Leading with Connection Leads to Value
Connection is what the economy, the market, and the consumer are valuing right now. At the end of 150 years of products and services, marketed in more and more clever ways, connection is the thing that matters.
Certain companies and organizations in certain industries (most notably start-ups) get this instinctively.
Others—legacy organizations that have survived the last sixty years of upheaval in the realm of consumer behavior—are struggling to maintain their real estate on a tinier and tinier portion of the short head of products and services we all used to know and value.
The problem with this friction is that, in the long run, the legacy organizations that are struggling will fail, and the newer organizations that get this instinctively—and have connections built into their DNA from the beginning—will survive.
Leading with Connection Leads to Employee Changes
The organizations, companies, and systems that survive the upheaval that is occurring right now, must be aware of a startling, unpredictable behavioral shift on the part of talent they are seeking to recruit, retain, train, and ultimately, advance and promote:
Their employees’ behavior reflects, increasingly, their consumers’ behavior.
What does this signal in practice? Well, the signs of the change are all around us:
- No longer will bullying be tolerable as a management style, as the fact is, employees won’t tolerate management bullying, and consumers’ will challenge that behavior via social media.
- No longer will “doing more with less,” continue to serve as the way to motivate employees to do better. Instead, employees are already demanding structural changes to how motivation—or passion—actually resonates. Or doesn’t.
- No longer will empathy be a trait that can be thrown out as an external recruiting bait—and then switched with a reality that is less empathetic and far more cutthroat. Sure, leaders in SMB’s in areas outside the central core of their industries will continue to attempt to lead without collaboration, but this is an eroding beachhead.
- No longer will “life-long learning” be a catch-phrase that won’t have teeth. Employees know bad leaders (they recognize them in the same way that we know pornography when we see it) and they also know that learning and good leadership are intertwined. By the way, so is translating that learning into making a better product.
- No longer will managers and supervisors be able to advance internally without caring about their employee’s external-to-work behavior. The work from home revolution we are all experiencing in the COVID-19 environment is impacting healthcare less so than other industries. But with 60% of organizations that hire white-collar workers shifting to either hybrid or fully remote work environments, advancement as a leader will mean dialing in on what’s happening in an employee’s home life.
Leading with Connection Leads to Real Change
When managers, supervisors, and others finally realize—fully and completely, not in isolated economic or cultural pockets—that employee behavior mirrors consumer behavior, and that connection matters more than promotion, money, or even reward and recognition, legacy organizations will either have to change their internal organizational behavioral practices—or die.
H/T Matt Higgins