How to Easily Spread Leadership Love

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You can now easily share this wisdom and become a valuable resource to your network without lifting a finger! You will be building credibility within your network and be seen as the influential go-to professional by sharing this insightful content with others.

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Just set up an automated distribution of fresh L2L content with TwitterFeed, and you will be the one who helps your network learn, grow, and develop other leaders! You will be spreading the leadership love!

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Spreading the Leadership Love

We want all of our readers and fans to band together and help spread this leadership love. You will be helping your network grow smarter by taking a few quick steps that can really show what great resources you connect with. With the use of a free tool called TwitterFeed, you can automate your sharing of every post without lifting a finger!

Just set up a free account and follow the instructions below to publish the syndication feed. And every time a fresh new L2L post is published, you can help get the message out to your trusted network without logging in anywhere!

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And on behalf of the L2L Contributing Authors, I would like to personally thank you for your readership and support!

~Tom

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Tom Schulte, Editor and Publisher
Linked 2 Leadership Blogazine

On Leadership, Generations and Social Media Policy

Social Media Policy

These days, almost every orientation handbook has it: the dreaded social media policy. Does your company have a social media policy for all generations?

For those organizations that do, some policies can be fairly liberal, like when social media can be used during working hours. Some are more stringent- like how employees use their accounts on their own time.

Social Media is Everywhere

Social media has certainly become more pervasive: 67% of Americans have at least one profile on a social media/networking site, Facebook being the most common. So now that the majority of American workers are using social media, it makes sense that businesses are becoming more focused on monitoring and use of employee’s online activity.

So what does your social media policy say about your culture?

We’re in an age where people are routinely fired for “abusing” social media. There is an increase in lawsuits serving as proof. But what’s worth noting with the rise of social media policies in the office is that different generations have different views on the use of social media.

Social media policies impact employee productivity and performance differently across the generations. So how can businesses figure out how to develop social media policies?

Workplace Generations & Social Media

Millennials

Yup…the “youngins,” the fastest growing segment of the workforce, the ones born with technology at their fingertips. Social media is a way of life for this generation. The 24-hour news cycle, information sharing in real-time; it’s not changing.

Yes, you can be concerned about how their use of social media impacts your brand – but you can’t censor them.

They’re going to talk about their boss, their business, and their views. They’re going to share this information with friends, family, peers and it’s going to be public. They don’t necessarily mind if you see it but don’t think you have the right to request it as part of their job. The best policy – let them talk or they may walk – and then create not-so-nice talk.

Gen X

The squashed generation. Gen X has a comfort with technology and social media. This cohort is also very active on social media. They have a bit more private view of information sharing than Millennials. Though they believe in sharing, and they believe in collaboration, they are more inclined to accept policies that place some boundaries around the use of social media to express personal views related to business.

They have mixed views on strict social media policies. This generation understands it’s a balance.

They can survive without using social media to express their views and without using it at work or to get work done.

Baby Boomers

These folks may be the fastest growing demographic on Facebook, but they really tend to use it much more for personal use (unless they’re entrepreneurs.) Boomers lean toward using social media for socializing with children, grandchildren, peers, and old friends. They are a much more private generation when it comes to publicly expressing views of both a personal and business nature.

Boomers also have much less of an issue with following policies and procedures set forth by management.

They can live without using social media to get work done or vent about business. If you really want to know what they think – listen to them having a face to face chat with peers.

Social Is as Social Does

So as you may have heard over and over: your social media is usually just that: social.

  • Social as in personal
  • Do it on your own time
  • Keep it personal
  • Don’t use it to discuss anything you don’t want to display publicly.

But let’s face it: most employees have almost constant access to the internet in some way or another. Sure, you can block social media websites at work; you can attempt to track social media usage, but mobile phones? Tablets? It’s impossible.

Yes, social media use can help increase performance and engagement. So the best thing to do is to develop an all-inclusive cross-generational social media policy, one that bridges the generation gap.

Social Media Guidelines

When creating a social media policy, here is a quick guide of things to consider:

  • Know the culture of your organization
  • Evaluate the pros and cons of a conservative, moderate or liberal policy
  • Create a  balance of employee vs. management needs
  • Focus on improving work productivity and engagement
  • Determine the comfort level with transparent communication
  • Implement policies that increase innovation
  • Use social media to recruit the right talent (skills and culture fit)
  • Create policies that build accountability and personal responsibility

If you hear or see your employees talking about your business on social media, if you have the ability, engage them in discussion via social media. If friends and peers see that their employer is trying to work with them, instead of against them, it only serves to create a win-win situation.

