Michael Davis is the CEO and founder of Merek Security Solutions , a cybersecurity and security company based in Santa Fe, New Mexico .
In the past, the "midlife crisis" was often used to describe the period of doubt, instability and introspection that many people experience in their 40s and 50s. This period has often been marked by a desire to reevaluate career and life goals and make significant changes in pursuit of greater purpose and fulfillment.
However, in today's digital age, the midlife crisis may turn out to be something else for business leaders: a digital midlife alarm clock . Rather than questioning their place in the world, many business leaders are using this time to embrace new technologies and digital transformation initiatives to stay relevant, competitive, and ready for personal and professional growth.
What's Driving the Quarantine Digital Awakening Among Business Leaders? One reason is the growing importance of technology and digital skills in the modern economy. As businesses increasingly turn to online platforms and digital platforms, leaders must understand these technologies to stay competitive. This can lead to a midlife crisis mentality that can evolve into a digital midlife awakening as leaders recognize the need to adapt and use new technologies to be relevant and successful in their careers.
This change can include accepting new roles or responsibilities, acquiring new skills and knowledge, or even starting a digital business.
It is therefore essential to find a balance between digital awakening, technology and traditional leadership. Technology should be a complement, not a substitute. For example, the Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the value of tools like video conferencing and project management software for remote working. But don't forget the importance of personal contact with your team through regular meetings or meetings outside of the virtual world.
Another important aspect of finding a balance between technology and non-technology forms of leadership is realizing the potential negative impact of technology on communication and relationships. For example, excessive use of emails or text messages can often lead to misunderstandings and a lack of personal contact. To reduce these effects, it is important that leaders encourage face-to-face communication whenever possible and be aware of the use of technology to communicate with team members.
Plus, rather than questioning your place in the business world, perhaps approaching new technologies through a digital transformation lens can help you stay relevant, competitive, and ready for future growth. While technology cannot replace the value of personal coaching or executive mentoring, it can be a reliable and appropriate alternative in some situations.
With these points in mind, here are five ways technology can coach or mentor executives to help leaders navigate the digital awakening:
1. Online courses and training programs. Many online courses can help technology leaders develop their leadership skills and strategies. These programs often include video lectures, interactive training sessions, and assessments that help technology leaders learn and apply new skills.
2. Virtual Coaching and Mentoring. Many executive coaches and consultants are now offering virtual coaching and consulting services, allowing technology leaders to receive guidance and support from anywhere in the world. Virtual training and mentoring can be done via video conferencing or instant messaging, making it a convenient and flexible option for busy technical executives.
3. Mobile apps and tools. Several apps are available to help technology leaders develop leadership skills and strategies. These apps often include features such as goal setting, calendar hacking, task management, self-reflection exercises, and access to exercise resources and support.
4. Artificial intelligence and machine learning. Currently, several companies are using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to provide personalized learning and recommendations to technology leaders. These systems can analyze an organization's behavior and performance and provide personalized feedback and recommendations based on the business leader's needs and goals.
5. Motivational and mindful applications. Many apps offer motivational quotes, affirmations, and other tools to help people stay focused and motivated.
Balancing the use of technology with relying on human judgment and experience is essential to being an effective and influential business leader. While technology can be a valuable resource for developing leadership skills and strategies, it shouldn't replace seeking advice and support from a variety of sources, including personal coaching and mentoring.
Also, as technology advances rapidly, as I explained at the beginning of the article, it is important to remember that it is only a tool and not a substitute for communication and to human connection. Therefore, business leaders must always be open to learning from different sources in order to become better leaders inside and outside the office.
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