Two topics are dominating my exchanges with business leaders in recent months: attention deficit and disruption. “I feel I am all over the place.” “I am having a hard time focusing on larger projects.” “How is my industry going to look like in two years?” “What innovation will impact my role next?” Statements and questions such as these are what I have been hearing as of late.
In an era of exponential change and communication, executives are challenged to be ahead of a moving curve. They must train their minds to be “disruption ready” and develop leadership skills that include endurance, innovation, and ethics.
Ask yourself if you can control your physical and mental performance. How are you managing your most valuable resources: yourself and your time? Successful professionals are developing new productivity habits, making time for their mental and bodily health, and learning how to better prioritize and delegate. I have seen some adopt small changes to increase focus, such as putting their phones or airplane mode during meetings or creative time. I have also witnessed executives seriously committing to sports, like running marathons and participating in triathlons, or engaging in yoga and meditation. In disruptive times, endurance is what keeps you in the game.
Even if your current work is not directly related to buzzwords like artificial intelligence, digital transformation, blockchain and machine learning, your career will soon be affected by it. Leaders in all industries are being challenged to rewire their brains for exponential change, constant learning, and creative thinking. Some companies are starting to adopt a “growth mindset” culture, rewarding employees for embracing risk and motivating managers to create change. How can you make innovation part of your work day? What are you doing to break the mold?
Advancements in genetics engineering, virtual reality, and other futurist fields pose big ethical questions. Ethical behavior should be the foundation to any business, and disruption creates challenges in this space. You have to prepare yourself to look at opportunities with a moral compass. What if you are creating the next big, disruptive idea, but it will have negative implications on human behaviour or our planet ecosystem? How can you develop your team to look at disruptive ideas with strong ethical optics?
Disruption-ready leaders are executives who have learned to create change. They understand that a solid leadership foundation includes the ability to endure and to innovate, as well as a regard for ethical practices in the workplace. Those who have mastered these three skills are well-equipped for present and future global shifts that impact, and will continue to impact, businesses and sectors worldwide.
Leticia Hartmann is a Certified Executive Coach and Founder at Exploritat.