If you use social media for recruitment, then understand those you recruit will expect that using it for or to discuss work is also acceptable. Don’t create a culture of hypocrisy. Sure, some businesses and some industries must regulate social media use, and rightfully so in some instances. A big difference exists between regulation and oppression.

Besides – not all talk is bad talk!

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——————
Scott Span
Scott Span
, MSOD
 is President of Tolero Solutions OD & Change Management firm
He helps clients be responsive, focused, and effective to facilitate sustainable growth
Email | Website | LinkedIn | Twitter | Blog | Facebook

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How Effective Leaders Can Use Social Media

Social Media Icons

Being a leader of a team has many faces.

One almost has to be a paranoid schizophrenic to have effective leadership skills nowadays.

So many voices talking to them and so many personalities that they must exemplify to fit all the roles they play, it’s a wonder they stay sane.

Changing Business Landscape

The business world has drastically changed in the last five years.

Social media has swept in and torched the landscape like Smaug from the Hobbit. The land looks different from what it used to look like, and now we have a bunch of fresh young pines sprouting up all over our companies who are intimately tied to the social media machine.

LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumbler, Foursquare, and whatever else people are using…they are using it a lot.Generation Xers and the Baby Boomers are just as active as the Millennials and their use of social media in the workplace.

Company leaders have to lead, and one thing we can rest our laurels on is that social media opens up a new line of communication that we didn’t have before.

When used wisely social media can enhance leadership capabilities.

I am going to try and illustrate why leaders should stay social media savvy in order to further their goals and objectives.

Social Media Increases Speed

In business, speed can be your best friend or your worst enemy.

If you can act quickly and decisively on the right information you can make a lot of money. Conversely, if the information vital to decision-making is unavailable due to lack of communication speed, a missed opportunity can leave an indelible mark on the leader and the company.

Social media drastically speeds up the communication machine.

Sure, email is still fast, but it’s not 23-seconds fast. I say 23-because when something important happens, let’s say something political, my phone sends me a push notification and by the time I open it up it seems like it’s been about 23-seconds.

An email sent to your inbox will not be seen that fast.

An employee could share something on the company Facebook page or send a direct message which could be seen by you or other decision making individuals in the organization and acted upon quickly. I love that!

Social Media Increases Communication

I believe we’ve already had a paradigm shift when it comes to communication.

There are lots of naysayers out there who think that communicating via text or smart phone is doing a disservice to the psyche of everyone in the world. I understand that body language and other verbal subtleties are lacking in electronic communication, but the fact of the matter is some communication in the workplace, to get things done quickly and efficiently, doesn’t require body language.

It doesn’t bother me that employees might tweet each other instead of getting out of their chairs and walking two or three cubicles down the aisle.

That’s because a tweet or direct message is light years faster than standing up and walking to someone else’s desk.

In my experience, social media does not distract or isolate employees. On the contrary, it brings them together, albeit in an online space, and speeds up talking points. As a leader I believe we should encourage employees to utilize social media this way to communicate when appropriate.

Social Media Humanizes

There is something about a “quick” email, when you compare to social media, that sucks the life out of the message. In an email it is too easy to confuse the emotional meaning behind the words. I’ve sent a number of quick emails over the course of my career that were construed in a negative way I didn’t intend them to be.

People thought I was being too “mean” or too “bossy” in the way I came across, but in reality I just wasn’t being excessively polite by saying please and thank you and each sentence!

By communicating via social media you actually feel “real” to the recipient.

Starting out a direct message by saying “hey Jack, do you have a second?” And then as that person responds you can engage them in a real-time conversation in a way that can’t be done through email. 10 years ago people used to use instant messaging regularly in the same fashion, but IM has gone WAY down in usage.

I think instant messaging will be dead in a few years…it’s already on life support. So, by having a real-time conversation using a social media platform you humanize your electronic communications making them much more effective.

This in turn makes you a better and more approachable leader.

Don’t go crazy using social media, but don’t give it the cold shoulder either. Social media, in some form or another, will be with us for the foreseeable future. It has a lot of advantages, and don’t get me wrong it does have disadvantages, but I think the advantages heavily outweigh the disadvantages. Use it wisely and use it well, it should increase your effectiveness and power as a leader.

