“Leaders are now being held accountable for their actions, digital requires us to be more transparent, more real, more human than ever before.”
So what are the characteristics of this new digital Leader:
Passion is the fuel that makes people believe, it makes others want to help you, it gives people a cause & belief that will create ambassadors and evangelists! Leaders must share that passion and focus that passion on the customer’s experiences!
Great leaders understand the importance of hiring and surrounding themselves with people smarter and better than themselves. In this digital world that often means promoting and empowering others personal brands so much that they leave to do bigger and better things… This is a scary thought but if you want to surround yourself with the best you have to give the best a reason to be on your team.
Social is filled and polluted with Self Promotion & message blasting personalities but thankfully for us we have the ability to unfollow them, mute them and in other words turn them off. We must give, give some more and then give some more before asking for anything in social. The best way to do this is to promote and cheer on others. Create relationships with people that share a similar vision. Focus on solving a problem for your customers and creating great experiences!
The Leaders message, marketing and vision are no longer controlled and delivered through ads and press releases rather its conveyed by every engagement, interaction and conversation had with any employee or customer of that Leaders company. With that in mind the Leader must convey
Todays consumer now more than ever is educated and connected and grabbing their attention is becoming harder and harder. For Leaders it is no longer about sharing their story or company story with the board members its about creating content, giving a Ted talk, relating and humanizing your brand, your story, so consumers will care enough to give you their attention.
Authenticity, loyalty, respect are goals leaders strive to deliver each day. Today Leaders can’t hide in offices or isolate themselves from the company, rather they must find ways to relate and show vulnerability to connect with the consumer. Transparency eliminates the barrier many consumers already have for brands, leaders and Leaders by changing the conversation from “we don’t trust them” to “They have nothing to hide so why wouldn’t we trust them.”
Leaders have been embracing the idea of feedback and data more of recent times but that is longer cutting it. In todays real-time, data-driven world the Leader must be able to predict outcomes and trends by communicating and engaging with the community and social employees they are trying to keep happy.
Technology and software are changing the way we communicate in exciting new ways but as we all know so well certain methods of communication like email have nuances and limitations that don’t exist with normal face-to-face interactions. For the Leader they need to focus less on the tools & software and more on the Human-to-Human Relationships of employees, customers and the industry. It is amazing how inspiring and motivating it can be for an employee to get a tweet or comment from the Leader on social media.
Leaders can no longer hide from bad news or security breaches they must take these things head on while conveying to their employees and customers an outcome that is positive. I am not saying every Leader must forecast numbers for the next quarter based on optimism rather the Leader be the face of optimism for the brand so the social employees and customer evangelists continue believing.
Agility! A personal favorite as I believe to disrupt the status quo, be innovative and change the world you not only have to embrace change but you must have the ability to teach others how and why to change. Today’s Leader must have an agile way of adapting their business model, strategy and vision to stay one step ahead of the changing world around us.
Ok this one might get some people shaking their heads because we know that Steve Jobs a personal idol of mine wasn’t happy everyday and in many ways was a jerk to many people. But in today’s connected, community and culture focused companies Leaders must understand that Happiness is what this generation measures as being successful not just job title and salary. Therefore the Leader must create and lead a culture that increases happiness of the employees and leadership so they convey that same happiness to the customers. Leaders that embrace happiness are driving change, like Buffer a company who is breaking the mold of what it means to be a transparent company has the motto: “Powered by Happiness” (See my LinkedIn post: “Why your Startup, must be powered by Happiness”)
When you think of the great leaders of today and the ones that are driving change try to count how many of these characteristics they have!