The most challenging thing about being a leader is that we cannot predict the future, determine outcomes before they happen, or be perfectly prepared for challenges. It may seem ridiculous to say, but so many of us do strive to do all of those things, which inevitably results in failure. To really succeed in business, leaders must operate with a balance of thoughtful, innovative, proactive action and a simultaneous que sera sera spirit. 

Many business leaders rely on wisdom, insight, and direction from long-held business beliefs. These aren't bad strategies. We read ancient texts to find direction for our lives. We consult those who came before us to learn from their experiences. We learn that certain strategies--like doubling down during a crisis--are non-negotiable. But there's a wave of strategic business leaders carving a new path in place of these methods--and they are significantly more effective. 

Resilient business leaders rely on technology, data, and predictive tools to guide their preparation for the future. They understand that they are leading in a time of rapid transformation. 

The digital age means best practices change overnight, sometimes within hours, and consumer attention is hard to secure but necessary for success. Resilient leaders know that they must constantly prepare for the next big thing in business, so they take heed of trends and implement technology to support the future of their businesses. Technology ensures that they aren't (or don't end up) stuck in the now. 

Strategic business leaders leverage technology to prepare for the future.

Technology has advanced so considerably in the last decade that, in some ways, it gives leaders the ability to predict the future. I'm not talking about VR or the Metaverse. I'm talking about truly practical tools that help leaders anticipate and prepare for challenges. For example, most companies rely heavily on digital technology to conduct work--so what happens when a critical component of the tech stack is down? Leaders must take a real-time, predictive approach to IT management to avoid problems caused by tech downtime. 

Digital employee experience management software exists in this space and provides self-healing systems that can identify and solve issues before they cause mass disruptions. Companies like Lakeside Software develop this type of predictive technology to help leaders understand the threats to productivity and efficiency, and respond accordingly. Preparing for the future is not simply a strategic effort. It is also incredibly practical. If leaders want to lead their companies through challenging times resiliently, they must be able to predict challenges that affect the fundamentals of work.

Strategic business leaders rely on tech to understand and adapt to changing consumer needs.

The immediacy of the internet has changed consumer spending habits, creating a whenever-we-want mentality for purchasing products and services, whether in-store or online. But our economic environment is constantly evolving, and leaders must adapt to understand and meet consumer needs. Technology can provide leaders with the data they require to identify and adjust to their prospects' and customers' desires. For example, before companies can implement new strategies and processes, they must determine which changes they should make. Forward-thinking institutions like ATB Ventures have relied on innovative, tech-driven collaborators to leverage technology and identify the problems future consumers may experience. Investing in these future-oriented initiatives keeps leaders ahead of the game and enables them to be resilient when consumer needs change.

Seeking out practical, flexible technology is a key component of a resilient leader's identity in the modern business landscape, because it means they have their finger on the pulse of the tech that serves business needs. Most leaders have the bottom line on their minds (as they should), but payment processing is an ever-changing system in the digital economy. Companies must leverage technology that prepares them for the future of business-critical processes, like getting paid. Companies like FIS understand that as new payment landscapes evolve--from biometrics, contactless payments, and QR codes to customer motivations and channel preferences--it's critical to prepare ahead of time so that they aren't caught in a crucial moment without the tools needed to support business. In fact, research from the Worldpay from FIS initiative shows that consumers are already seeking next-generation payment options. 

Leaders who rely on modern technology to support business initiatives have greater success (and increased resilience) compared to their peers who derive wisdom from age-old practices. Don't get me wrong. I would never disparage tried-and-true business practices. Wisdom is always valuable. But too many leaders are missing out on the benefits of leveraging technology as a strategic and predictive tool. They are hesitant to trust technology, and this hinders their success. Technology is the supportive tool that resilient leaders leverage to prepare for the future, and direct their companies into the next era of business.