The first time I ever read about buy-in was when I read John C Maxwell's 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. The law of buy-in is this: Before someone will buy into a leaders vision they have to buy into the leader. What does it take for someone to buy into you as a leader? What tools do you have now to help you with this? I have good news! You have your good friend Twitter. You have your good friend Facebook. You have your good friend Google+. You also have a very good friend called Wordpress. The keyword for leaders in this modern age of social media is transparency. When your leadership and your organization offers transparency online you give what could be faithful tribe members exactly what they expect: information.
My initial reaction is not to be transparent. If I'm transparent as a leader and I make mistakes than how will I be measured? If I'm going to fail I'd like to prolong everyone knowing for as long as possible.
This is how I truly thought as a young leader. But is that leadership? The only way this can be seen as leadership is if I truly believe that people can only learn from my successes and not my failures. However, the problem with this type of leadership is it creates a community were failures not an option.
So here's four ideas to help you as a leader become more transparent on social media to increase buy-in from your tribe.
Share one challenge a week - Most people you lead will wonder what you do in your day. And they themselves are incredibly challenged every day by the work you have asked them to do. So what could be more powerful then sharing with them what is challenging you as their leader? By giving them access to the things that challenge you they will offer up resources from themselves to help you solve that problem. Can you believe that sharing challenges on social media can change people from followers into teammates?
Share one prayer a week - Obviously, this is for those of us who operate in spiritual leadership. Any person prays about the things that have the most value in their life or the things that feel the most out of their control. Hopefully, as a leader your prayers are reflecting what you find most valuable. Leaders of nonprofits know there is no greater resource then people. So my encouragement to spiritual leaders is to pray for people but occasionally share what you're praying specifically for people. Biblically, we know there has to be a heart check in this type of demonstration. This is not bragging about prayer but a sign of care and encouragement for people. Not for our benefit but for their benefit.
Ask a question once a month - The best kind question you can ask on social media platforms is a question that has the greatest impact on those you lead. If you have a decision coming up that affects the lives of those you lead, then ask them! The affect social media is having on our culture is that everyone expects the opportunity to give input but not everybody expects to be heard. A leader still has to make a decision based upon what's best for the movement of the team or organization but the buy-in you will receive from people will be significant when they have the ability to give input.
Show something that only you see once a month - Anyone who's moved up to a new leadership role has had their eyes opened to how much it really takes for things to progress. Leaders are required to see this sum of the parts were most team members only have the vision of a single part. When a leader demonstrates something that all too often is only in their vision it leads to grace from the rest of the team. This is how empathy works, when we are exposed to things we were not aware of for someone else we gain a whole new perspective for that person. What leader wouldn't mind having a little more grace from there tribe?
Remember, before a person buys into a leaders vision they buy in to the leader first. In this new information age lack of information leads to distrust. If you want to be a leader in the future start practicing transparency across social media channels in order to gain buy-in from your future tribe.