Many leaders continue managing their time, business processes and interaction with their teams as if they were still freezed in 1990. They aren´t aware or don´t understand that business models, technologies and, ultimately, People, have changed. A lot! Management based on “command & control” models are not suitable anymore. And this change will accelerate evenmore in the next 5 years. Constant connectivity and the “anytime-anywhere” working model are disrupting workplaces (work is becoming “something you do” rather than a “place you go to” and stay for 7 or 8 hours a day) . The leader’s ability to deal with absence and with remote teams (displaced in space and time), maintaining engagement and ensuring accountability, is increasingly mandatory. Today’s technology delivers new and more useful tools to the leader: real-time consolidated data (enhanced by business intelligence and predictive analytics) will enable more informed and effective decision-making, both strategic and operational. So, he(or she) will be, to a large extent, a digital leader.
But the Leaders will also have to take on and deepen other roles of proximity. In more collaborative environments, with the participation of diverse stakeholders (both internal and external) and paying constant attention to the business environment, they should share their vision and promote their influence – networking and engaging people all around the business ecossystem. The incrising flatter organizations allow managers greater visibility into the different operation levels and reinforces their focus and impact on employee engagement – and, in this context, the leader, with his physical presence, will be essential on motivating, supporting or developing people. Active listening, empathy, assertiveness, emotional intelligence and influence skills will be fundamental. He will also be a physical leader.
So, at least for the next decade (beyond that, we would enter into speculation and futurology), leaders will have to develop a new self-discipline in their way of acting (both attitudes and behaviours) and new ways of communicating with his people. And they will have to be dual leaders. They will not only be physical, they will not be merely digital…they will be what we can designate as “Phygital Leader”. The Leaders who effectively achieve this balance (physical and digital), in their leadership touchpoints (welcoming, developing, organizing, mobilizing, empowering and acknowledging people), will prevail. Those managers who cannot do this, will quickly become obsolete bosses.