Principles of Leadership in the Digital Age (Part 1)

Principles of Leadership in the Digital Age (Part 1)

By Geoff De Weaver, CEO + Founder of Touchpoint Entertainment Inc .https://geoffdeweaver.com/

 

Over the last 25+ years, I’ve learned many lessons about leadership, communications, innovation and management based on my own global experience. I have worked with other global leaders and visionaries on numerous continents and working closely and always learning.

A defining characteristic of a great leader today, is the conviction and faith, that he or she can make a positive and ongoing difference. And, can prevail even when the odds are stacked against him or her. A successful leader is not easily swayed from this self-belief. But it happens.

I have also been privileged to work with a globally diverse group of men and women, each with their own styles, vision, stories, competencies and achievements. From these experiences, I have developed my own principles of leadership, which I believe are insightful guides for leaders, innovators and trend hunters at any level in any industry.

Leadership: At the end of the day, people are loyal to a leader they believe in. Leading is not managing. Although it is impossible to lead if there is no management.

Leading is a special thing. It is charisma, it is strength, it is communication, it is vision, it is listening, it is being there, it is calm, it is connecting, it is trust, faith, and belief. The best ‘founders’ of great companies are also great leaders. They may be poor managers which means they have needed to find managers who can help them. But they are great leaders and that’s the quality we look for in these founders. If we want to follow them, we believe that others will too.

Importantly, you should never second-guess yourself on decisions you make with integrity, intelligence, and a team-first attitude. Good leadership has many important attributes including:

1. A Focus on the Customer Experience

This means they focus on the customer experience which requires putting the customer at the center of everything they do. But I define Customer Experience as the sum total of all the ‘touchpoints’ or interactions a customer has with your brand during their customer lifecycle. In fact, ‘touchpoints’ have become the critical differentiator in today’s hyper-competitive, always on, global marketplace.

When we focus on the customer experience we have to look at every ‘touchpoint’ or every stage of how the customer’s contact your organization, people, systems, and processes. If you are in the retail spaces this also includes where they shop, your products and services along with their experiences with your service reps, and their experience with billing.

All facts, benefits and figures are important but, a company or a top brand today must have an authentic, compelling presence so customers and fans can bond, trust and stay loyal. Companies such as Apple, Amazon, Zappos, Facebook and GoPro, all have their own unique story. This then becomes their biggest differentiator as well as providing the best opportunity for people to buy into your culture and values.

Today, when customers have a bad experience with a brand or company, they don’t keep it to themselves; they instantly start venting and broadcasting via their social networks. This means you won’t just lose one customer; but rather you potentially can lose hundreds thus hindering new and existing opportunities to grow your brand or business. You also lose brand value, reputation along with positive word of mouth all of which mean it becomes increasingly difficult to regain your credibility. A good leader always remembers that reputation and word of mouth recommendations are the only truly cost-effective form of advertising left.  

2. Having Passion

The most successful entrepreneurs are all passionate about what they do. Leaders in the digital age are always fascinated by building systems and networks that connect people. If you look at Facebook’s mission statement, its core hasn’t changed since inception. It states: “Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”

Whether you are a budding Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg or Marc Benioff, you need to be passionate about using technology to connect with people. Having passion gives you energy to work through difficulties. Where some people see failure, a passionate entrepreneur sees only a learning experience, a stepping stone to keep moving forward and they never give up.

3. A Purpose, Vision and Mission

Strong leadership is based on vision and a purpose; for Steve Jobs, of Apple it was to “start a revolution in the way the average person processes information.” With the successful Nordstrom family it was to “create a great experience in their stores.”

Vision is the defining characteristic of great leaders. Consider the critical role vision has played in the success of leaders such as Henry Ford, Walt Disney, Nelson Mandela, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and many others.

Bill Walsh, former Coach of the hugely success 49ers Football team stated it best when he said, “Be committed to excellence.”  He went on to say “… Prerequisites for Doing Your Job at the Highest Level of Excellence Vis-à-vis Your Actions and Attitude on Our Team… My commitment to this “product” – excellence – preceded my commitment to winning football games. At all times, in all ways, your focus must be on doing things at the highest possible level.”
And remember, great leaders and great companies create movements, not just products.

4. Lead from the front to Create Massive Momentum

A leader must lead from the front and not the sidelines. Every day you are not growing market share and driving revenue is a day someone else is taking market share and revenue away from you. A leader must focus on active demand, but even more so on latent demand. That’s how your business can create and maintain momentum. And, as Steve Jobs said:

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 10.02.22 AM

5. Good leaders are relentless with new business development

They have totally internalized the fact that new business is the life-blood of all businesses. Websites, video’s, social media, a targeted database and mobile marketing campaigns are critical today BUT… never forget to leverage Word of Mouth.

In summary:

  • The best way for you to motivate others is to be motivated yourself.
  • The fastest way to get others excited about a project is to get excited yourself.
  • The only way to get others committed to achieving a goal or a result is to be totally committed yourself.
  • The way to build loyalty to your organization is to be an example of loyalty in everything you say and do.

 

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More About Geoff De Weaver:

Geoff_DeWeaver_2015

Hailing originally from New York; Geoff De Weaver is the globally experienced entrepreneur, technology disruptor and trend hunter behind Touchpoint Entertainment Inc. Touchpoint Entertainment Inc., the ‘next-generation’ Social Media Marketing, Big Data and Live Event Company – that streams live to over 1.5 Billion fans globally. I deliver authentic brand experiences worldwide and are specialist in global branding, social business design, innovation and digital disruption. I help brands bridge the gap between CONTENT, COMMUNITY + COMMERCE.

C-Level, Marketing Strategy, Digital and Communications Leader with Global Experience – including: US (New York City + San Francisco), Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Italy, Germany, Brazil, South Korea, Columbia, Finland, Hong Kong, Mexico, Netherlands, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, China, Indonesia and Canada. Geoff has served as a non-executive director, director and advisory boards.

Geoff has a global 25-year background of representing some of the world’s most iconic worldwide brands including: Coca Cola, IBM, IMG, P&G, Microsoft, Nike, British Airways, Wells Fargo, EA Sports, MasterCard, Shutterfly.com, EA.com, E*Trade, Nestle, Air France, AT&T, VISA, Unilever, EA.com, Ferrari, American Express, P&G, Trend Micro, Acer Computers, BMW, Shutterfly.com, Mars, Pfizer, TiVo, EarthLink Internet, American Express, Telstra and others.

  • Geoff has served as a non-executive director, director and advisory boards.
  • Top 0.5% Worldwide on Twitter Globally
  • Top 1% Influencer on LinkedIn and 32+ million network on LinkedIn worldwide
  • Top 1% Most Viewed Profiles on LinkedIn (380+ million members)
  • Geoff is a Digital Pioneer, Data-Driven, Entrepreneur, Business Coach + Innovator.
  • Transformative, Innovation & Digital Disruption – CONTENT, COMMUNITY + COMMERCE

Feel free to get in touch with Geoff for further information:

You might enjoy these recent posts too: ‘Top Ten Digital, Tech, Entertainment Trends for 2015′: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/top-ten-digital-tech-entertainment-trends-2015-geoff-de-weaver

AND…. ‘Corporate Social Responsibility + Gender Equity = Paradigm Shift.’: https://geoffdeweaver.com/corporate-social-responsibility-gender-equity-paradigm-shift/ 

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