The 1-Hour Digital Leader – How to Build Your Digital Leadership Competency Model in One Hour

Digital Leader are proactive in managing change in the digital age.
Best Digital Leaders identify what needs to be done and actively move forward with an action plan; see and act on opportunities rapidly; regularly scan environment for changes that would impact their businesses.

How to Build Your Digital Leadership Competency Model in One Hour

If your company aims to become the digital leader, your company  needs to choose your leadership talents based on these five critical leadership skills:

  1. Critical Thinking
  2. Creativity
  3. Technical Savvy
  4. Business Acumen
  5. Program Management Skills

1. Critical Thinking

Displays robust analytical and problem-solving capabilities; able to absorb and work through complex issues, identify what to do and is active in communicating actions; can analyse vast amounts of information from various sources especially from search engines to make sound decisions

Measure Performance

Below Standards 

  • Quick to agree with those in authority
  • Withholds asking questions or probing for further details
  • Jumps to conclusions without gathering the necessary facts
  • Does not seek feedback or input from others
  • Slow to decide

Meets Standards

  • Demonstrates sound judgement
  • Asks tough questions
  • Accurately interprets and simplifies numerical or qualitative data
  • Flexible; shifts gears to pursue new goals
  • Makes timely decisions

Exceeds Standards

  • Demonstrates a systematic approach to gathering information
  • Develops action plans
  • Defines and communicates business steps in a simple manner
  • Grasps complexities perceives relationships among problems and/or issues that others might miss
  • Recognizes and tests assumptions
  • Works with contradictions
  • Takes responsibilities for decision making in times of uncertainty

2. Creativity

Generates constantly new business ideas; sticks to what has worked in the past, the tried and true; recognises the need for new or modified approaches; goes beyond the status quo; uses resourcefulness and combines new ideas to create new innovative business models; sees clients needs from a new perspective

Measure Performance

Below Standards

  • Does not think issues through
  • Does not consider the angles
  • Does not question the status quo
  • Does not think “outside the box”
  • Day-to-day routine in thinking
  • No big picture
  • Becomes fixated on a single strategy
  • Not willing to try and fail
  • Lacks enthusiasm

Meets Standards

  • Knows what is leading edge
  • Regularly asks the questions why, how, what if
  • Gathers information to help see the problem from a new perspective
  • Adopts new approaches

Exceeds Standards

  • Offers ideas, solutions beyond what has been done in the past
  • Foresees possibilities that are practical and attainable
  • Goes beyond the status quo
  • Thinks the unthinkable
  • Identifies what is needed at a deeper level than what has been requested
  • Expands thinking “outside the box” or outside established procedures

3. Technical Savvy

Understands enough technology to recognise opportunities and keeps up-to-date; able to communicate technical issues, e.g. artificial intelligence that affects your business.

Measure Performance

Below Standards

  • Does not recognize what could be done to solve problems
  • Cannot describe a graph
  • Overlooks details

Meets Standards

  • Detail-oriented
  • Gets the background of the situation
  • Regularly updates skills
  • Sets realistic quantitative goals and meet them

Exceeds Standards

  • Recognizes the audiences`level and speaks in understandable terms
  • Adjusts self in different situations
  • Does not skip over steps or gloss over details
  • Can articulate key performance indicators
  • Personal study to grasp implications of latest technology

4. Business Acumen

Never appoint an IT-expert as your program manager for leading your business transformation. The digital leader talent understands the bigger business picture; keeps skills up-to-date; understands the flow of your company’s business processes, including creating a solid business case; regularly monitors the landscape for identifying acquisition targets in an early stage.

Measure Performance

Below Standards

  • Does not understand business enough to set goals
  • Does not understand customers, operations and technology
  • Makes decisions without pertinent information
  • Gathers only surface data
  • Does not see potential repercussions of actions

Meets Standards

  • Knowledge of business steps in making decisions
  • Knowledge of health, safety and environmental issues
  • Knows customers and quality requirements
  • Considers long-range business outlook and trends
  • Relies on experience

Exceeds Standards

  • Understands competitors
  • Keeps up with competitors activities, strategies, strengths and weaknesses
  • Gets involved in learning various aspects of business, including safety
  • Able to spot trends before others
  • Anticipates business trends and customer needs

5. Program Management Skills

Creates a step-by-step proven process system that turns goals into sustainable cash flow rapidly; creates program strategy; schedules program and manages implementation; keeps contact with top management champion; delivers result with his team timely and cost-efficient, creates quick wins and manages the program strategically.

Measure Performance

Below Standards

  • Lets plans fall through rather than getting projects on track
  • Acts independently without discussing plans with others
  • Puts unrealistic time pressure on self and others
  • Has difficulty managing time and coordinating work
  • Avoids delegating and passing-off work to others

Meets Standards

  • Allocates own time efficiently without getting bogged down
  • Sets goals; develops strategies and schedules for meeting those goals
  • Relies on resources to meet objectives
  • Gets programs/projects done in a timely manner

Exceeds Standards

  • Maintains a balance between work and personal life to avoid burnout
  • Anticipates obstacles and defines alternative strategies
  • Displays patience
  • Allows sufficient completion time

The Performance / Potential Model to Develop Digital Leadership

RapidKnowHow can provide a complete system for analysing, choosing and developing digital leadership in your organization.

3 Steps to Develop Digital Leadership in Your Organisation Rapidly

  1. Identify High Potential Employees
    Identify your Leadership Talents Using the 5 Critical Leadership Competency Model
  2. Train Managers in Managing Digital Leadership Development
    Coach Managers on How to Apply the Leadership Competence Model and Provide Feedback to Leadership Talents
  3. Translate Digital Leadership Development into Actions
    Coach Managers How to Define Key Developmental Actions and Turn them into Results Rapidly


Josef David, MSc MBA has been a professional in the field of international business development for the last 30+ years.
He has established and grown dozens of manufacturing businesses, service initiatives and digital business models successfully.
Josef owns and manages the RapidKnowHow platform which provides a breakthrough, actionable business models and strategies for service providers who want to become leaders in their sectors in the digital age.

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