Times Are Changing
No matter how uncertain the times are, we are all still trying to figure out ways to continue to support our customers. For many, this is an opportunity to revamp and optimize your current marketing and business systems. Some even call it a silver lining!
Your marketing efforts should be pivoting right alongside your business operations. You may be focused on moving your operations to the digital space, keeping your customers updated and informed, growing your audience, and figuring out how to get ahead and stay ahead of your competition. You aren’t changing what you are doing, but you are shifting your message and discovering how to position your offers in a way that is relevant to the current situation.
Calling All Leaders
This is also the time when your clients/patients need the most support. They need certainty and guidance, and there are a number of ways you can offer that:
- You can coach your clients on the exact same changes you have had to make.
- You can offer instruction on how to take advantage of technology and the “new” normal.
- You can fill the gaps on missing information to aid them in shifting their own message.
Your task right now is to figure out the problems your clients are dealing with and solve those problems.
Our Top 5 Strategies to Becoming an Effective Leader
- Always Be Learning: Study what is going on in your area and industry. Pay attention to those who are at the top of your field. See what works for them. Check out Simon Sinek’s discussion on how leaders are constantly in a learning process.
- Share Your Knowledge: Become an expert in your field, get involved in your industry’s community, and showcase your expertise. Knowledge sharing with your team is key to building trust and increasing performance. This thesis is a bit dated now but still a relevant and interesting read.
- Be Open-Minded: Your team is on the front line and they may have some good ideas. Be open to trying new things and listen to your team’s (and client’s!) feedback and input. This article talks about ways you can be more receptive to new ideas.
- Communication: Clear, effective communication is a key trait in leaders. Keep your team and customers updated about their projects and about your overall vision. Here are five tips for learning how to communicate like a leader.
- Lead With Passion: Energy is contagious, and when you are passionate about your mission, your team and customers will be as well. The best leaders are those who inspire others.
Top Book Recommendations for Leaders
The idea is simple: You don’t have to choose between being a pushover and a jerk. Using Radical Candor – avoiding the perils of Obnoxious Aggression, Manipulative Insincerity, and Ruinous Empathy – you can be kind and clear at the same time.
Kim Scott was a highly successful leader at Google before decamping to Apple, where she developed and taught a management class. Since the original publication of Radical Candor in 2017, Scott has earned international fame with her vital approach to effective leadership and co-founded the Radical Candor executive education company, which helps companies put the book’s philosophy into practice.
Radical Candor is about caring personally and challenging directly, about soliciting criticism to improve your leadership and also providing guidance that helps others grow. It focuses on praise but doesn’t shy away from criticism – to help you love your work and the people you work with.
In 1975, Ray Dalio founded an investment firm, Bridgewater Associates, out of his two-bedroom apartment in New York City. Forty years later, Bridgewater has made more money for its clients than any other hedge fund in history and has grown into the fifth most important private company in the United States, according to Fortune magazine. Dalio himself has been named to Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Along the way, Dalio discovered a set of unique principles that have led to Bridgewater’s exceptionally effective culture, which he describes as “an idea meritocracy that strives to achieve meaningful work and meaningful relationships through radical transparency”. It is these principles, and not anything special about Dalio – who grew up an ordinary kid in a middle-class Long Island neighborhood – that he believes are the reason behind his success.
In Principles, Dalio shares what he’s learned over the course of his remarkable career. He argues that life, management, economics, and investing can all be systemized into rules and understood like machines. The book’s hundreds of practical lessons, which are built around his cornerstones of “radical truth” and “radical transparency”, include Dalio laying out the most effective ways for individuals and organizations to make decisions, approach challenges, and build strong teams. He also describes the innovative tools the firm uses to bring an idea meritocracy to life, such as creating “baseball cards” for all employees that distill their strengths and weaknesses and employing computerized decision-making systems to make believability-weighted decisions. While the book brims with novel ideas for organizations and institutions, Principles also offers a clear, straightforward approach to decision making that Dalio believes anyone can apply, no matter what they’re seeking to achieve.
Have you ever found yourself stretched too thin? Do you simultaneously feel overworked and underutilized? Are you often busy but not productive? Do you feel like your time is constantly being hijacked by other people’s agendas? If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is the Way of the Essentialist. The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done. It is not a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.
By forcing us to apply a more selective criteria for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy – instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us. Essentialism is not one more thing – it’s a whole new way of doing everything. It’s about doing less, but better, in every area of our lives. Essentialism is a movement whose time has come.
Leadership is not about titles, status, and wielding power. A leader is anyone who takes responsibility for recognizing the potential in people and ideas and has the courage to develop that potential.
When we dare to lead, we don’t pretend to have the right answers; we stay curious and ask the right questions. We don’t see power as finite and hoard it; we know that power becomes infinite when we share it with others. We don’t avoid difficult conversations and situations; we lean into vulnerability when it’s necessary to do good work.
But daring leadership in a culture that’s defined by scarcity, fear, and uncertainty requires skill-building around traits that are deeply and uniquely human. The irony is that we’re choosing not to invest in developing the hearts and minds of leaders at the exact same time as we’re scrambling to figure out what we have to offer that machines and AI can’t do better and faster. What can we do better? Empathy, connection, and courage, to start.
The 4 Disciplines of Execution provides a simple, proven formula for achieving the goals that every individual or organization needs to reach. From Marriott to the U.S. Navy, Covey and his team have worked with more than 200,000 people in hundreds of organizations to improve performance, identifying and honing four secrets of perfect execution: Focus on the Wildly Important; Act on the Lead Measures; Keep a Compelling Scoreboard; and Create a Cadence of Accountability. By allowing teams to separate those urgent tasks that demand attention merely to keep a company alive – called the “whirlwind” – from new, “wildly important” goals that promise to break new ground, these disciplines empower leaders to accomplish what is by far the most difficult aspect of creating results: executing a strategy that requires a change in behavior. Simply put, this is a work that no business, however small or large, can afford to pass up.
Personally, I haven’t read any of these, but they were great listens!