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

———————

Robert Cordray
Robert Cordray is a freelance writer with over 20 years of business experience
He does the occasional business consult to help increase employee morale
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web

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Emerging Leaders: Leading the “New World”

Leading Technology

As leaders in a professional environment, we always aim to convey a message with good intentions. However, we can oftentimes fail. This is because we haven’t crafted our message for the correct target.

Our messages are not always clear because we don’t always understand our audience.

Engaging Future Leaders

I am a person, a leader, a mentor who aims to engage future leaders and develop an understanding of methods to connect with all generations to enhance communication and leadership growth.

There is a huge divide between the “Net Generation” and other generations because technology has exponentially developed this group of people.

Who knew that social media would be the greatest influence over a group of people?

A Growing Divide

Teachers, coaches, mentors, and leaders a like struggle to connect with the new generation of leaders. And this disconnect between these groups becomes more clear as the years progress.

Our job as leaders is to make sure our future leaders are ready for the future world, starting now to develop the “Net Generation,” helping them understand the advantages and disadvantages that technology has created for them.

Technical Edge

Cutting Through the Crowd

Now, many may understand the advantages of being tech savvy which are:

  1. They are able to connect with larger audiences more globally.
  2. They can work faster with more mobility.
  3. They can understand more and have more resources to produce results and develop others.

A Double-Edged Sword

What many don’t understand is that there are disadvantages as well:

  1. Everyone is under a microscope and the world of Human Resources is stronger than ever with fewer people and more resources. This means that social media can be used for hiring practices to get a better snap shot of people. People and leaders alike need to watch what they post as posts are seen by more than just friends and family. Networking circles are larger than ever before.
  2. Verbal communication skills have become diluted; much of today’s communication is via device without speaking.
  3. Connecting with multiple generations has become more difficult because the differences have become exponential.

Closing the Gap

Now, to close the gap between generations to enhance communication and develop “simply great leaders” we must teach listening and understanding, which are the basics to human interaction and chemistry.

I have…

  • Spent some time developing myself to understand the complexities of social media.
  • Utilized social media as a leader and employer to get a better understanding of this topic and to help develop young leaders.
  • Used social media to make decisions about hiring leaders into organization in which I have worked.

Emerging leaders need more guidance and coaching than ever before so we need to be there to help.

Mentoring New Leaders

I have mentored emerging leaders and the key to success is to find common interest with leadership goals and practice one-on-one communication through coaching practices.

Unfortunately, as business professionals we have fine lines as to how much we can inform new candidates and employees in regards to business do’s and don’ts ; we have to generic, ensuring equality and professionalism which can hinder the growth of potential emerging leaders.

Today’s leaders need to step out of their comfort zone make a difference for the future.

Taking the Time

Taking time to develop and educate future leaders, raising awareness about the effects of social media though sincere coaching and development; this is what we need to build a stronghold of the next generation leaders.

Effective communication is about listening and understanding while conveying a message that a person or group of people will understand. The best way to convey a message is to understand the audience to which it is being conveyed. Keep in mind that the great leaders of tomorrow will encompass the teachings of the leaders of today.

So how are you doing in bridging the gaps that exist in your organization? How well are you reaching out to those in different generations to help your operation run smoother? What are some of the (technological) barriers that are keeping you from better engagement with others? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

———————

Michael R Stanford is Doctoral Learner at UOP
He does occasional motivational speaking for community colleges
Email | LinkedInFacebook | Web

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Leaders: Who’s Managing Your Social Media?

Tweet

Companies invest millions of dollars a year on their brand, whether they realize it or not.

Everything a company does – from how they engage their customers, to how they recruit employees and how they market their products — are all rolled up in a corporate brand and contribute to people’s perceptions of that brand.

But one aspect many companies simply fail to acknowledge as a significant part of their investment is.

This simple fact has two big word: social media.

What’s in a Word?

With the advent of social media, the value of “word of mouth” has gone up exponentially. That 1970s Faberge commercial that follows along the lines of, “I’ll tell two friends and they’ll tell two friends” has shifted at a pace comparable to Moore’s law and the progress being made with processing power.

In a recent Nielson Social Media Report (October 2011) it was found that 60 percent of social media users create reviews of products and services, and that consumer created reviews/ratings are the preferred source for information about product/service, price and product quality.

In addition, the report also found that 70 percent of social media users make online purchases, 12 percent more than other online users do.

The case in point is that your customers are out there talking about you. And they are doing it now.

They are either positively or negatively influencing others’ purchasing decisions regarding your product or service.

