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Updated: Jul 26, 2022

We live in the exponential or industry 4.0 era. It is the era of the technological revolution, in which the impact of solutions developed by modern organizations is at least 10 times greater than that of services and products of traditional competition. This is due to the use of new organizational technologies and disruptive innovation.

Leaders need to adapt to the new scenario, new technologies and management models, to lead the company to success in the exponential era. Leaders in the VUCA world - volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous - need to understand that their role is no longer simply to prepare, command and delegate tasks to their teams. The key today is that the leader is a facilitator of change.

Their role is to influence those they lead to think ahead of their time, anticipating trends and creating their own solutions instead of following traditional and pre-existing processes that can lose their relevance at any time.

The pandemic revealed the construction of the BANI world: Brittle (fragile), Anxious (anxious), Nonlinear (non-linear) and Incomprehensible (incomprehensible). And leaders need to open their eyes to the immediate changes in society and quickly find the corresponding factors to restore balance.

Being prepared to lead the transformations that have taken place in the world requires development and, above all, self-knowledge. Leading in the exponential age is to face this world in rapid and constant transformation, where new skills and attitudes are required all the time, to make decisions and change course quickly, without harming results.

And how to become an Exponential Leader? The pillars of exponential leadership require some skills that allow the leader to successfully interact in this changing scenario. There are 4 fundamental roles that the exponential leader needs to master and understand how to integrate them in a way that one influences the other in a positive way.

1nd Futuristic: He's always one step ahead. This happens because it keeps up to date on new concepts and trends related to its market. Analyzing data and designing new scenarios in order to prepare in advance and go beyond trends are some of the skills of the futuristic leader. By knowing information analysis tools, seeing other possibilities, exploring what is unknown, he is better prepared to deal with new situations, since he has already anticipated them.

2nd Innovative: he knows how to use all the resources at his disposal with great skill and creativity. He can understand the need for more interesting communication in order to extract and collect insights, creating alternative possibilities inside and outside organizations. He has a growth mindset and is always working on solutions and ideas to overcome obstacles.

3nd Inspiring: he assumes his responsibility in the lives of the people he leads and interacts with, in addition to having a clear vision that success is greater when it is achieved together with the team. It creates alliances and coalitions, is assertive in communication, transparent and consistent. He gives meaning to what the team does, he is attentive to changes, he does not fear the future, on the contrary, he embraces it along with all the benefits that technology brings. And it stimulates collective intelligence at all levels and areas, without losing human bias.

4nd Humanitarian: he is attentive to socio-environmental and governance issues, understanding that every organization generates impacts through its actions. The question is how many of these impacts are positive or negative and how to propose innovations that contribute to minimize the negative impacts.

In short, an Exponential Leader is a Protagonist, not a mere spectator of events. He is the transforming factor of himself and everything around him. Because he is in charge, seeks to be better and better and takes his team with him!

The skills of the exponential leader are a more assertive way for managers and entrepreneurs to build a more inclusive and sustainable future. And how to apply them in the day to day of your business?

• take the time to listen to suggestions from employees and customers; • avoid fear of new processes;

• expand your mind to new insights and scenarios; • have transparent communication with your team;

• recognize positive efforts;

• invest in tools to optimize demands;

• encourage new solution options;

• encourage a sense of ownership in employees;

• offer capacity building and training, often linked to future goals;

• maintain interest in the company's achievements and activities;

• keep looking for learning.

So, do you already know what the next steps will be for your growth and management in the quest to become an Exponential Leader?

Édila Souza is Executive Educator and Columnist for Gente Mais.

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