Social Media Liberates and Amplifies. Do you Feel Like Liberating?

Infographic on how Social Media are being used...
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Social media is authenticity with a liberating microphone ready to amplify if we use its power for good.

I would encourage leaders to look at the implications of social media more broadly than just marketing and fads.  It really is a liberating tool to express the feelings and thoughts we have about people, companies and corporate culture, communities and leaders in broad and sweeping ways. Soon we will freely see people talking about their company culture, the treatment of its people and how closely the company brand aligns with their corporate reality.  We can use this contagion as a tool to promote not only what we are but what we aspire to be.  I would encourage leaders to be real on who they are, be bold and state what they aspire to be, work every day to create a magnetic culture, own up when mistakes happen and be visionary and create a world of possibilities.  Now that is authenticity and authenticity is the source code and content for what appears in social media.

So to the world out there on this microphone I would say…I am a leader in the making…every day growing, learning from lessons and wishing I would hurry up and live up to the image I have of great leadership.

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Be Successful in 2020? Expect to be a Writer, a Mentor and always a Futurist

CaptureWant to succeed in business?  By 2020, I predict we are all going to be measured, in some degree, by how much we share our knowledge with others in personal and written form, how many people we help in their business life and how we educate and empower.  I predict:

1)  Professor’s transition from lecturers to facilitators of the geniuses of their students.  Professors knowledge and ability to research will be more critical than ever, however research life cycles will shorten dramatically.  Research will come from the students so having the right population will be key.  Selection of a course will move from a class topic to an end result both for the student and the professor.

2)  Class cost will vary on who is taking the course with you.  The more experienced the students the more they have to bring to the table.  Therefore for younger less experienced students that want the inside information, they will have to pay a premium.  Conversely, those with advanced experience will pay less and be given special benefits such access to mentor and supporter opportunities of less experienced individuals.  Classes that are 100% lecture oriented will be migrated to a free service.  One-way communication of topics will be helpful to learn the history or fundamentals in order to participate in conversational learning.

3)  Business leadership will include not only the ability to influence, to lead and create value and vision but it will also include the ability to create a legacy for themselves which will include who they have mentored, supported, advocated and promoted.  A new question will be “how many people have you developed and promoted?”

4)  Corporate education, training and corporate universities will be part of the portfolio of “must haves” to compete for top talent.  Curriculum will be more advanced than general topics and the frequency similar to strategy meetings.  New candidates will ask to see the Company’s curriculum and understand the education strategy and tactics before they make a decision.

5)  Leaders in business will be expected to write articles, be thought leaders in their space, and help others through creative content.  Leaders will be judged on how freely they share their knowledge and how they empower others.

6)  Online education will be social and collaborative affecting almost all of our human senses.  Online tools will include movie elements such as music, suspense, mystery, love, action and sadness.  The duration will be in the form of short film and the style will be interactive.

7)  Lines will be completed blurred between education and entertainment.  People’s awards such as Emmy, People’s Choice, and new awards will be given to companies, universities and people who produce award winning “edutainment” content that is impactful.

So what do you do today if this is the future?  Start moving your thinking, your leadership and your company in this direction. Be a Writer, a Mentor and a Futurist if you want to be successful.  People like pioneers who see it first, go there first and bring others with them.

Your thoughts matter, what do you think?

There is Truth to Both Sides of Every Story

Truth or Consequences

There is truth to both sides of every story…every time.  In the business environment, look for the truth to the other side of issue, the story, or the problem.  When the two views are complete opposites, try to find the truth that you can live with or the truth that may be hard to swallow.  Either way, know that in order to truly move forward empathy and understanding are necessities.

Also, understand that compromise is about leaving some goodwill on the table, creating a solution that works for both, and seeing and hearing the other side of an issue.  When people believe their truth has been heard and understood, then real work on a solution is possible and people are more flexible because they were heard.

And finally know it is ok to admit fault and keep moving forward.  Leaders that admitted when they were wrong won more influence because they acknowledged it.  JFK and the Bay of Pigs is my constant reminder of this notion.

Understand there is truth to both sides of every issue, story, or problem.  Look from the other side and see their truth.  The old saying “the truth will set you free” could not be more fitting.

Seeing their truth, even partially, will set you and the issue free.

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People Take Care of People…Period.

Thanks to Social Media, we are seeing just how communal and supportive people are to one another.  Our most basic needs to be socially and emotionally connected are being met in a broad and sweeping way.  It is an amazing new frontier we are experiencing and the business world is catching on in droves.  You have heard the saying “our employees are our most important resource”, yet not as many employees felt that way.  Thankfully, the tides are starting to change…ahh….how good it is and what a glorious change it will be when fully realized.

People ARE the most important resource, people ARE the most important asset, and people ARE the most important gift you will ever get in life.  They are the like water, and air to us…we cannot live without their connection.  Why…because people take care of people….period.