So Where’s the Training? 

A recent survey of HR professionals by the Society of Human Resources Management found that 68 percent of organizations have employees who use social media to reach external audiences, including potential customers and employees. That same survey (Social Media in the Workplace) also found that only 27 percent of employers provide social-media training to their employees. (Only 27 percent!!)

A company’s online brand must be responsive, authentic, and innovative in order to maintain both existing “fans” while also attracting new “fans.”

Due to the fast pace of change in the social media arena, companies must think ahead and create a plan that can evolve with the market.

Enhancing your Business and Brand

The beauty of social media is that you can use and tailor it to your needs. This flexibility gives you quite a bit of freedom when using the various avenues available to you to support and build your brand and business. However, you need to be doing a few key things to be utilizing it to its full potential.

It is important that you learn how to correctly use social media so that you don’t let it manage your brand; You need to manage your social media to enhance your brand.

Questions for Leaders

With that, we suggest you ask yourself the following questions concerning your enterprise:

  1. Do you have a social media policy for employees that represent your brand?
  2. Do you allow your employees to add your organization to their LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter accounts? (Why or why not?)
  3. Have you, as an organization (or as an individual) offered or received training on the importance of social media and the positive and or negatives it may have on you or your organization? (Many companies have an employee termination clause in contracts around disparaging or inappropriate use of social media. Then again, many don’t.)
  4. Do you use social media for “brand-building?”
  5. What, if any, analytics do you track?

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

———————–
Kim Brechin is Principal at Look-Solutions
She manages & leads high performance teams within competitive markets

Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Web | 503-869-3304

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On Leadership, Habits and Approachability

Approachability

Are you approachable? Or have you unwittingly locked yourself into comfortable patterns and habits that are making you boring and impersonal? 

If you have, then it might be time to change! Your future may depend on it…

Change on a Personal Level

Fixed habits are hard to break.  Our habitual nature causes us to be fixed, rigid, and unwilling to change. I know my mind has fallen into this rut in the past, it’s happened to all of us at some point

Some of the habits I’m talking about are:

  • Having the same response to routine questions
  • Greeting clients with the same greeting you have been using for the past few years
  • Use the same words no matter what question you kids are asking

What kind of habits do you have when faced with essential conversations?

Research proves that habit rather than deliberation shapes over 40% of the decisions we make every day.”

Even though our natural response to our most frequent activities becomes a habit, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is always the most desirable.  Let’s think about this for a minute: A personal, authentic and heartfelt greeting to our family members is more meaningful than a standard fixed and boring auto-response.

Boring and Impersonal

This is what an auto response is for communication, boring and impersonal. Yes, we know you are busy, but when you are busy, sometimes saying nothing is much better than saying something for the sake of it…

Social Media

Simply put, auto responses will put you on the highway to nowhere. Think about this for a minute: Social MediaSocial media is anything that gets people communicating, engaged in conversation, and to be a part of something.

Some of the most common forms of   social media are: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogs, and Interactive Webinars. One thing social media is NOT is auto-response.

Here’s one suggestion that will work better than an auto-response message to your followers on one of your social media sites. Let’s use Facebook for example and let’s say you have new followers and comments: Once a week post something like this on Facebook

Thanks for all the new followers and comments. We look forward to your continuing comments, keep coming back!”

Automated Tweeting and Blog Posts

According to Freelance Copywriter’s Blog, Twitter, a social media platform that allows us to communicate in less than 140 characters. However, when posting automated tweets or posts to your blog, take a few minutes to write one line and the link to your latest blog post – much more professional and social.

If you post or tweet just to put something out there, this is a bad idea and honestly the content looks bad when it’s posted.

If you are going to use an auto post for example, for your blog post, you might post the following on Facebook:

“We have some thoughts on auto responses. Click on over to our blog to read our thoughts. What do you think?”

This is much more attractive, welcoming, informative, appealing, engaging, and social ~ after all, that’s what social media networks are supposed to be doing.

Translation

Let’s translate this into the people we meet on a daily basis, whether they are our friends, clients, customers, colleagues, or co-workers.

How do you think they would feel if you greeted them with a half-hearted message? How do you think you would feel if someone greeted you the same way? What perceptions would you walk away with?  Would you feel as though the greeting was casual, random and mindless? And, would you want someone to greet you the same way you greeted them?”

