Michael Davis is CEO and Founder Brand Safety Solutionsa data mindfulness and cybersecurity company based in Santa Fe, NM.
In the past, a “midlife crisis” has often been used to describe a period of doubt, insecurity and introspection that many people experience in their 40s and 50s. This period is often marked by a desire to reassess one’s career and life goals and make major changes to find greater purpose and fulfillment.
However, in today’s digital age, a midlife crisis can turn into something different for business leaders: Middle Age Digital Awakening. Rather than simply 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 causing business leaders’ midlife digital awakening? One factor is the increasing importance of technology and digital skills in today’s economy. As businesses increasingly move to online and digital platforms, leaders must understand these technologies in order to remain competitive. This can lead to a transition from a midlife crisis mindset to a midlife digital awakening, as leaders recognize the need to adapt and embrace new technologies in order to be relevant and successful in their careers.
This transition may involve taking on new roles or responsibilities, acquiring new skills and knowledge, or even starting a business using digital technology.
How to Navigate the Digital Awakening
Then to navigate the digital awakening, it is important to find a balance between technology and traditional leadership. Technology should complement, not replace. For example, the Covid-19 pandemic has shown the value of tools such as video conferencing and project management software for remote work. But don’t forget the importance of connecting with your team face-to-face, whether through regular meetings or simply checking in outside the virtual world.
Another critical aspect of finding a balance between technical and non-technical forms of leadership is being aware of the potential negative impact technology can have on communication and relationships. For example, overuse of email or text messages often leads to misunderstandings and a lack of human connection. To mitigate these effects, leaders must encourage face-to-face interactions wherever possible and be mindful of their use of technology to connect with team members.
Also, rather than simply questioning your place in the business world, perhaps embracing new technologies through the lens of digital transformation might help you stay relevant, competitive and ready for future growth. While technology cannot replace the value of face-to-face executive training or mentoring, it can be a reliable and convenient alternative in certain situations.
With these factors in mind, here are five ways technology can serve as an executive coach or mentor to guide leaders in their digital awakening:
1. Online courses and training programs: Many online courses help technology leaders develop their leadership skills and strategies. These programs often include video lectures, interactive exercises, and assessments to help technology leaders learn and practice new skills.
2. Virtual coaching and mentoring: Many executive coaches and mentors now offer virtual coaching and mentoring services, allowing technology leaders to receive guidance and support from anywhere in the world. Virtual coaching and mentoring can take place via video conferencing or instant messaging, making it a convenient and flexible option for technology leaders with busy schedules.
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 coaching resources and support.
4. Artificial intelligence and machine learning: Some companies are now using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to provide technical leaders with personalized coaching and mentoring. These systems analyze an organization’s behavior and performance and provide customized feedback and guidance based on the needs and goals of business leaders.
5. Motivational and mindfulness apps: Many apps offer inspirational quotes, affirmations and other tools to help individuals stay focused and motivated, as well as practice mindfulness and reduce stress.
Finding a balance between using technology and relying on human judgment and experience is critical to being an effective and influential business leader. While technology can be an invaluable resource for developing leadership skills and strategies, it is no substitute for seeking guidance and support from a variety of sources, including face-to-face coaching and coaching.
Also, with the rapid development of technology, it is important to remember that, as I explained earlier in the article, it is only a tool and not a substitute for human connection and communication. Therefore, business leaders should always be open to learning from various sources to become better leaders both inside and outside the office.
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