Prepare to re-imagine the way leaders do business
I am so passionate about this topic. Passionate to the point I quit my job six months ago to launch a company focused on it. Yup, I’m all in – in a BIG way.
Why? Because I can see the dawning of a new era in business leadership that has already begun.
It’s not just business, it’s personal!
That’s the statement that’s leading the change. That motto – which actually I think will now be the motto of the company – sums up the convergence between online influence and industry leadership.
Business leaders are now experiencing the greatest cultural shift to the business world since the compauter — the rise of the Industry Influencer. 🌅
The pioneers of this change were the social influencers, the young YouTubers, Viners, Instagram stars who first picked up a smartphone and through creative content grew their audiences to millions of followers, completely changing the way brands marketed to existing new customers. Shunned at first by the marketing and media establishment (I’m talking to big publishers, TV and movie studios etc) the tables quickly turned when they saw the value and influence these social media influencers had in the marketplace.
2015/16 marked the year that the trailblazers in traditional media sat up, took notice and jumped on board. The best example of this is international movie star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson who launched his own YouTube channel and digital media production studio last year, and led fellow stars like comedian and actor Kevin Hart to grow his own online audience through Instagram and leverage the audiences of young social media influencers to promote his movies and grow his popularity – making him more attractive to future movie and HBO show deals. Plus he’s funny as hell!
In the next 6 to 12 months, we will see the maturing of the Industry Influencers — CEOs, board chairs, COOs and emerging talent who saw this new opportunity and applied it to their roles as business leaders. These early adopters will have the advantage of breaking away from the pack, growing their online audiences and their influence. The current vacuum is real, but fast being filled with these trailblazers.
So I want to send a very clear message to the business community: Now is the time to act. Now is the time to get ahead of the curve and take advantage of this disruption. It’s just changing world, and those who do not adapt to it, will lose. End of story.
Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes put it best when he said:
The era of CEOs remaining aloof and behiind the scenes, never engaging directly, is over. With a strong presence online, CEOs can build trust with customers and rapport with employees, offering up a real, human face for their company.
A CEO that failes to do this can harm theior business or even hand their compteitors the advantage. CEOs who are slow to adapt and understand the shifting business landscape will find it difficult to understand all the digital nuances to running a successful business in the new economy. Just think where the Taxi Industry could be today if they had forseen the Uber disruption, or even understood the seismic shift in the technology and consumer expectations.
This is my call to arms — it’s time to listen to your marketing team, your CMO, your customers. If you’re a business leader reading this, go and grab your CMO or reach out to an expert. Incorporate digital and social media engagement into your company’s “Office of the CEO” is the first step. Fail to take this seriously, and you’re in for an early retirement.