Knowing Your Digital Leadership Is Not Enough

The famous five digital leadership styles by Gartner is a fine theory, and it does work! But we need more than that to be ahead of the curve in today’s digital era.

To cover the basics, first let’s take a look at those 5 leadership styles in a nutshell:

  • Commander: who provides the starting guidance and best approach but leaves the day-to-day work and decision making to the team. It’s best for experimentation projects with an already experienced team of digital professionals who can direct themselves.
  • Catalyst: who provides a framework or roadmap to finish the job, and gives enough inspiration, creative support, and brainstorming, but not full hands-on control. This type works best for an entrepreneurial or innovative team, especially for digital product design.
  • Coach: who gives day-to-day directions and is hands-on to monitor and guide each team member. The coach is especially good for mid-career professionals who focus on executing a ready design into a deployable product on time.
  • Collaborator: who leads by becoming a horizontally present leader who can take up a task to lighten the team’s burden while also being a role model. This approach is good for developing a less experienced team through an existing, small-scale digital project.
  • Consultants: who places himself outside the box/team while providing advice and guidance from his vast knowledge, while the operations and decision making are entirely up to the team. This style is effective for mid-level professionals with good technical skills who are modifying an existing digital initiative.

So, after reading the above, which style do you think fits you? We’re sure yours answers would be quite diverse, but we’re here to tell you that if you only picked one, it won’t be enough in this agile digital era. You need all five depending on the situation. Again the power to adapt wins. Unlike traditional leadership styles, there shouldn’t be just one fixed function that you keep playing every day to everyone.

Maybe you saw that coming? Maybe you’re thinking that’s a tall order? Admittedly yes, most likely we gravitate toward one or a few styles, depending on your current position and the company you work with. But now that you know better, a good starting point is to analyze yourself to see which styles you can already apply and which still need some work. You can also ask for feedback from your subordinates or peers to help you in this. Remember, adapting means constantly learning new things.