Friday, March 2, 2012

Good Leadership is Good Marketing

I've been doing TONS of reading over the past six months on Leaders and Leadership - how to be one, what to do, what to avoid, how to improve, etc...

All this reading has me thinking that good leadership - while it is a unique discipline in its own right - is not much different from good marketing.  Let me explain.

Plain and simple the goal of leadership is to INFLUENCE others to action.  It doesn't matter what that action is.  It can be achieving monthly marketing and sales goals (my world), launching a new product on time and on budget, hitting a fundraising goal or curing chronic disease.  Regardless of the action in which you are engaged, all great leaders must MOBILIZE and MOVE others toward an outcome.  You can only do this consistently and well if you have INFLUENCE over others.

Marketing is similar.  With all of your Tweets, Updates, Emails and Edits, are you not trying INFLUENCE other people to donate, take action, tell their friends and join your cause?

The answer is"Yes!"

The question then is HOW do you do it?  How do you increase your influence over others in a POSITIVE manner?

According to the genius that is John Maxwell, if you want to be a better leader or marketer, i.e. influencer you have to do the following:

(Read the book yourself to get all of the answers.) :)
  1. CONNECT to the HEART - People listen to and follow people who know and care about them.  Leaders and marketers must be intimately acquainted with those they lead.  What motivates them?  What keeps them up and night?  Where do they struggle and where do they succeed?  While numbers and data have their place ("We've got to raise $100,000 this quarter to hit our donation target!"), great leaders and marketers know that data is not enough to move people to action.  They connect with the hearts of their followers first.
  2. BE TRUSTWORTHY - People listen to and follow people they trust.  This is why research consistently shows that when it comes to recommendations for products, services, and charities to support, people often look to family and friends vs. institutions to point the way.  So, how do you gain trust as a marketer or leader?  Be TRUSTWORTHY.  Share your vulnerabilities.  Say what you are doing to do and do what you say.  Never lie.  Ever.  Say "I'm sorry."
  3. EXECUTE - People listen to and follow people who get things done.  This may seem like a contradiction to the points above but it's not.  You can be the nicest person in the world but as a leader or a marketer, your influence will not grow unless you can achieve results.  Let's face it.  People want to be on a winning team.  This is not to say that they want to win at all costs but they do want to know that their hard work, time and talents are put to good use.  Achieving results is also key to increasing your influence.  Treat people well and get the job done. 



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