Leadership in a Digital and Complex World

Don't worry if you don't have the natural talent to lead. You can develop it and grow your career perspective

  • 26 September 2018
  • Author: Suellen Machado
  • Number of views: 996

In a world where digital is quickly becoming the reality, dealing with the integration between digital and traditional is not an easy task. Leaders need to be prepared and ready to make decisions fast in a continuously evolving environment. The circle of interconnectivity which places information, people, experiences and connections at our fingertips, just add more challenge to the game. Overcoming and succeeding requires a constant learning approach and a mindset ready to adapt to the new situations.

It needed to be said that the concept of the word leader, has changed in the last few years. Leaders used to be the bosses of the company, directors, and managers. Nowadays, leadership is a word present in most of the job descriptions on LinkedIn, for example, it doesn’t matter the level it is expected from the candidate the ability to lead at some point of the chain. Leadership is a talent which can be developed and nurtured. In this article we gathered a couple of topics related to the contemporary leadership, which can help in this journey.

Change in Behaviour

To have an open mindset was never so important. In a work scenario where Millennials work closely with Baby Boomers and both are hiring young work force, the ability to adapt is essential. Behavioural change is more than learning new information, it means to accept and pass information in a way that has not been done previously. It’s more about a shift in perceptions, habits, and awareness.

The decentralisation of power by encouraging inclusion, participation, diversity, collaboration, and cooperation is a sign of adaptation to the new era. Achieve this behavioural change is essential to leaders, to their personal growth and the consequently growing of their teams and company. It’s necessary to cultivate the open mindset which will allow leaders to strengthen their links within the larger “circle of interconnectivity”.

The importance of Restoring Trust

Trust is always a controversial topic, it is not easy to restore, so, it is better to nurture. For many organisations today, trust has been broken or severely strained, but it doesn’t mean that cannot be restored. Leaders today must have the ability to navigate through their teams and learn what are the right questions to ask to help their employees to achieve something meaningful.

When contemporary leaders find the balance and the connectors within the circle of interconnectivity between the employees and their work, they can get much more commitment and engagement. It should be said that the secret recipe for success of every enterprise is the engagement of their teams creating a healthy and productive environment.

How to Build Employee Engagement

The best way to accomplish employee engagement is through the leaders. The process of building an engaged team requires time, investment, and the understanding that people get engaged with others when there is a human connection. Transparency still the best option when you want to develop a connected environment. That’s why leaders need to spend some time with their teams to know what motivates them, what they are looking for, their expectations and what they might have been struggling with.

Develop a Culture of Change

In a world where the customer behaviour change constantly, it is essential for leaders to adapt themselves to the new realities. We live in a work environment which is much more fluid and dynamic, where creativity is praised and required. Therefore, the ones leading the companies must be aligned to it to keep the company moving forward and growing.

When leaders can be intuitive and logical, it means that their organisations are in a better position to stay connected and relevant to their consumer base. It also means that they are a connection hub within the circle of interconnectivity.

Key Leadership Characteristics that Can Help you

There are natural talents that help professionals in the process of developing their leadership skills. Some people tend to be more prone to understand others and catch their emotions, for example, but it doesn’t mean that the people who weren’t born in this way can’t develop it also.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Self and social-awareness is the main component of emotional intelligence. Recognise your emotions and knowing how to control them is essential to develop your skills. In the leadership conditions to demonstrate empathy is also part of the process. It’s important to be honest about your feelings, which includes understanding others' thoughts and feelings and allow yourself to connect more with others. Instead of judging or labelling them, you should work hard to see things through their eyes.


It’s essential to know the exact moment to provide feedback, to praise and listen to your team. Accept criticism is part of the learning process that is endless, you need to listen and understand to see how you could have acted in a different way. Provide constructive feedback to people is an important point also, there is always a better way to build your feedback in a way that is useful to the receiver.


Being ethical still a valuable characteristic, it isn’t mentioned frequently anymore, but there is an immeasurable value on it. Making a stand early may save you, and others, a world of hurt and is a more sustainable life and business choice. Often, it’s as simple as doing what you say you will do.  Have in mind your values and stick with them should be the main principle for everyone.

How to Lead in a Complex World?

Having said that there is plenty of room for everybody to develop their leadership skills. At New Horizons Ireland we offer a wide range of Leadership and Professional courses tailored to help you in this journey. One of the paths is Leadership and Management, which were designed to help you improve your leadership and management skills.

If you want to know more about our Leadership and Professional Development courses, contact Amy Byrne (, our Business Development Manager and she will be happy to help you in the process of choosing the most appropriate training for you.

Click here to access the course Contemporary Leadership in a Complex World.

Our Centre for Leadership and Development is divided into 5 main paths that will help you to develop your leadership skills. Leadership and Professional Development, Human Resource Management, Business Analysis, Project Management, and IT Service Management. Choose the best option to you and increase your chances in the market. 

All Leadership and Development courses

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