Digital Leadership: Modern leadership in the digital age

The changing world of work, characterized by new technology and mobile working, has a significant impact on the requirements of a modern leadership culture.

What does “Digital Leadership” mean?

Digital leadership means leading employees with the support of technology. Managers are not only responsible for integrating the new tools into the corporate culture and into their work within the team. They are also responsible for familiarizing all employees with the new technologies. The challenge here is to introduce new digital methods and tools as authentic and efficient as possible.The challenge here is to introduce new digital methods and tools as authentic and efficient as possible.

In the study „Leadership+ – Everything different?“ 46 percent of the management saw the biggest challenge in the change of leadership culture through digitization. Because work digitally automatically means lead digitally

Six cornerstones for successful digital leadership

  • Building a digital strategy that is accessible and understandable to all
  • Creating a shared understanding of digital change
  • Actively encouraging employees and their engagement with digital innovations
  • Mastering uncertainty around new developments and dealing with a younger, digitally comprehend workforce
  • A concrete alignment of all digital measures with the common “purpose”
  • Seamless integration of digital technologies into daily work

Digital leadership and the significance for the HR department

For the HR department, digital leadership means increased digital commitment and the increased mobilization of all employees regarding the digitization project. By actively creating digital awareness and promoting digital leadership skills, HR staff act as drivers of digitization in the company.

In this context, HR development takes on the very specific task of training executives to convey digital awareness and develop digital skills. The leadership development approach to digital leadership stands on its own and can be used to complement other training models. At the same time, the digital leadership development approach is very closely linked to the digital corporate strategy, digital values and vision, as well as to the general digital HR strategy. Precisely fitting HR measures to promote digital leadership can be developed accordingly and managers can be optimally prepared for their specific tasks.

Digital competencies such as the use of digital tools, digital behavior such as professional presence on digital platforms, or hiring of new employees via digital software will thus contribute to the digital transformation of the entire company as basic digital core competencies.

The path to becoming a digital leader

  1. Recognize trends & close information gaps – increased awareness of digital topics is essential for a digital leader. In addition to the current digital opportunities on the market, the leader should also always keep an eye on the status of their own company within the industry.
  2. Courage & decisiveness – The leader must be able to define digital goals and determine measures for digital transformation and in the next step implement them in collaboration with the team.
  3. Willingness to innovate – Digital leadership also means actively driving innovation and continuously helping to shape the cultural change in the company.
  4. Tenacity and persistence – A digital leader is the driver of digital change within the team but also within the company. Constant exchange with other managers and departments as well as the recognition and implementation of optimization potential should therefore be consciously practiced.


Discover more whitepapers

HR Study 2023: How digital are HR departments?

HR Study 2023: How digital are HR departments?

Find out how the level of digitization in HR departments has changed over the last three years, who really benefits from using HR software, and the advantages of a sustainable and digitized working environment in the HR industry.

read more