The rise of the Digital Leader

Screenshot 2015-02-23 10.00.52The worldwide reality is that only about 13% of the workforce is actively engaged, while the rest are just at work, doing what they need to be doing, so they don’t get their arses fired! A few of the workforce are also actively disengaged and this means they are at work to see how they can bring the organisation to it’s knees and this could be for many reasons. Perhaps they were unfairly treated, harassed by a senior employee or they have been bribed by the competitors to divulge strategic information.

Enter the Digital Leader … What on earth is a Digital Leader?

A digital leader is a person who is connected and realises that they have a personal responsibility to represent themselves as a brand (personal branding). This example of representing yourself is the way you will influence others. If you can be consistent at representing yourself you will be successful and ultimately your organisation will see you as valuable and allow you to represent them (strong brands are made up of strong personal brands).

This happens when you personally use the ‘ORS* – Open, Random and Supportive’ networking communication style as opposed to the institutional ‘CSC – Closed, Selective and Controlling’ – we’ll tell someone else what to say style.

I don’t need to explain the negative ‘CSC’ and will rather focus on how leaders can be more pro-active using ‘ORS – Open, Random and Supportive’.


Remember the old ‘open door policy’? DO you communicate in such a way that others will gladly engage with you or are you so academic and opinionated that others feel intimidated by you, if you not getting interaction and no one is telling you this and you not getting any criticism it may just be time to ask those closest to you, ask your partner if you have allowed them to be honest with you in the past. If you have never allowed them to be honest with you, then that is a clear indicator that you need help.

This approach to open communication is about listening more than it is talking, you need to listen to understand. Look for the possibilities of seeing the strengths in others and allowing them to say what they need to say. You will be amazed at how quickly people become engaged when you release your need to be heard.


Allow people to express themselves and remember everyone has 5 primal needs: Discovery, Directions, Disruption, Distraction and Declaration. They will say what they want and need to say if you give them the platform to do this. If your leadership style does not recognise people and what they need to say, you may need to rapidly unlearn some of your bad habits.

Release your need to micromanage people, micromanagement is for products not people. You will find innovation lives in this randomness, the expression and collaboration that comes through this will amaze you.


Your need to control things comes from the processes and your beliefs about how things should be. As mentioned you can use all your micromanagement skills on whatever it is you are producing, but support your people and you will probably find that you won’t have to do so much micromanaging after all.

In this world of ‘ORS’ you will find that people have a need to be in community with each other and this needs brings them closer, once they are closer they tend to regulate themselves as ‘no one wants to let the team down’.

You will find that you have more time to do the things you wanted to do. As a leader you need time to dream and visualise and get a clear focus of where you are taking your team of followers.

Have a wonderful Open, Random and Supportive Day.

* the ORS and CSC are phrases that @ThomasPower uses regularly. 

About RichSimmondsZA

Retired but still Disruptive
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1 Response to The rise of the Digital Leader

  1. Pingback: Top 20 of 500 Blog Posts | RichSimmonds

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