During my keynote presentations I laud the advances in technology that liberate our limiting beliefs. I tell my audiences that high tech challenges those of us who, over the years, have been too busy to study and familiarize ourselves with the new worlds that are right in front of us. We know the nomenclature but that’s about as far as it goes. I prove my point by saying that my fear arises out of an inability to reset the clock on my VCR. Good laughs at that somewhat worn cliché’.
How do we conquer these irrational yet real fears of modern advances? Many of my contemporaries accepted the challenge right away and stayed abreast of every new development that came along. I admire and envy them. But it seems like once you get two iterations behind the latest development you’re lost.
My initial attempt, 30 years ago, to stay up with the latest marvel was to buy one of the new Apple computers. I think it had a white case; not sure. How cool it was! I could do party invites and write reports with ease (hunt and peck of course). However I didn’t really embrace the full capability of this newfangled device. So it gathered dust on the shelf. I had moved into a leadership position so I relegated tasks enhanced by tech evolution to my younger charges. I respected high tech systems yet always asked my juniors to guide me in their use.
Deferring learning the newest systems and processes snowballed and I fell further and further behind the tech “curve.” The curve in aviation terms is used to graph the aerodynamic stall regime. Falling behind the curve meant you were getting closer to stalling and dropping like an autumn leaf out of the sky. Not a good thing. So being two generations behind became three, then four then five. Now it seems I will never catch up. Fortunately new advances have incredible user friendliness that makes us “dinos” much more capable than we ever thought we could be. For me the iPhone is a good example of technology coming out of the shadows to serve as a tool even the least tech savvy leader can use. Of course the realm of much more advanced tools is vast.
I am filled with gratitude to those who have created these incredible opportunities for increasing our productivity and efficiency. Modern leaders are certainly well equipped. Leadership though is more than the employment of high tech skills. Understanding what motivates those we nurture and lead is crucial. Combine your emotional intelligence with modern technology and you will find true GFL. Afterburners, ready, now!