Here’s what you can do: Put a little effort into your greeting.  Choose one or more of the following: make it new, inviting, invigorating, genuine, delightful, and heartfelt.  You may be surprised at how people will respond to you.

They will welcome you with a smile, expressive eyes, a sincere hand shake, and or a genuine greeting in return.

A small positive change in a habit or routine can attract sudden, overwhelming good fortune.

One Conversation at a Time

According to Scott Ginsberg, in his book The Power of Approachability, approachability is a way of life, a way of business, a way of communication, and a way of social interaction.

In other words, approachability is a two-way street; you must be approachable and you must approach others if you are going to communicate with them.

Scott talks about the how and why to be approachable and offers a new model to an old idea: the basic to all victory in interpersonal communication is how approachable – and how willing to approach others – you are.

According to Scott: “Approachability is a way of life. Become the epitome of it.”

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on some of the fixed habit greetings and messages you have sent and received; auto-responses; social media; and on your approachability.

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

——————–
Debra Olejownik is a consultant with DJC Core Consulting & Support Services, LLC
She helps clients identify comprehensive solutions to problems that inspires change
Email |  LinkedIn | Web

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The Age of Relationship Has Come of Age

The Age of Relationship

“What kind of workplace do you want to join?”

I asked this question to many people I meet. I ask the millennials,  gen Y’s, the gen X’s, the boomers, even those starting high school that I call the gen F’s (the Facebook crowd…)

What Do You Want?

The kind of organization that people want to be in emphasizes these aspects:

  • Self-development
  • Quality of relationship
  • Meaningful activity
  • Cooperative effort
  • Combinations of individual space and group connectedness
  • Balance between time to work and time to play (without a twist of guilt thrown into the mix)
  • Blending of diverse people and ideas without polarization

What Do You NOT Want?

The kind of organization that people DO NOT WANT to be in reject these aspects:

  • Worker separateness
  • Workplace silos
  • Competitive struggle for success
  • Boring old repetitive office politics

Organizations have gone through changes just as technology and society have changed and evolved. Workers from bygone generations are not the same as the ones in today’s workforce.

In yester-decades, relationships and social networking where not as pronounced as they are in today’s work environment. Consequently, attitudes about work and organizations have changed.

So when and how did these changes occur?

Historical Context

In this time of shifting economic and social values, attitudes about what is important to large numbers of people have shifted.

Q’s ::

Were they the result of the rapid rise of social media?

Did this new paradigm begin with the peace and love movement of the ‘60’s, underground until now?

Was it from the forgotten “command-and-control” organizational structure that permeated post WWII workers that has since evaporated?

A :: Yes to the above.

And we can go back even earlier to find the stirrings that have led to more and more demand for a better way to work together. When the Holy Roman Empire, the church was the dominant institution throughout Western Europe. It told everyone what to do, how to do it, and when to do it.

If you disagreed, well, it got ugly.

At some point the Industrial Revolution caused a new way to thinking. However, the rules were not that much different. A small group of men at the helm of the work wheel told people what to do, how to do it, and when to do it.

Bells rang at specific times, made the workers salivate and take action.

There were only three options: clock in and move into work areas, clock out and go home, or go to the place designed for a meal and eat your sandwich.  Not much individuality there. Sadly, that sounds like most of the schools in this country.

Ah well, that’s for another blog.

Today’s Context

The business world is still king. With all the technology and social media at hand, the workplace hierarchy is in the process of deep change. Leadership is no longer just a function of the person or people at the top of the organizational chart. Taking a systems’ perspective and a relationship view leadership can contribute from anywhere in the organization.

This is the time and the place for everyone in every company to become a relationship expert.

It’s not that hard. We have permitted this realm that impacts all of us, be the sacred space of “the experts” for way too long.

Think of It This Way

We are all born from a relationship, through a relationship, into some form of relationship, often called family.

We take what we learned there with us into school and then to work. All we need to do is learn the skinny on how relationships work at work. Then off we can go to create, collaborate, celebrate, and make work a place we can’t wait to get to rather than a place we want to get away from.

This is vital for all organizations right now!

So how are you doing at adapting to the changes in technology, attitudes, values, and generational forces that appear in your organizations? How are you balancing the shift in expectations from the people on your teams? Are you adapting well to these changes, or do you find then annoying or difficult to handle? I would love to hear your thoughts!

——————–
Sylvia Lafair, PhD. is President, Creative Energy Options, Inc.
She does Workplace Relationships, Conflict Resolution, Exec Coaching & Consulting

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