As a leader of an organization, rethink the paradigm.  Your employees should be first in the care chain.  When you take care of your employees first, they will see your customer as their customer and take care of them accordingly.  People will do more when they are in love and they will be naturally inspired to make a difference with others.  When your employees take care of the customers, they will show their love, care and support in return and take care of your business and your shareholders/owners.

Rethink the Paradigm:  Employees then Customers then Shareholders.  Your organizations may be successful but you won’t know just how much you are leaving on the table until you realize this paradigm.

As the leader of You, take care of yourself first.  Fully love yourself first and then you may love and help others.  When you love yourself fully you expect more, learn and grow more, and give and care more.  Caring and giving more are the best things you can do for yourself, others and your company.  Finding out what gifts you are meant to leave, what messages you are meant to share, and what lessons you are meant to teach are the greatest things you can do for others and your company.  When you take care of yourself and then others, it becomes a natural extension to take care of the world including its resources and peace.  Only the most self-actualized and enriched people live this way and aspire for a world of peace and possibilities.

Rethink the Paradigm.  You then Others then the World.  Are you awesome already…taking good care of your health, heart, mind, soul, family and friends, employer, leader, co-workers, community, and earth?  If you are not yet, just imagine how awesome you could be?

People take care of People.  When we understand this fully and emotionally, our new reality will be far greater than anything we could imagine.

Today’s Project:  Show kindness to yourself, to someone who has made it challenging for you in the business community (your boss, your employee, your customer) and do something earth friendly today.  It takes time to see the change so do it again tomorrow and the following day.  Know this: You are changing the direction of your life, the lives of others and the world.  Now that is Awesome!

I would like to hear from you…you matter to me.  What do you think of this interpretation of People taking care of People?  Share your comments below and share with others if you feel so inspired.

The Day You Get Promoted by Election

Imagine the Day When Your Promotion is not by your boss or what others leaders have heard about you and your past performance.  Instead, you are promoted based on an election of the people you will be managing in a team environment.  They pick you based on what they thought of your past performance, previous results and accomplishments, intelligence, vision, drive, relationships with the team members, inspirational and motivational skills and your genuine interest and past successes developing others.

It is not too far in the distant future that leaders will not be selected any longer by a select group of who you know and who knows your work but rather by a communal review and election.  Everyone wants the winning team, the winning track record for success and soon it will move from the childhood line up of where some fortunate individual gets to pick the team and the selectee just hopes the right leader picks them first and they go early in the draft otherwise it tells others they weren’t their first choice.

Although the economy maybe still limping into recovery, I submit that we as leaders not be fooled and recognize our teammates are sizing up their accomplishments and options.  When the time is right and someone is ready to jump in first, we will see a shift in how we select team members.  We will move in the direction of a democracy of where we as leaders are selected based on our performance, our values, our vision of the future of the organization and our track record for success.

The same will hold true for those members being selected for a team.  The days of where folks get paid to do a job will move away and instead we will have people who are paid to deliver objectives and selection to teams are communal and by leaders AND peers.  Teams and leaders will have less and less bench-warmers and more team members who have siginificant clock time.  Teams will move to compensation on objectives and more importantly results.  Even further in the future I could see compensation of a team to be more communal and based on a meritocracy.  Imagine, your teammates and members determine your pay.  I know it is a little out there but it will happen.  There are already people talking about ways to change the management paradigm.  Check out Management Exchange, a community of like-minded leaders who are looking to change today how we manage.

Although technology and this new age of innovation in everything from consumer products to management are changing how we live and work in the world, I still see that real and meaningful connections is the secret sauce to success.  This means the teams/companies that win BIG in the marketplace will be the ones that care first.  They will care first about their teams who in turn care about the consumers.  We, as humans, are always generous to those who think of us, take care of us and show us they love us.  Consumers will be generous to teams that care about them and that will result in better results for the owners of the companies.

Who will be the owners of the companies?  I am not sure it will be the structure we have today.  Having skin in the game is an age-old life truth.  Those that are invested are more interested in the success.  Giving team members ownership interest in the team that ties directly to their short term and long-term results in a real and sizeable way is what help create the connection between the team and the results.  Loose ties through 401(k)s may still exist but they will do so more for altruistic means sake and not as a direct measure to tie to performance.  By getting those that have no real interest and steel glad ties in the success of teams/companies/objectives is part of the new world order.  Unconnected and uninterested money managers will not be part of the long-term equation.  Frankly, having more skin in the game would have made a difference and perhaps prevented the near precipitous of the recent financial crisis.  We as human have the innate ability to survive and getting the layers out of successes for a company and therefore our future, ensures those survival skills are closer to the ground and always sensing.

I am excited at all the possibilities of where we are going.  I would just encourage everyone to be ready and understand that we can’t look back at what was and wish it could be again.  We have to enjoy what is occurring today and be prepared through constant development of ourselves and our relationships and experiences so we are ready for tomorrow.

