Obama and Business… Lessons on Social Media
My Chairman here at Mzinga (here in a lovely cyan blue) recently wrote this article. You like?
From Mass High Tech:
It’s been two weeks since President-elect Barack Obama won his bid for the presidency. Much has already been written about the unprecedented fundraising techniques and precision campaign tactics that led to that history-making moment.
But what stands out most to me is the truly new type of leader that emerged before us — one who embraces change, attacks age-old challenges with bold new solutions, and recognizes that leadership is as much about listening and collaborating with people than it is about making hard decisions.
The overwhelmingly positive response to Obama’s leadership style is also a reflection of our increasingly social world. Through this election, it came across loud and clear that we expect our leaders to be more socially conscious, connected and transparent if they want to gain our support and trust.
And if you look closely, there are lessons in that for all leaders, particularly within the business world:
• Start with the idea of change that people can believe in
At the outset, Obama’s campaign team faced many of the challenges businesses face today — limited budgets, unknown brand, and strong competition. They also understood that the old way of doing things wasn’t working for the “business” of government, so they became agents of change in executing their strategies.
• Embrace social software to connect and foster your audience
Early on, Obama’s team recognized the sheer power that online and social technologies could offer in helping organize their operations, gain insight from their supporters, and extend their market reach to draw in more voters. Yet, many businesses today are hesitant to use these technologies. Embracing them can, and will, help expand your business potential.
• Engage your community in ongoing conversations and critical matters
It may be cliché, but people truly are the power behind any thriving business, whether they are the employees who run your operations or the customers and partners who invest in your products and services. Empowering and engaging your constituencies to participate in your business processes can only sharpen your competitive edge.
In a time where one out of five employees will leave your company, and a looming economic crisis has virtually every corporate budget bootstrapped, businesses are facing similarly daunting challenges as those faced by our government. We can keep doing what we’ve always done and hope for the best outcome. Or we can draw from the leadership lessons of our new president-elect, and increase our chances of winning against the odds.
Barry Libert is chairman of Mzinga, the leader in business social media and learning solutions for the workplace, marketplace and extended enterprise. He can be reached at email@example.com or he can be found on Twitter at @blibert.