Principles of Leadership in the Digital Age (Part 2)

Principles of Leadership in the Digital Age (Part 2)

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

 

6. Great leaders are relentless with new business development.

All great leaders have internalized the fact that new business is the life-blood of their businesses. They understand that it must be continually and consistently nurtured. Importantly, in a Digital Age new business development must be both inbound and outbound. New Business activity must now be reflected in websites, videos, social media marketing, targeted databases and mobile marketing campaigns, all of which are absolutely critical today. However, they must never forget or neglect to leverage Word of Mouth (WOM) because in a Digital Age WOM happens a ‘warp’ speed!

In summary business development requires:

  • Getting your entire team committed to achieving corporate goals,
  • Building loyalty to your organization while being loyal yourself in everything you say and do,
  • Holding yourself and your team accountable.

7. Be authentic and tell the truth

Good leaders live in the ‘real world’. They always “Tell the truth”. It should go without saying that there is a genuine need, first, to seek the truth, and then to tell the truth to all stakeholders – including shareholders, employees, partners, vendors, and the media. Nothing brings on trouble and frustrations like listening to a colleague trying to ‘guild the lily’ by trying to ‘spin’ bad news. Make sure you have a ‘NO SPIN ZONE’ in all your communications strategies. I learned early on in my career the importance of calling a spade a spade and consistently tell the truth.

Authentic leaders do all of the following on a regular basis, they commit to excellence rather than perfection, think about others first, think bigger than self and possess a can-do-spirit. It is from their imaginations that great things are born. They dare to dream impossible dreams. Einstein perhaps said it best, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

 8. Differentiate or die

Differentiation means creating difference, non-sameness, or uniqueness in all your businesses’ functions, i.e. the customer experience, pricing, research, products and services, value proposition, and human performance (not the least during assessment and evaluation time).

Differentiation involves self-evaluation, research, brainstorming, and replacing old paradigms with new ones. It also means creating proactive services, and learning how to communicate those advantages in positioning your organization for the inevitable comparison by others.

This process requires time, research, creative thinking, honesty, and team participation. Once you start, you’ll never stop and never look back. The result will be higher individual productivity, growth of existing business, improved client retention and client satisfaction, the development of new business — and a healthier bottom line. These improvements will be immediate, obvious, and significant.

9. Build a ‘can do’ culture.

I am a strong believer in ‘Action learning’ and the axiom that “action is character” and that we come to know AND learn by doing. That’s why it is essential to first act out or model the new culture you want to nurture or create. For your ‘customer-facing employees’, especially technicians and sales people, establish a “do it now; do it right” approach in all your undertakings.

Top leaders create a “yes we can” culture so that everyone feels they can accomplish pretty much anything. They exercise the freedom to test their limits and enjoy the support of their team to achieve ambitious goals.

When employees exhibit the following attitudes, it’s a good indicator that they understand a “yes we can” culture:

  1. Try, try again. If an initiative fails, the resilient response is to make adjustments and try again. Those who combine the determination to achieve ambitious goals with an adaptable attitude tend to persevere amid adversity, fear and negativity. A willingness to say, “Let’s try another way” can drive home success and make it happen.
  2. A sense of humor.Happy people are more apt to embrace a “yes we can” approach. Their ability to laugh at themselves and spread good humor throughout the company or enterprise creates a more open environment where people can take risks, break things (and quick fix) and test new strategies.
  3. Bouncing back quickly. The key is nurturing a culture of resiliency where everyone bounces back without fretting about what’s wrong. By spotlighting their most positive contributors and praising them for learning from their mistakes, leaders lay the groundwork for long-term triumphs. I believe in always leading a hand.
  4. Openness to change. In cooperative workplaces, staffers support each other and reinforce their shared desire to get something done and make the best of change.
  5. Celebrate achievements. Most offices have some way of recognizing achievements, such as raises, bonuses, promotions or just nods of recognition. I remember working at a global Advertising Agency and when we were recognised in the media as the International Advertising Agency two years in a row – and we celebrated each win by singing the one song everyone knows – “Happy Birthday’. Few offices take the time or effort to celebrate achievements, even major ones. The more we celebrated and sang “Happy Birthday’, the more we wanted to win and celebrate. You don’t have to spend a lot of money or take a lot of time, but hosting a mini gathering makes a big impact. It helps people reap the rewards of their hard work, spend time together and feel good about the progress your business has made.

