social network

Five ways social networking should change the way you lead

1. Sharing stories more often - The ability to share a picture and a story on a blog or Facebook page is so easy. A leader can tell the tribe how to get to these stories through social networks by sharing the link in status updates or tweets. Great stories spread, which means people outside of the leaders' circle of influence can also receive the information and share it. Social networks are creating what my friend Daniel referred to as "Brand Evangelists." As a leader if you begin to share the story of your organization others will keep the story going for you. 2. "I see you" - This is the biggest mistake that leaders make when it comes to social networking, they think it's about them. Leaders have a new resource to say, "I saw this happened in your life." These life experiences are meaningful enough to people they put them online for strangers to see. Leaders should be online to see what's happening in the lives of tribe members as much as they are to share information.

3. Let's party - Private parties are fun but BIG parties are even better, it's the difference between a dinner party and a super bowl victory parade. The energy is significantly different. As leaders we want a combination of private celebrations and public celebrations. Social networks allow leaders to publicly celebrate people and accomplishments.

4. A place to learn - Every day leaders can find conversations and resources to challenge themselves. If we follow the right people and seek out valuable information the opportunities to learn are never ending through social media. Every day I am linked to challenging ideas on the internet through Facebook and Twitter. These same links also help us coach our teams in areas that we may not be strong at because we can share these great places of information to others through our social media accounts.

5. Radical customer service - Eventually it will happen to you. You will be frustrated with a company or leader and you voice it on a social network. That same person, or organization, will fix the issue in your complaint because they desire to serve and are monitoring social networks. Days of sitting on hold or selecting recorded prompt options to get something fixed will soon become a rare experience. Leaders need to plan for this change.

What Chipotle knows and your organization doesn't

"Have you seen __________?" [youtube aMfSGt6rHos#p/u/1/aMfSGt6rHos]

If the video does not show up in your feed, watch it here:

Very few organizations create social media content with the intention of a tribe member saying to someone else, "Have you seen their story?"  Today, more than ever, someone can put together a quality video at little to no expense.  However, knowing how to put together great content is even more valuable than the price of the video camera you might be using or the cost of the software to edit the video.

Chipotle understands this because they have a tremendous tribe.  They empowered the tribe with a video animated for the attention of two year old.  That video almost stole the show during the Grammy's and even crashed Chipotle's website for a short time.  This is the affect social networking (information sharing) is having on our culture.  The most powerful advertising has changed from, "Do you know about our product?" to "Do you know our story?"  Chipotle gave their tribe something to tell you and to tell me.  "Have you seen the Chipotle commercial from the Grammy's?"

Watch the video again.  Did you see a burrito?  Did you see a taco?  Did you see chips and guacamole?  You won't see any of their products but you do see their story and you're even invited into it at the end.

Is this what you're doing?  Is this what your organization is doing?  If all you are trying to do on a social network medium is display your product you're failing at empowering your tribe with an invitation to the community to get involved.  We have too many products, your community doesn't need another one.  What your community wants is a better story.  Are you giving them one?  The problem is that we want the old way of using words but Chipotle knows that a animated children's video is far more powerful than written words because it allows their tribe to say, "Have you seen that video?  Let me show you."

IT'S ELECTRIC - spiritual leadership

I've been having a conversation with peers of mine around this question: 

Why does it feel like the spiritual depth of current high school people is not as deep as high school people 10 years ago?

 For those of us leading this generation spiritually I don't think we have embraced the opportunity to lead them electronically.  If we could go back ten years ago a high school kid had the space in their life outside of activities and school work to further their relationship with God.  They might see a Max Lucado book on your shelf and they follow your lead so they asked to borrow it and they begin to read it.  A dialogue was formed around content of the book and spiritual growth was a result.

But what about now?  Where is that space for high school kid today?  That space is lost to catching up on the last five episodes of the Jersey Shore and last nights episode of the Bachelor because of DVR.  Have you stopped to consider the affect DVR has had on the space that a kid used to have for spiritual exploration that led to growth?  Now add Facebook, Twitter, Hulu, Netflix, Skype, and YouTube to the mix.  

Any leader knows that complaining about this new life style is not going to change anything, plus IT'S NOT THEIR FAULT!  But what about if a leader spent a part of his/her day finding online spiritual content to place them on social networks from 5pm to 10pm.  Some people will say, "I've worked all day, I don't want to sit at a computer all night."  Just another reason why every leader should be using a social media dashboard like  HootSuite allows you to schedule posts to all your social media channels!  If you took the time to find the content you also can take five minutes to schedule them to post on Twitter and Facebook!  We have a new opportunity to put great spiritual content out there for kids to see, digest, and grow as a result.

Who else has experienced this and what are you doing about it?

Like Tina Turner sweaty and singing

Let me ask you as a leader, "What's social network got to do with it?"  You are officially welcome for having Tina Turner stuck in your head for the rest of the day.  If it wasn't me who put Tina, all sweaty and singing, in your head, it would have been it's best it came from me.


I'm not sure if you've caught on to this whole internet thing, but social networking is big.  You, as a leader, could be using these resources in several ways! Here are a couple of ways you can be #winning like Charlie Sheen using Social Networks:

1.  Publicly recognizing your people- The next generation is okay with messages over Facebook and Twitter, so why not affirm them for things they are doing right!  They look like they are #winning and you get to practice catching people doing things right. Plus, now a whole lot of people see that you are affirming a gift in someone.  Who doesn't want to be a part of that?

2.  Sharing information- This is probably the fastest way to share information with people.  Where was the first place I learned that Osama Bin Laden was shot?  Not on TV or I was on twitter and then checked Facebook.

3.  Attracting new people- Social networks might be your next big recruiting tool.  People talk...on statuses.  Time to lean into the reality that the new "word of mouth" is actually "word online."

4.  Filtering new people- The nice thing about recruiting new people from social networks is that it allows organizations to filter people.  That picture you posted of yourself two weeks ago on a drinking binge running from that police car with only one handcuff on was cool to your friends.  But that same picture just eliminated you from getting the job you wanted at the orphanage.  (Drastic example?  More than likely.)

5.  Give a glimpse-  This applies especially to the people you lead.  I have a friend who manages a lot of people over a large geographical area.  One thing he does extremely well is that he tweets what he is doing that day, where he is, and who he is with.  Brilliant!  Do you know why?  The people he leads sees how hard he is working and caring for people, they get a glimpse of what his life is like.  They know where he is and why sometimes they can't get a hold of him or why he might not be returning a call right away.  What it really says to people is how much he cares and is willing to support people.

So don't be scared of social networking.  Embrace it!  Every leader needs to be working on it or someone else will invent something and you will be so far behind we will just stop looking for you to ever show up.  For example:

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