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Leading with our Superpowers

Leading with our Superpowers
Rola Dagher, President of Cisco Canada, discusses what it takes to be a successful leader in an age of constant change and unpredictability.
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Leading with our Superpowers

Leading with our Superpowers

Rola Dagher

President Cisco Canada

July 11, 2018
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The pace of change is faster than any of us have ever witnessed it to be. Everything is moving at warp speed, but arguably, the pace of change today is the slowest we’ll ever witness it to be. The root cause of this disruption is technology. In a 2017, Gartner surveyed 400 leaders across 30 companies, and half of all CEOs surveyed expected their industries to be unrecognizably transformed by digital.  In fact, 40% of market players will be displaced in the next 5 years. 

Technology has left us in an existential turning point. To be or not to be? Rather, to disrupt or to not disrupt?   Consequently, this has put a different kind of pressure on leadership. What’s worked for us in the past as leaders will not work for us moving forward. 

For me, every life lesson has become a cornerstone for how I lead, or better yet, how I serve as a leader. Coming from a war-torn country, I quickly learned that life owes you nothing. Yes, life owes you NOTHING. Life is an empty canvas, and it’s up to you to make the most out it. So, choose the colors you love. In other words, follow your passion. And, once you’ve pinned down your passion, surround yourself with people who’ll push you to grow and be uncomfortable. Why? Because comfort and growth don’t co-exist. They simply don’t. 

That is the era we are living in today, an era of discomfort. Many have dubbed this era the 4thindustrial revolution. An era where we have to constantly reinvent ourselves, in the bad times and in the good times. An era that’s forcing us to rethink what it means to be human and how to leverage our superpowers. Innate human strengths like compassion, creativity, critical thinking, and empathy. In the age of the machine, we need to embrace these strengths and lead through them. Because, technology alone doesn’t change the world, people do. 

Leadership is all about people -  bringing the best out of our human strengths to change the world and drive transformation. Leadership is about serving our people by being Humble, Adaptable, Inspirational, Innovative and Trusting. And, I truly believe that these characteristics will define successful leadership in this ever-changing environment.

As humans, when we are most empowered, inspired, and connected we want to impact. As leaders, we have a huge responsibility to serve this purpose.  Moving away from telling people what to do, and instead helping them do what they’re most inspired to do. Leadership is a responsibility, an honor, and an action, not just a title. 

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