LEADING A DIGITAL ERA
By Natalie Riviere, CEO, Commetta Communications.
21st CENTURY LEADERSHIP
Leadership qualities seeing a rise in demand can be described as feminine and include loyalty, collaboration, patience, flexibility, expressivity and long term thinking. (24) “Both men and women can exhibit feminine leadership qualities. Promoting feminine leadership is less an issue of male vs. female, but a question of whether we are overlooking qualities that may be crucial to navigating 21st Century business challenges.” (25)
“The consistent ability to be self-aware, inner-connected, and true to oneself and others in this context is essential for genuine, creative action and followership. For centuries, authenticity has been recognized as an essential leadership quality. The meaning and significance of authenticity has been explored within Western philosophy in terms of moral virtue, ethics and authentic action, within psychology from the perspective of identity and state of mind, and more recently within management literature as a vital leadership trait for organizational sustainability.” (26)
Almost 10 years after we learned about ‘Spam’, the CAN-SPAM Act was signed in the U.S to establish national standards against sending unsolicited commercial email (20). 11 years after Tarana Burke, an American social activist and community organizer, began using the phrase “Me Too,” the hashtag version #MeToo spread virally on social media when celebrity Alyssa Milano encouraged victims of sexual harassment to tweet about it and “give people a true sense of the magnitude of the problem.” (27) Though “Fake News” still circulates we have now been made well aware to question sources, learn the facts, and will find out how many years it takes before legal regulation against false media and advertising is in place.
There has been a consistent push for trust and authenticity from both internet users and facilitators like Google and Facebook. The analytics I have observed over my decade in digital marketing reinforce that the content that educates, empowers, entertains, adds value and inspires, performs the best. In social media there is an unwritten 80/20 rule where it is recommended that you “use just 20% of your content to promote your brand, and dedicate 80% to content that really interests your audience and engages them in conversations.” (28) Now that social media is considered a significant mainstream media, the theory can apply across the board; leading with the truth encourages valuable relationships and in business as in life, they are vital to your health and longevity. Whether you are exchanging as an individual, brand name or idea solving a need, sharing your authentic self will produce a leading edge.
24. Deloitte, The Millennial Survey 2014: Big demands and high expectations
25. Leadership Embodiment: How the Way We Sit and Stand Can Change the Way We Think and Speak, Janet Crawford.
26. Authenticity amidst Growing Organizational Complexity: Three Embodied Learning Methods for Authentic Leadership Development, Walker, T. & Gunnlaugson, O.