Be a Connector

In continuation of the series Keep your Business Relationship Healthy and Sustainable let’s continue the 10 things to bring to a healthy business relationship.  For today’s post, we are going out of order, as that is part of what makes for good conversations…a little twists and turns.

Be a Connector by bringing people together, building a tribe and following for good. 

In today’s world we are increasingly moving to a connected society.  Social media has brought into full view for everyone to see who you are and more importantly what your network of relationships looks like.  I have said this before, but I think it is worth repeating, for me life is all about relationship and experiences.  If you have meaningful and enriching relationships and if you create amazing and life long impressions and experiences for them, you will have a successful life.

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What is described above is not the pedestrian term of “Networking”.  This is an overused word with no real “connection” to people’s hearts, minds and souls.  What we are talking about are real connections to people that you meet for either a moment or a lifetime.  To be a Connector means making connections with many different people you come across each day.  In my mind people come into your life for one of three reasons:

1)   to give you a gift

2)   to give you a message

3)   to teach you a lesson

Look forward to making a connection with those you encounter.  You will discover we all have a basic set of needs that we are looking to have met:

1)   to be heard

2)   to be understood

3)   to be seen

Employees, who have relationships that physically span deep, wide and are far-reaching, are very attractive as they have a tribe that is deep and plentiful.  Should they have an issue that cannot be solved alone, they can call upon their tribe of common hearts, minds and souls who are eager, at varying levels, to help them.  Should they want to voice their joy over a great product, a great company, a great experience, they are there ready to listen and more importantly rely on our word of endorsement.  Should they have a great gift to give such as a tip of a job opening, a business opportunity, or a referral they are eager to help share the news with those that matter to them.  A real tribe is one to help others and if the situation arises, to be gracious and accept help.  Being attractive means have a wide and deep tribe ready and willing.

As we begin the next decade, the feeling and necessity of community will be critical to our success.  With information doubling every two years according to Moore’s law and our own human ability to become experts still taking about 10 years, according Malcolm Gladwell, we need our tribe of connections to help us be successful in the work environment.  If you haven’t started your tribe, no worries, like retirement, it is better to start now than not start at all.  Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Brazencareerist, and LinkedIn are great ways to get connected to those you already know.  As you meet people, make a connection with them and start to add those you feel comfortable with to your tribe.  Start building your tribe by saying hello, asking about the person, showing genuine interested in their lives, and most importantly listen and learn.  They have gift to give, a message to convey or a lesson to teach.  For those you make that real connection with, keep the ties and stay connected.

Employees are attractive not only because of who they are, whom they know and what they bring to the table, but also because the size and depth of their tribe speaks volumes of what type of person they are.  Building good and long standing relationships tells people that they value people and they work hard to “water their plants”.  For those employees who have wide and deep tribes, they know how to connect people and stay connected to them.  Anything worth having takes work including keeping your tribe connected.  For potential and future leaders, a deep and wide fellowship, is anecdotal to how they inspire and lead.  Recently, I was talking to a former VP of mine about the idea of measuring the health of an organization (a extremely large tribe) through an online site so that employees could see the health and real insights of a large tribe called a Company.  People would have to be real, honest and fearless.  It was an interesting conversation but sounded a little too out there for him.  Well, I just discovered glassdoor.com which is an insider’s look at a Company’s tribe, the jobs and its leader.  Glassdoor started its company just three years ago (June 11, 2008) and now has about 1 million members.  I think this concept will grow legs as people start to look closely at the tribes of different companies and ask themselves is this the company I am proud to be apart of?

Another example, and easy extension coming in the near future, is communal rating of leaders by tribal members, similar to what ratemyprofessors.com does today for professors.  Started in 1999 with now over 1 million professors and over 11 million opinions, it is quite surprising why we have not started to see leaders rated already.

As employees build their own tribe of connections, and as they give endorsements and commentary on others, my only caution to the community is to be fair in assessments and feedback.  Feedback that is constructive, respectful and growth oriented is what is needed in this new world if we are going to develop a real community of possibilities.  Anything less than mentor-like and aspirational will speak volumes of the person providing feedback and will be less than attractive.

And finally, for some, building a tribal communal feel comes from things teaching and blogging.  Connecting with readers in intimate ways is something special.  I am not talking about sharing all your inner child secrets, but rather shared experiences, shared knowledge and interest, shared feelings, shared concerns, shared opinions and most importantly shared hopes, dreams and aspirations.  As companies come courting, those who have blogs, websites and other online communities with readers, commentators, followers, supporters and constructive critics are more attractive.

As leaders, we want attractive people on our teams.  For me, I find those that help others, have a wide and large tribe of connections and those that take risks and voice their ideas, insight and knowledge are interesting…and I am interested in interesting.

Being attractive means helping others, bringing others together, and sharing ideas.  Be a Connector and you will be attractive to a whole-lotta folks.