

Tata Group’s leadership program, widely considered the Crown Jewel of India’s corporate leadership program, leads the future of leadership by example:

Knack has been a critical element of our talent selection process for over two years. Its gamified neuroscience technology has ably boosted our hiring process by helping us gauge the hidden leadership potential of candidates. It has been instrumental in identifying young, high potential talent poised to become the future leaders of the Tata Group.

—Mahafrid Billimoria, Head & General Manager, Tata Leadership Program

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