October 18, 2017

3 ways technology can improve your leadership

We've all heard that automation is putting jobs at risk. With a McKinsey & Company report released earlier in 2017 finding that 30 per cent of tasks in 60 per cent of occupations could be computerised, robots pose a significant challenge in many workplaces. However, technology doesn't have to be the enemy. There are plenty of ways it can actually improve your ability to do your job. How can technology enhance your leadership skills?

1) Use data

Data analytics is mentioned so much in the news it's almost become a buzzword, but it's not all that complicated – it's actually a great way to track your performance, as well as your employees' and your company's.

Developing a way of monitoring your team's performance in real time will mean you'll quickly be able to pick up when a staff member is beginning to struggle, and find out what you can do to help before it spirals out of control. Just make sure it's clear that you're using analytics to see where you can help your employees, rather than where you can reproach them.

There are plenty of ways technology can help leaders.There are plenty of ways technology can help leaders.

Another great way to use technology is introducing peer review. This allows employees to rate each other online and comment on how well they're doing, adding a human element to performance reviews. You can introduce this for your employees, but also consider having them rate your own leadership to help you find areas where you yourself can improve.

Having access to real time data on how your company is performing is also a great way to find any issues, and introduce initiatives to your board that are grounded in statistics.

2) Use social media to promote your leadership brand

Having a memorable leadership brand is increasingly seen as as integral part of strong management. It allows you to capture people's attention – whether these be your employees, potential customers or even future employers, you'll position yourself as an expert in your field, and someone to be trusted. This will increase engagement with your business and your leadership, leading to higher sales and better performing employees.  

While it was possible to have a leadership brand before the digital revolution, social media makes it much easier. Think about it – there are over 2 billion Facebook users, 500 million LinkedIn users, and 328 million Twitter users worldwide. If you create and share the right sort of content, think how many you could reach. 

Social media makes sharing your personal leadership brand easier than ever.Social media makes sharing your personal leadership brand easier than ever.

To do this, it's a good idea to build your own website – it's a lot easier than you might think, and is the best way to showcase your leadership brand. If you're not quite sure what your leadership brand is yet, think about what you stand for – do you care a lot about running businesses ethically, for instance? Or do you see yourself as being highly innovative? Once you've worked this out, make sure all the content you post is consistent with that. After you've posted it on your own website, share it on social media for maximum coverage.

Content can include articles that you've written on a particular topic or current event, or even videos and images. If you see other people with great thought leadership material, make sure you share theirs as well, and engage with them by writing meaningful comments. They may begin to do the same for you, and you'll soon build an online community. 

3) Online development

The best managers use their position to help others succeed; the digital revolution makes this easier than ever. Consider developing online training courses – these could be videos, podcasts or how-to content. You can release these to your employees or, if they're on broader business issues, put them on your own personal website so they reach as many people as possible. 

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