The greatest mistake in modern leadership is refusing to be connected. As leaders we have too many mediums to not be connected with people. It is a blessing to develop leaders but it is a giant mistake to develop people in order to distance yourself from the people your organization or team was created to serve. Do not miss the opportunity to connect.
The challenge for most leaders is adapting to the means of connection the target audience is familiar with. But remember, these mediums or means of communication are merely a starting point. Twitter is not the relationship. Facebook is not the relationship. Instagram is not a relationship. But they are means to start a conversation.
Why would you want to make the effort to connect?
1. Connected leaders have relational equity - If you lead or want to have an impact on millennials a leader needs to be relationally involved. Connection is becoming a higher priority for millennials than pay, so if you want talent you will need to connect.
2. Connected leaders make better decisions - So many leaders have a fear of connecting over these means because of the potential lash back or an abundance of feedback. Reality is not determined by only the leaders opinion. "Reality" exists on the ground level of the work being done. The bigger the distance a leader gets from the ground level the more difficult it will be for the leader to make decisions people will get behind.
3. Connected leaders care for people well - Leaders who understand the potential "care opportunities" provided through social media will be the leaders of the next generation. But it will be those who have larger eyes to see and larger ears to hear than those who want to advertise the loudest and brag the most. You have to go looking for what people are sharing, you also have to know people well enough to identify a potential crises or struggle they are having. Knowing the context of someone's life will be the catalyst to identifying situations posted on social media where a leader can step in and care for that person in rare and unique ways.
Don't wait to have relational equity. Don't wait to make better decisions. Don't wait to care for people well. Not when we have so many tools in front of us to connect with people. Hoping everyone you lead will conform to you will create a distant, unhappy, and mistrusting culture. The sad news is this culture will not be yours to fix but it will be the leader who follows in your footsteps.