Leadership in a Digital Age

Introduction

Leadership is the process of leading an individual or group towards a common goal in an organization. It is a positive approach that assists in achievement of goals and targets with proper and full capacity utilization of resources. Being a leader is not an easy task as it requires different skills and capabilities to carry out the various roles and duties associated with this designation (Conger, 2015). The impact of digitalization has further added more paradigm to various industries and their structures. To understand the same concept in more detail significance and models associated with leadership will be discussed in context of hospitality industry. Self-understanding of the relationship between digital technical management and performance will be carried out. It would be highlighted how leadership capabilities and behaviors can be applied to the management of geographically spreaded teams and finally issue from professional practice would be identified and evaluation of same would be done as to how digital technical leadership can enhance business transformation and performance of this issue.

Section 1

Self-Analysis

Digitalization is the process through which most of the manual practices are computerized and has changed the overall business carry outs. It is a great challenge for leaders to perform in the continuous changing commercial scenarios where maximum operations are carried out using the digital resources like computers, internet and cloud technologies (Kowalski and Giumetti, 2017). There are many irreversible alterations that are made due to the digital applications and leaders find it difficult to manage the day to day operations of the firms with it. In order to better understand the interrelationships between digital tool and eh leaderships in hospitality industry the six distinct attributes of digitalization will be highlighted here along with the discussion of how these characteristics are affecting the different forms of leading people.

Goldie (2016), says that leading digital change is now a new role of leader to achieve the competitive advantage in the hospitality industry as here there is close and tough competition in this sector and operations needs to be carried out using the advanced sources. The innovations in the working of leaders is such that it has completely reshaped the traditional practices. Business which are successful in implementing the digital technology affectively is considered to be good leader in the industry as they create a benchmark for other enterprises to achieve. The capabilities of a leader are judged as how effectively they have implemented the digital tools in the day to day working of the company. For this it is important that there are IT leaders too employed in the company so that they can guide the employees in more improved way. Those who are at the position of leading people frame the digital challenge for the followers. This way the work force is made familiar with the positive chances which are there if new computerize systems are followed (Gee and Hayes, 2011).

Creation of such awareness also aid employees to prepare themselves for the threats or danger which has the capacity to effect the day to day operations of the work force. This way a common vision is formed in the sector as how and using what all digital platforms the work would be done in more effective way. After this investment are focused which are required to develop the infrastructure of digital tools and this planning is used as a map for further activities to be performed. For successful implementation leaders need to create urgency for digitalization as this will lead to better installation of various practices and hence proper utilization can be ensured. Employees need to react positively to the change and must be welcoming for advance techniques. It will reduce the unfavorable results and will attract maximum participation.

Mayer-Schönberger, (2011) another scholar who has further given light on distinct matrixes through which the hospitality industry can do the better utilization of different digital platforms. He suggested multi steps which ranges from mobilization, synchronization and speeding up of process which can be practiced in the firms as this will help in better carrying out of operations and will aid in raising the overall effectiveness of digitalization.

Trait theory of leadership

This is one of the most popular theory of leadership and is systematic approach which maximizes the users understating of this concept. In this the different traits that are found in a leader are disclosed under the broad categorization of his skills, particular characteristic and persuaders. Leaders take the initiatives to take business to a higher level and does maximum supervision so that the results do not deviate much from the expectations. According to this theory the leaders has the intelligence to guide other and specifically they know how to deal with the present digital age (Colbert and et.al., 2012). Author says that those who are good front-runners has the required maturity and are self-assured which further motivates them to influence other to perform in certain method. They manage their survival even in the digital age because welcoming change is in their core competencies.

Value based leadership

This is another theme in the studies of leadership styles and theories. This approach gives emphasis on leading the work force following the beliefs integrity and ethics. The evolution of this model is from the excessive increase in the unethical practices which has become common in corporates these days. In the urge of earning maximum revenues corporates are forgetting the morals which are important for the society (Bao and et.al., 2013). The process of decision making has become such that it gives more focus on what is more beneficial in monetary terms and all the social responsibilities are ignored. This theory demotivates such trend and acted as a counter point by highlighting the role of ethics in corporations.

Authentic leadership

This is another model of leadership which is again based on the development of true connections with the work force. Leaders who follow this style are open to all and communicates accordingly. Those following this type of leadership believes in delivering maximum advantages to the new leaders (present followers) so that they work with maximum efforts and can be sustained for longer time duration. It has four distinct branches which are awareness of self, impartial handling, reliable behavior does the orientation of any new contacts on fair grounds.

Six characteristics of digitalization

Interconnectedness –

The connections among the different business within the same industry has raised to great level with eth implementation of different digital platforms in the hospitality industry. Leaders at distinct locations can now exchange their ideas and knowledge which further gives a positive impact on the overall output of businesses. It has facilitated with creativity as many options are made available through the digital tools which increases the overall quality and standards of the society. All these results into innovation which is again important and has become necessity for the survival of businesses (Khan, 2016).

Better transparency and complexity –

In the present world people have become more aware about the products and services which are delivered to them. Digital tools help in reaching to retailers and customers in more adequate manner which help in raising good connections with the market in which a company is servicing its products and services. Though such applications are complicated to use but give improved results which has long term effect on the organizations.

Diminishing time lag and abundance of information –

Reduction in total time taken for operation is one of the most important result of digital age. Now the leaders can take better and quick decisions which are also supported by immense of information which is made available through the internet. Better marketing can be done now using the platforms like televisions, mobile phones etc. and hence awareness among the public can be created (Imbert and et.al., 2016).

