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Lead: It’s time to disrupt!

We are living in an era of “big data” and artificial intelligence! In leadership, it gives us lessons.

AVERAGE leaders find it hard to survive in a disruptive environment and era that we live in. Leaders must have speed, agility, subtleness, efficiency and effectiveness. Disruption comes from technology, climate change, neo-pandemics and exponential information growth. Such quick change needs fast thinkers who are absorbed beyond linear thinking; these are agile leaders.

We are living in an era of “big data” and artificial intelligence! In leadership, it gives us lessons. The emerging patterns are very disruptive but important at the same time. They may destroy some jobs but create others for those people who are prepared for this time.

Some people get rewarded and others are helplessly thrown out of the ship. There is no one to blame, it is just the time which we are. I somehow consider myself very fortunate to have lived in this era.

The world is changing, and it never waits for anyone, but there are lucky ones who are found at the centre of that change. These include Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon) and Eric Yuan (founder of Zoom). It is either you are watching others work or you are a mere recipient and hopelessly  following change. The late Peter Drucker pointed it out correctly when he said this is an era of the three Cs — accelerated change, overwhelming complexity and tremendous competition. It is either you are part of the game, out of the game or beaten in the game.

Idea generation

This is a time we need transformational and trans-generational thinkers. A leader should lead in new ideas. Going to university has never been enough because we now see dropouts emerging as leaders of inventions. They carry no certificate, but their followers are innumerable. What do you have to offer? Thinking is not just a mental activity that happens with everyone, whereby thoughts, colours, images, sounds and dreams pass over our thoughts, but is being inventive. The world is controlled by ideas. What ideas are controlling you? Which ideals are you creating?

Meaningful creativity

The word creative is derived from the word “create”. It relates to the use of imagination to create something. Traditional leadership has been seen as being that of the top guy in an institute and getting the highest salary and benefits. However, the true leader is someone who can be creative or is able to motivate team players to think beyond set standards.

Disruptive innovation

Being disruptive in the general sense may look very negative, but we have seen positive disruption happening. Being disruptive stems from a hunger to see and make change happen. It is a state of being unsatisfied with the status quo and the mundane modus operandi.

Some would think it is fighting with the status quo or being fought against. Hence, the reason for seeing a threat when the “led” seems better than the “leader”.


Competition is fierce. Average performance is just as dangerous today.  Competing without the full knowledge of the secrets of the rules of the game is even more dangerous.


When change is taking place, no one can stop it. Yes, people might speak against it as a way of not wanting to embrace it. Sometimes change brings pain. Remember, when we go through problems or plights, it is not how painful it is, but who you become in the process eventually. It might be hard to bring change. People are going to talk you down. Your family is going to deny it; but keep rocking.

As you try to improve what you found, you face so much opposition. Sometimes life hits you hard. It hurts! Prosperity is never meant to be given on a silver platter. Your life is yours; you are in charge, just change. You might be down now, but that does not mean you are at your end. You are bigger than your hardships. Hardships give in to people who have the grit to grind them. What are perceived as problems to many people are challenges to be overcome in the mind and heart of a true leader.

Spot or make change-makers

As you are leading, it is very important to spot people who are ready to embrace and bring the desired change. At one point you might be the top person, but you must be willing to work with new ideas that some people bring. In the end, other people will think it is your idea. Once this happens your victory as a leader is certain.

Oftentimes leaders do not have to invent anything but should be able to appreciate the brain power that other people have and use it to the benefit of their institution.

Learn from leaders

The world is uncertain. Economies have been disrupted. Most leaders are not so sure of the next bounce of the ball.  It is time to see more, dream more and do more. It is time to disrupt!

  • *Excerpts from the book; A call to Leadership Agility by Jonah Nyoni
  • Jonah Nyoni is an author, speaker, and leadership trainer. He can be contacted on X @jonahnyoni. WhatsApp: +263 772 581 918

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