What Does it Take to Lead a Social Business?
“Management has a lot to do with answers. Leadership is a function of questions. And the first question for a leader always is: ‘Who do we intend to be?’ Not ‘What are we going to do?’” – Max DePree
We suffer from marketing myopia.
Our vision is restricted to the last line on the quarterly P&L sheet.
It’s no wonder that businesses are floundering on the social shoals.
The challenge of becoming a social business lies in finding someone to lead change in an organization.
Professor Hellicy C Ngambi writes what is required in leading change in organizations is R.A.R.E Leadership:
Responsible – Accountable – Relevant – Ethical
“Leadership must foster an environment in which there is balance between being in touch with the realities of today while developing and adapting to future challenges.”
- It is visionary leadership that is a catalyst for change,
- It is leadership that values human relations and connectivity,
- It is leadership that is inclusive and is engaging,
- It is leadership that is grounded on morals, honesty, and transparency
- It is leadership that is ethical and has integrity.”
These are also the traits of a successful social business.
Business Marketing, whether it’s Social, Content or Search is a long term process. You know what else is? Your Business.
At a dinner party earlier this week, I had a conversation with a family friend.
J.L. sits on more than twenty international corporate Boards and chairs nearly half that number. He travels frequently and negotiates directly with corporate and world political leaders on major projects. Within minutes he was voicing his observation that so few business people and government leaders have vision.
“In the boardroom, the conversation revolves around quarterly reports and shareholder demands and in government, the next election.”
This is like driving along a mountain road with your eyes focused on your hood ornament.
J.L. doesn’t have an online presence, not even a LinkedIn account. His networking is done strictly live and in person because it’s vital for getting to know who that person is and predicting how that person will react.
Another thing that pisses him off is our ever shortening attention span.
“How can you be a visionary with you head always looking down to your smartphone. I regularly have to chastise fellow board members for texting in meetings – these aren’t Millennials, they’re sixty-year olds!”
Many of us suffer from “head down syndrome”.
We’re walking into walls, into mall pools and into each other. It’s symptomatic of our desire for instant gratification.
Really? That message couldn’t wait until you’re on the other side of the street?
Most of us start our companies with a vision. Unfortunately, we get buried in the day to day management of the company and the vision collects dust on the bookshelf along with our business plan.
Companies don’t see “social” as a business priority because it’s not the model they grew up with. We’re still the very early stages of the social revolution (hadn’t heard that phrase for awhile, eh?).
We need “leaders” to help us define where we want to be so we know what to do to get there.
Thanks for dropping by. I'm the Director of Digital Marketing for Image-24.com.
My background in business includes non-profit (performing arts), restaurants and Promotions.
Having moved on from my own strategic consulting company, I now write about what interests me. So in this blog, you may read about my thoughts on marketing, health issues and business culture.
You can follow me on Twitter @rayhiltz or @image24Call