The face of business has changed. Technology has taken over or enhanced traditional ways of communication such as face-to-face interaction and mail. It isn’t necessary to wait 7 business days to hear a reply from a customer anymore. In fact, it could take less than 7 minutes through the use of a phone, email, or fax. The Board of Trustees can have a video conference when they are 6,000 miles apart from each other. However, with the benefits of technology, has fundamentals such as leadership been overlooked? Leadership used to focus around personal interaction when meetings would be held in a conference room and tasks would be accomplished by people standing side by side to each other.
Leadership is a necessary component to the success of any business or organization. Leadership says, “I care about you'; to the customer. Used correctly, technology can enhance the practice of leadership in today’s businesses and organizations. It is necessary, though, that some personal interaction remain to show people that the business is still customer oriented.
Leadership can be divided into three categories: mentoring, risk-taking, and facilitating. Although there are many attributes and characteristics of a leader, these three are the most important in today’s business and organizations. Most other skills of a leader would fall under these three categories. For example, being trustworthy and loyal would fit under the mentoring aspect. Risk-taking would include courage. Being team-motivated and having the ability to make decisions would fall under facilitating. Technology can be applied to each of these categories to enhance the business or organization’s success. No business is complete without leadership and today, leadership is not complete without technology.
What is a mentor? In Homer’s Odyssey, Mentor was the teacher of Telemachus, the son of Odyssius. But Mentor was more than a teacher. He was half-god and half-man; half-male and half-female; believable and yet unreachable. Mentor was the union of both goal and path, wisdom personified. In today’s society, the same principles apply. Mentors teach and guide others. They inspire and convey a sense of vision to the people around them. Proverbs 29:18 reads that where there is no vision, the people perish. Effective leaders do not allow this to happen. They keep the team energized until the vision is no longer a dream, but a reality. Leaders walk the talk; and this creates the trust and respect necessary to achieve the team’s purpose.