How to Lead in a Rapidly Changing World

How to Lead in a Rapidly Changing World

Unless you live under a rock, you are probably experiencing the effects of a rapidly changing world. It takes a new kind of leader to get in front of constant change. I think one of the best places to look for such a leader is within the revolutionary tech sector.

After a successful 20-year career as CEO of Cisco, John Chambersdubbed the "last of the tech lions" by the chief executive of Forrester Researchhanded the reins to Chuck Robbins two years ago.

In this new era, Cisco is positioning themselves as the global technology leader and networking visionary of tomorrow.  As each of us rides the wave of change, what can we learn? Let's take a brief look inside the mind of Cisco's newest CEO, Chuck Robbins.

Balance Shortsightedness and Foresightedness

For leaders, vision will always be the most important skill. While there is always a pull to focus on the immediate 90-day window, you must see at least three years out. 

Make Decisions Faster

Making tough decisions is not enough in this environment; decisions must be made faster than ever before. Robbins suggests that because of the speed of change you will never be able to gather all the information. Therefore, grab as many facts as you can, then act.

Communicate Frequently

It's important to be transparent. Over-communicate. If people know where you are going, they will figure out what they need to do every day to help you get there.  Robbins says:

With the pace at which things are changing in the world whether it’s the macro environment, economic environment, technology transitions—if you are going to move with speed, you are going to have to move with transparency and very frequent communication.

Embrace Failure

What about mistakes? With everything and everyone moving at breakneck speed, mistakes are bound to happen. Robbins states,

If you are not making mistakes, you are not taking enough risks.

According to Robbins, you should have enough initiatives in play that you hope something fails. This way, you know you are pushing the leading edge. He believes that Cisco is great because they believe it's okay to fail.

With new leadership comes a new brand story. Check out Cisco's rebranding campaign, "There's Never Been a Better Time":