Leadership In The Digital Age: How eLearning Is Shaping Top Managers

Top Managers In The Digital Age: eLearning's Contribution
Summary: In today’s digital world, intelligent approaches to leadership development via eLearning can help businesses thrive. Learn how to shape top managers using eLearning.

Leadership Demands In A Modern Tech-Based World

What skills and ways of thinking do top managers need to lead a tech-based company to success nowadays? Smoothly guiding a company and its employees through the digital age requires both traditional soft and hard skills from the good old days and an understanding of technology trends. Efficient leaders should be quick at organizing their teams and helping them adjust to changes in the digital novelties in their market sector. "Being a top manager and a good leader two in one means having exceptional organizational skills, ability to channel the employees’ talents into the appropriate direction, and being well-versed in technology and innovation," says Liz Pharo, the CEO of and Chair of the Board at Divorce.

Skills And Competencies Of A Top Manager

Keeping up with new technologies a company uses in daily tasks means having competency in the following fields:

  • Digital concepts and tools that are essential for the industry.
  • Marketing strategies for engaging clients online.
  • Platforms and social media for effective communication with the team and the customers.
  • Instruments for remote working and tracking the employees’ productivity.
  • Data analysis to respond to changes and develop effective strategies.

Top managers must also possess skills and abilities, such as:

  • Team leadership, including assigning tasks and motivational support.
  • Clear and concise communication.
  • Problem-solving and time-management skills.
  • Smart goal-setting and fast choice-making.
  • Adaptability to new ideas and technology, etc.

Challenges Of Leading A Team In The Digital Era

Going, and staying, digital creates a real challenge for a company trying to succeed in the present highly competitive world. Neither the old ways of managing the processes nor employees alone are enough to adapt to the digital era’s changes. These days, the top managers must be exceptional at:

  • Having (or creating) a digital vision
    They need to imagine (or plan) how their company will use technology in the future.
  • Implementing a people-centric approach
    Leaders must ensure their staff has up-to-date, relevant skills to help them adapt to working with new technology.

Both domains are equally important. It’s not enough to only know the tech side of the production or organize the working process without having a digital vision. "Having excellent interpersonal skills such as communication, empathy, and problem-solving is essential for motivating team members and building relationships both within and outside of the organization," says Angelo Ciaramello, the CEO and co-founder of The Funded Trader. Thus, top managers need to think differently and help their staff members understand and use cutting-edge tools smartly to successfully create and promote the company’s services.

The Role Of eLearning And Its Benefits In Shaping Top Managers

An organization’s economic well-being depends on its ability to adjust to changes both inside and outside, and training all staff members, including top managers, is crucial in making the company more competitive. Fast-paced changes in the digital landscape make businesses chase more innovative investments and faster results. That’s why such cost-effective ways to train employees, like eLearning, are in high demand.

Companies may choose from various eLearning tools to provide leaders with the required abilities needed to guide their teams through the challenges of today’s business world. Usually, in mid-sized or small companies, eLearning mostly means purchasing online pre-recorded courses or self-paced educational programs offered by external providers. These can be platforms like Coursera, EDX, Udemy, Harvard, and Stanford online courses. Larger companies can use Learning Management Systems (LMSs) to create their own set of educational materials. This approach has one key advantage: personalizing materials for the current company’s needs. Other undeniable benefits of using eLearning for enhancing leadership and tech skills among top managers are:

1. Engaging Visual Content

A big benefit of eLearning is that you can interact with the content. It means a person doesn’t only consume a bulk of information via reading. Instead, they also join in the discussions and enjoy various materials, like simulations, games, and interactive quizzes. This approach makes learning fun and inspires participants to keep obtaining new knowledge, develop critical and analytical thinking, and implement leadership skills in practice.

2. Convenient Assessment Of Results

Considering the specifics of eLearning, result assessment is essential for monitoring the progress and ensuring the chosen eLearning methods work well for leadership development. For instance, if you use Learning Management Systems (LMSs), they track the advancement of participants throughout the course using scores attained in quizzes, submissions of assignments, and completed modules.

3. Flexible Learning Schedule

eLearning platforms allow future leaders to proceed with training materials whenever they can. This way, they don’t have to sacrifice essential meetings or valuable working hours. The eLearning approach, e.g., by using online platforms, allows the participants to access the learning materials from almost any gadget and study when they have time. Thus, the learners can enjoy a better life-work balance and freedom to adjust their personal schedules.

4. Cost-Effectiveness

Back in the day, when there was only in-person training, companies’ expenses for educating their personnel were much higher than now. They had to pay for the travel costs when sending their employees to attend the courses or rent a conference room if they invited coaches to train the staff. These days, you only need a computer or a smartphone to access any online courses and educational resources. Electronic learning tools also come with a variety of pricing plans. Some are free to use, while others offer a yearly membership or a one-time payment for some portion of materials.

How eLearning Assists In Training Top Managers

eLearning offers future or experienced top managers accessible and adaptable training materials, improves their skills, and helps them stay up-to-date with the newest industry changes. In particular, eLearning achieves the following things:

1. Helping Managers Develop And Improve Leadership Competencies

In his speech at the Nordic Business Forum, Seth Godin, an entrepreneur and a best-selling author of business-themed books, says, "Leadership is not something you’re born with. You just decide to do it." It means that a person can learn to be an efficient leader even if they don’t have enough experience.

Among the leadership skills that eLearning can help develop are critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, effective communication, etc. A well-selected course or learning materials should provide many ways to practice and use these skills in real-life situations.

2. Closing Gaps In Skills And Technical Knowledge

These days, having only transferable soft skills is not enough to successfully manage a company. Instead, the most influential leaders possess a solid knowledge of their industry.

Of course, the top managers don’t have to be experts in their companies’ domains. In fact, experts, scientists, and tech geniuses can rarely lead a team if they lack leadership skills. As Crystal Morrison, Ph.D., said in her Ted Talks presentation, "Success in tech is not about tech. The key to success is positive, empowering leadership behaviors." However, Dr.Morrison adds that technical competence and credibility are crucial. So learning all the missing information can make a person a better leader and a top manager. And, closing the gaps is achieved via eLearning platforms and courses.

3. Giving Access To Real-World Case Studies

eLearning can provide access to real-world case studies by integrating practical examples into the learning materials. Not every online course has this feature, but the information is invaluable when they do. Case studies present real-life situations and challenges companies and top managers face in their work or industry.

Studying these real-world examples lets leaders understand how specific theoretical concepts are applied in practice, what challenges and mistakes they may entail, and allows them to learn from the experiences of others. This case approach helps future efficient leaders connect theory to real-world situations and gain insights into effective strategies.

4. Providing The Latest Insights On Business And Tech

Training using online platforms or educational programs can provide the latest relevant information on specific industry concerns and trends, helping participants enhance their knowledge and skills. These materials could include videos, webinars, online discussions, and other interactive content covering recent business and tech developments.

To obtain the latest insights, eLearning platforms, websites, and institutions must have credibility and expertise in the chosen fields. The dates of publication or updating the materials should also be around the current date/month. Real-time events like webinars organized by recognized experts are also an excellent way to stay updated.


Highly qualified and skillful leaders are the key to any company’s success and rapid development. Becoming a great leader takes time, and eLearning can help top managers grasp essential leadership concepts faster and more efficiently than traditional methods. Using eLearning tools for studying real-life examples, engaging in interactive activities, and learning the latest industry news contributes to the shaping of modern top managers and helps them bring their companies on top of the game.