I'm a geek. A tech geek. I love new technology. I sat in line for eight hours to get my hands on the second generation iPad. Am I proud? Not necessarily. But I'm pretty sure I was the first person in my subdivision and the 20th person in Kansas City to have one. Okay, maybe I am proud. I told you I was a geek. Technology allows leaders to do many great things more effectively, but, if we're not careful, it can hurt our decision making. Things like Twitter, email, and smart phones have shortened the space of acknowledging or learning of an issue and when people expect you to respond. Ten years ago if someone wanted to insult you or question your leadership they had to do it to your face. This meant telephone calls and personal meetings. Times have changed and if you spend just a few hours on Twitter you will watch high profile people take an absolute beating. In a single day I saw Dave Ramsey get called a moron and Stewart Scott told his "smart glasses" make him look dumb. Leaders rise and fall a little bit quicker than they use to it because of carbon copy emails, tweets, and scanned documents.
The really great modern leaders have learned the art of not making a decision...at least not right away. Very few leadership decisions require an immediate response. Every BIG leadership decision should always be processed through the core values of the individual and the core values of the organization. Almost always, an immediate decision is the wrong decision. So what do great leaders know that leaders living in the urgency of the immediate don't?
1. Great modern leaders have recurring reflection- space for this is absolutely necessary or we are just moving from one immediate crises to the next.
2. Great modern leaders have trusted input- Malcom Gladwell in Outliers says that there is no such thing as a self-made man or woman. The great leaders have great people they think out loud with.
3. Great modern leaders know the right question to ask- and that question is, "How long do I have to make this decision?" Not every decision falls into the category of BIG but when they do, this is the first question a leader should ask.
Technology should enhance a leaders thought process and creativity, not diminish it.