By Jas Singh
My job is meeting people.
A lot of people. In ten years as a hiring specialist I approximate I’ve met around 15,000 different people. Often having more than 12 meetings in a day. (And usually for coffee, hence the decaf only diet after 12pm).
Business is all about people. Or so the saying goes. As every executive and leader knows there is nothing – and in my opinion never will be – anything that can replace human relationships.
But technology is changing things. Fast. Now, even many of our face-to-face communications are being replaced with screens, handsets and mobile devices.
Take our biggest client right now for instance. I’ve been working their CEO for the last seven years and haven’t met him in person for nearly two years. Yet we speak almost daily on Skype. Or communicating with candidates – nowadays people want to see some details via email before they decide to an initial conversation. Even working with others – due to travel and working on different time zones sometimes I don’t see some of my colleagues for weeks.
For many leaders, technology is a pain. They’d rather things were as they were previously. When they were the established player. Believe it or not, I would say that most of the CEO’s I meet actually have either very little understanding, appreciation or interest in new technology. (Apart from the ones involved in the technology sector of course. And even then there are some exceptions).
They only get involved when they have to.
Usually when it’s too late.
But great leaders are different. Just like everything in life they embrace change.
They see technology not as a problem, but as and opportunity.
The best leaders I have worked with in the last ten years actually have a passion for new technologies.
Here are some reasons why great leaders love technology.
They are interested in learning
Great leaders love learning.
They are always taking every opportunity to expand their understanding and knowledge of how things work.
The reason why many organisations struggle with technology is that this passion for learning and innovation doesn’t exist at the highest level.
Take the legal industry for example. A look at most law firms’ websites will probably tell you all you need to know. And from many friends I have who are lawyers, I am reliably informed that things are even worse on the inside. They are very slow to implement new technologies and even now lots of the records and work is processed on paper.
It’s because most management at law firms only come from a law background. Unless they are very large, there is no technology function at all. There isn’t much of a passion or interest in new technology.
They’re usually buried under paperwork.
If only they got rid of the paper.
Great organisations are genuinely interested in technology.
Which stems from the leadership.
They realise technology has always existed
Technology is in some ways a buzz word.
Nowadays we see it as computers and connectivity. Twenty years ago, it meant phones and colour printers. Two hundred years ago machinery and trains. Ten thousand years ago the wheel.
Great leaders understand that technology and change are the same thing.
And change has always existed.
To succeed in life means to embrace change. To constantly strive to get better. To keep moving.
Great leaders don’t see the chips, apps and tablets as anything different.
It’s just the next inevitable wave of change.
They see technology as opportunity
Great leaders look forward. They are continuously looking to improve – to embrace new opportunities.
Perhaps there has never been a time where technology has created so much opportunity.
We can collaborate more and faster than ever before. We can make our operations more efficient and transparent than ever. We can tap new markets, new products and new customers faster in a few clicks.
Using technology the right way is a challenge. And challenges can be seen as problems or opportunities. Whichever way we see them usually determines the results we get.
Great leaders embrace change.
They embrace opportunity.
Most humans have an ingrained tendency:
The more used to something we are, the more of a hassle change becomes.
And new technology is change.
Hiring managers can gain much from those people who embrace technology.
They’ll never become outdated.
What’s your favourite technology?
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