10. Focus on productivity, not schedules.

One of the best ways to facilitate productivity is to directly encourage it. Rather than setting strict schedules, timetables and rules, give your staff more flexibility to do their work as they see fit, with one caveat: the work has to get done, no matter what.

Accommodating work-from-home days, flex time, long breaks and strange working environment requests can actually enable your workers to function better and get more done — even if they’re working fewer regular hours.

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It is worth reflecting on the culture of a hugely successful organization such as Apple. It was created by simple guidelines such as those espoused by Steve Jobs. They were easy-to-understand expectations and people at every level and perhaps best defined the Apple Culture.

Changing a culture is hard work, but it’s essential to change the performance of a company or organization. Every measure needs to be considered, including: employee engagement in the business, workgroup effectiveness, customer focus, results orientation, and knowledge of and alignment with company strategy, innovation, culture, and leadership.

The word technology means “a better way of doing things.” This is easy to say, but extremely difficult to do. Making a better way of storing information, a better currency, or a better way of making friends means improving on thousands of years of human experience and is therefore extraordinarily difficult. 

11. Anticipate and shape the future

Shaping the future requires you to know customer preferences, technology trends, and societal needs and where these preferences, trends, and needs are headed. I have always adhered to the Wayne Gretzky School of management, which teaches that you win not by skating to the puck, but by skating to where the puck is going to be.

I often say anticipation is more critical today than anytime in modern history. To be successful today not only must you constantly anticipate BUT, you must constantly innovate daily too.

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12. Accept ONLY excellence

It is essential to seek high performance at every level, in every team, and in every system. It is not enough to want to be good. You need to want to be the best and have the hunger to push for excellence. When you set goals that seem impossible to achieve, you will often achieve them.

That’s what happened when President John F. Kennedy set the goal in 1961 that Americans would put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. No one knew how we would do that, but everyone from the scientists and engineers to the program managers had a clear goal – and they reached it on July 20, 1969. If you set the bar too low, people are not motivated and not excited. Stand out from the crowd and remember great businesses are driven by great customer experiences.

At all times, in all ways, your focus must be on doing things at the highest possible level. Whether it is customer service, developing customer experiences or simply lifting your goals and expectation. Be committed to excellence and practice it daily!

13, Win through Diversity

Affirmative action laws and regulations require US executives to promote diversity. But diversity is not only about laws and regulations. Diversity is also about good business – competing to win in markets that are defined by racial, ethnic, gender, and age diversity. Diversity is also about what is right – such as providing equal opportunity to everyone, to make societies stronger even as we also make our enterprises stronger.

CEOs, senior leaders, and even project managers working in countries that do not have affirmative action requirements would be well advised to develop equal opportunity imperatives to guide decision-making in employee recruitment, training, promotion, and retention.

In summary of Part 2, good leaders:

  • Do it once;
  • Do it ‘right’ for the customer;
  • Do it in an integrated way;
  • Do it at the lowest unit cost.
  • Have passion that’s contagious and,
  • Are loyal and receive loyalty from everyone you ‘touch’.

To be continued…

Stay passionate and win the day!

 

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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, trend hunter and keynote speaker behind Touchpoint Entertainment Inc. Geoff is an international business executive with 25+ years experience on five continents in the rapidly-changing media, digital, telecommunications, communications and entertainment industries.

As CEO + Founder of Touchpoint Entertainment Inc., the ‘next-generation’  Social Media Marketing, Big Data and Live Event Company – streams live to over 1.5 Billion  fans globally and delivers authentic brand experiences worldwide.  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, Weight Watchers 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….

‘Principles of Leadership in the Digital Age (Part1)’:  https://geoffdeweaver.com/principles-of-leadership-in-the-digital-age-part-1/  

 

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