Monday, January 30, 2017

Leadership, inspiration

Note – I wrote this one in November 2016, clearly a followup on the Marketing and Blogging post
Thoughts of the day – What is leadership?

Leadership is bringing people together to accomplish a goal. How do you do that – inspiring people to seek that goal.  Although there may be management and administration behind a leader that results in a more efficient process, or more success at achieving the goal, that is not leadership.  Leadership again, is convincing, inspiring, and selling some idea to those you intend to lead.  So leadership and marketing have a lot in common.

So I just did a quick web search on marketing and inspiration and I have to say, they overlapped less than I expected.  Some key tidbits that stood out are:
1.       Have a clear goal
2.       Make a connection – why should your audience listen to you.
3.       Inspire trust
4.       Connect your story with other influencers
5.       Help solve a problem
6.       Interact with your audience – give feedback
7.       Take different angles
8.       Take advantage of brand loyalty
9.       Humor
10.   Stand out – innovate
11.   Give more
12.   Be confident
 Be passionate
It is easy to sell to people who want to buy, give them a reason.
You don’t have to be inspired to be inspiring… but it helps.

I recently took a class on leadership (Freudian slip, I started typing “marketing”), during that class we discussed a variety of world leaders from the last century or three, looking at successes and failures.  People like Henry Ford, Mother Theresa, Hitler and Napoleon.  It was interesting to look at these individual, not necessarily from a historic perspective, but as leaders.  They all inspired, sold a goal, and created empires of sorts.  Many of them over-extended themselves, trusted the wrong people or no one, and inspired the death of many people. 

Anyway, one of the exercises was to try to inspire people to charge the beach on D-day.  I don’t think I did a very good job, but I also didn’t have time to plan the speech and was working with minimal information.  Excuses.

Anyway, with a few minutes more I think I could have done a much better job of selling now. And with a few notes to keep me on track…well that probably would have helped too.

I am a good leader in Natural Resources and Environmental management because I have a connection to the subject.  I understand the problems, I know the players and the theories, I can sell the goal, share the solutions, and with a little time and research I can connect to almost anyone, and that means that I SHOULD be able to sell, but a little strategic planning helps.

Why? Because having a clear goal helps. Because having a game plan helps maintain your confidence.  Because having a plan helps you prepare the humor and connection.  Being confident lets you share passion for your goal. And in the end if you have a clear goal, and can inspire others to have the same goal, you are a leader.

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