As digital technology and social media reshape our lives there is an unprecedented opportunity for business leaders to harness and unleash the forces of attraction and influence, but if you’re a leader adopting these technologies at your company, don’t get infatuated with all of the new tech toys.
The real opportunity lies in successfully navigating your company through the turbulent waters of change.
Never before, have people had access to so much knowledge and it’s the ubiquity of this information that has forever changed how brand preferences are formed.
This new level of information access and customer engagement requires a fundamental change in company culture and that type of transformational change must come from the top.
Employees hunger for meaning and it’s a leader’s job to help them to see it. People want to feel like they are part of something big, a movement, rather than just merely cogs in a lifeless machine. Mahatma Gandhi said it brilliantly “be the change you want to see”.
Are you driven by a cause, a purpose or a belief? Do you consistently communicate to your team why your company exists beyond sales and profits? Can you articulate a vision that excites your employees and gets customers to rally behind your brand? Do you walk the talk with a fire in your belly?
The digital age has unveiled a new climate of leadership and it’s no secret that influence is no longer controlled strictly from the top. Influence is shifting into the hands consumers and online communities. The world has flattened and the power dynamics have begun to change.
As we move into the 21st century, the most successful leaders will create relationships and networks, not hierarchies or silos. These leaders will leverage the networks to create value, build knowledge and ultimately develop advocates both inside and outside the organization.
This is an era of inspiration, inclusion and connection. All of the strategies, guiding principles and actions that we are used to are as critical to success as ever, but the greatest results will come to companies that can inspire both employees and customers to invest in the company’s underlying mission and what achieving that mission means to them as individuals.
Look, I get it, ultimately we have to deliver profit, but profit is a byproduct of serving the customers, which can only be achieved by serving the employees and your employees are starving for a sense of connection to a higher purpose. They need more than meeting this month’s sales and profit figures to get fulfilled and feel inspired.
You don’t need charisma to inspire people. You need an inspiring vision or purpose. People like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet understand this well. They’re great leaders not because they are charismatic but because they know that everyone has something within them that serves as a personal inspiration for their own level of success and satisfaction.
Great Leaders tap into that source of passion and energy unleashing the full potential of their employees driving extraordinary levels of creativity and innovation. This kind of enthusiasm spreads throughout organizations to create inspired and vibrant company cultures that attract consumers and talent alike.
Add in the right strategic value proposition and… BAM! you create an unstoppable force; one that permeates throughout all consumer touchpoints producing legions of loyal, engaged and profitable customers.
Simon Sinek author of “Start With Why” shows a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership that starts with the question “Why?” He says “people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” He uses examples ranging from Apple to Martin Luther King; Simon demonstrates how the power of inspirational leadership motivates people to take action.
Is your company ready for the Digital Power Shift? What are you doing to prepare?