Those seeking to be leaders in the 21st century will naturally be well versed in the power of technology. But what separates leaders from seekers is the fact that leaders know precisely how to leverage technology to their company’s advantage.
Precision is of key focus here, as the uninitiated can quickly find themselves abusing or under-using the technological power at their fingertips. Considering this, here are a few essentials for leading in the age of technology.
Acquire Only the Data That You Need
We are currently living in a year of unprecedented levels of data. The amount of data that we are generating is growing so fast that it is difficult to calculate the exact amount. That said, researchers have found that in 2014, global internet traffic processed 16,144 GB per second. Furthermore, approximately 90% of our data has been created in the last two years.
Such a massive progression of new data is naturally intriguing; yet, individuals must be careful that they don’t get “data drunk.”
Yes, shifting and analyzing myriad data reports may make one feel important or busy, but at the end of the day leaders know that Big Data has the potential to lead to Big Distractions.
Therefore, it is wise to acquire and analyze only the information that you need for the decision at hand – nothing more, nothing less.
Believe in Quality over Quantity
To truly lead in the age of technology, you and your business will need to provide content and services that the general public literally cannot find anywhere else. As Elon Musk said when explaining how to draw customers from competitors, “They’re not going to make the shift if it’s only a small improvement, it has to be a big improvement.” In order to deliver these major improvements, leaders must believe in quality over quantity.
With the power of technology, individuals and companies are able to release an extremely high daily-volume of content. Yet most of this content is insubstantial, leaving the viewer moderately informed but seriously disengaged.
When true industry leaders (i.e. Apple, Google) release content, it is met with immediate attention, as consumers and pundits know that these companies are founded upon releasing content of only the highest quality.
Therefore, to become a leader in the content-heavy technologic age, focus on building an individual or company brand that is known for consistently producing high-quality content, as opposed to being just another quick flash in the pan.
Are You Following or Leading?
If you spend even a moderate amount of time on social media, you probably have noticed that a large number of individuals market themselves as “thought leaders.” But when analyzing their work, it becomes quite evident that often their content is merely repurposing information that they gathered elsewhere.
This lack of authenticity poses major warning signs, particularly for the generation of internet natives who have been advertised to their entire lives. These warning signs can then lead to a lack of trust in both in the individual and the content. For example, studies show that 80% of consumers say that the number one factor for becoming the follower of a brand is “authenticity of content.”
To truly lead in the age of technology, shift your primary focus from leadership to execution. This might seem counter-intuitive at first, but one of the essential qualities of leaders is their ability to execute, get the job done, and create a path for others to follow.
Although technology continues to alter the way our businesses and societies operate, our ideals of leaders and leadership have stayed rather consistent. We continue to prefer leaders that know what is needed, that we can trust, that prefer to dream than follow.
Therefore, stay true to yourself, your goals, and your ideals.
And most importantly, be careful not to sacrifice authenticity in attempts to be just the fad of the day.