A couple of blogs ago I mentioned that there are two types of people in the world, “those who get it and those who don’t.” The same is true for leaders. Some leaders seem to always be ahead of the curve. They have a compelling vision and they know how to keep their message fresh and relevant to the current culture. Other leaders, while maybe possessing an important vision, find themselves standing on the banks as the current of culture rages by at ever-increasing speeds. Their message soon becomes irrelevant.
How do you know which category you fall into? Go to http://socialnomics.net/video/ and watch the Social Media Revolution video. If none of the networks mentioned in the video are currently being used to help you get your message across, chances are you are standing on the banks.
News flash . . . things have changed! As a leader, I can either get on board or be left behind. Those are the only two choices. If you want to have a voice in today’s culture I suggest you get on board. The following four practices are a good place to start.
1. Become a student. As a leader you should never stop learning. When it comes to technology, social networking, or any other fast-moving current in our culture, you don’t have to know everything, but you should know something. All the resources you could ever need are a few simple clicks away. Start clicking!
2. Ask other leaders. One of the best ways you can stay a step ahead is to listen to what other leaders are saying. In fact, wise leaders are always good listeners. You might start by asking a younger leader what he’s been considering. Young leaders are often on the cutting edge of the culture.
3. Don’t be afraid. Staying a step ahead is not a matter of intelligence. It is a matter of courage. Let’s face it. Most leaders have some brains. Unfortunately, they stop using them once they reach a certain level in an organization. Comments like, “That technology stuff is for the kids,” or “I don’t even know how to turn on a computer” are good indicators of fear. You have nothing to lose if you try something new.
4. Don’t be a slave to the latest and greatest. When you try something new you might find yourself tempted to become dependent upon it. Don’t! Technology as well as social networks can be huge time wasters for a leader. Don’t fall into the trap. Make them work for you instead of you becoming a slave to them. Set aside certain times each week to be linked in to the culture. But don’t hesitate to “go dark” (unplug) at other times. The key is to stay focused on your priorities.
By syncing these four practices into your leadership habits you can become a leader who stays ahead of the curve and remains relevant. Now go get started.
Randy is an author, speaker, executive coach, and the CEO of InteGREAT Leadership. He invests his time encouraging leaders around the world.