Removal of personal barriers –

Digital tools has the capacity of establishing communication among the people sitting at far of places. Apart from this within the organization due to complex structure it is not always possible to establish the interaction among individuals in person and therefore here again the distance and obstacles for exchanging the information is removed by digital tools. By convening message on same employees do not need to meet personally and hence can continue with the operations.

Self-analysis using a range of diagnostic tools

SWOT analysis is an appropriate tool through which the areas of improvements and core competencies can be evaluated. The following discussion will show my strength which will help me in performing the role of digital lead and also will highlight the various sections in which I need to work on so that I do not find it difficult to work in the same field.

Strength –

The first and foremost important skill in which I am excellent is my ability to perform under pressure. Whenever I am given some tasks I ensure that same is completed as per the instructions given. This will help me in performing appropriately in the digital age where leader need to be effective in their operations. Thereafter the other asset I have is of being able to learn new things early and is also able to further enhance the understanding of a fresher. I comfortable with IT projects and is familiar with most of the relevant concepts which is again crucial in every digital leader.

Weaknesses –

Whenever I am given task to work with other I Found it difficult to perform to my full capacity. It is because I am not good at sharing duties and responsibilities and hence give under performance. Thereafter the other area in which I lack behind is of managing risk. As there are many risks associated with the use of digital platforms I am not able to identify them properly in advance and may face issues in resolving them once occurred.

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Section 2

Leadership Capabilities and Behaviors

Geographically dispersed teams are the one which are scattered at different locations but are working with the common objective. They take use of different mediums like email, fax, video conferencing to communicate with one another and carry out their operations. Leaders play an important role in managing such groups as they are the root with whom all the scattered employees are connected with. In order to manage such group leaders, need to be have following characteristic and behavior:

Good negotiator –

When employees work far from the employees they face many issues and sometimes there are chances of contradiction in the interest of the parties involve. In this case it is important that the leader has the negation power so that the best solution which is suitable for the organization is taken. This help in maintaining continuity in the work process and avoid conflicts (Youssef and Luthans, 2012).

Effective communication –

As the employees are working from separate locations it is important that the information and relevant message which needs to be conveyed to the work force is done appropriately so that the meaning of the content communicated do not change. The receiver should be clear with the message so that deviations in results are not found.

While working with a brand in hospitality industry which has its different branches in distinct locations I will be required to maintain balance in the operations that are carried out at each place. I have to check that the overall polices are followed everywhere and whatever changes need to be made with the current working style are uniformly adopted in all chains. I will have to check that employees are happy with the working style as it is very important for controlling the overall turnovers. For this they need to be communicated in fix interval of time so that grievances can be resolved if any and through negotiation what best suits the company is offered to the work force (Martin, 2011).

Section 3

Business Transformation

There are many contemporary issues which are faced at the work place like problems related to globalization, dynamic work force, requirement of quick decision making etc. The most common problem which come across is of continuous change in technology. Due to excessive demand of the hospitality companies by the customer’s improvements in the same are made so that ever time clients are provided with better services. It creates pressure on the work force to learn fresh applications and IT techniques to cope up with the latest trends. It is important that this issue is resolved or handled effectively so that the company do not face any loss of potential business (Aral, Dellarocas and Godes, 2013). Digital technical leadership assist in handling this issue to a great extent and facilitates with the following measures through which the overall business transformation and performance can be enhanced –

Develop Culture of change –

Employees in order to avoid the extra efforts which are required for the adoption of new method of working show resistance to change. It is a very common tendency and act as a most crucial milestone for leaders to cross. Here the digital technical leadership will assist in resolving the problems associated with the continuous updating of applications. Leaders may create a competitive environment where the work force like to take the challenges and do not step back from trying something new which is better.

Facilitating training and learning programs –

In order to accept the change, it is most important that proper time and training is given to the work force so that they can perform accordingly. Leaders under their guidance can teach how to work with the new system and can also aid employees in case if they find any difficulty while working with the digital platforms even after the training session is completed. This will motivate them to be adaptive and will reduce the overall pressure from the work place.

Employee engagement –

Employees feel motivated when engaged in the decision making. Therefore, before adopting any new technique if it is discussed with employees who will be affecting by it will reduce the overall problems associated with change (Kuester and et.al., 2010).

Conclusion

From the above report this has been concluded that digital age has brought much change in the working style of the enterprises. It has facilitated hospitality industry with better services and effective management techniques. In order to ensure he overall growth of the firm it is important that leaders remain updated with the digitalization as this way they can do better leadership and can enhance the working capacity of employees. There are different issues which are faced in the organizations and same can be resolved using the leadership as this is an effective measure through which the working can be improved and overall objectives of the enterprise can be attained.

References

  • Conger, J., 2015. Charismatic leadership. Wiley encyclopedia of management, pp.1-2.
  • Kowalski, R.M. and Giumetti, G.W., 2017. Bullying in the digital age. In Cybercrime and its victims (pp. 167-186). Routledge.
  • Goldie, J.G.S., 2016. Connectivism: A knowledge learning theory for the digital age?. Medical teacher. 38(10). pp.1064-1069.
  • Gee, J.P. and Hayes, E.R., 2011. Language and learning in the digital age. Routledge.
  • Mayer-Schönberger, V., 2011. Delete: The virtue of forgetting in the digital age. Princeton University Press.
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