CIOs should learn to lead the 'digital cowboys'

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The co-author of a new book says younger professionals are gadget-savvy and global-minded, so they require a new leadership style

Former management consultant Pekka Viljakainen argues in his latest book, No Fear: Business Leadership in the Age of Digital Cowboys, co-written with IT consultant Mark Mueller-Eberstein, that today's senior executives don't know how to lead up-and-comers.

What Is a Digital Cowboy?

A younger professional with a more international and social outlook than the supervisor, but who's a rookie at leadership. They use technology to learn and to spread ideas. They don't think about globalization; they assume it.

Social technology is second nature to them.

There has been a lot of fuss about social media changing business processes. But the key thing for top executives all the way to CEO is to find a way of leading socially instead of being top-down leaders. Most innovations happen at the very front line, where people see clients. CIOs should develop tools for executives to sense what is going on there. Doing this, CIOs can influence what is happening at the company.

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