I created a series of sketch notes for Tiffani Bova’s “What’s Next” podcast where she meets brilliant people to discuss customer experience, growth and innovation. Tiffani Bova is a Global Customer Growth and Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce. I will post sketchnote versions of selected podcast episodes that enlightened me.
Seth Godin’s work has influenced me a LOT. In fact, his book “Linchpin” transformed the way I saw my work as a leader and change maker. I have interacted with Seth twice on this blog before when I reviewed his books.
Here is an insight from the podcast episode that resonated the most with me:
“Great marketers do service. They say, “How do I serve this group of people?How do I educate them? How do I open the door for them?”
I think that great leaders share the same traits as great marketers because they exist to serve, raise the bar, initiate change and open new possibilities – and they do this consistently.
Ultimately, the experience we deliver to our people is as important as the results we deliver. Experience is the product, whatever your business may be.
I also loved the emphasis Seth puts on taking responsibility and sharing the credits. Most people stuck in mediocrity approach it the other way around – they want the credit without taking responsibility. Authority is elusive when you explicitly chase it. It is, in fact, a by-product of focusing on delivering value.
Listen to the podcast for these and more brilliant insights, and read this post by Tiffani Bova on HuffPost.
One thing that truly defines great leaders is that they “create an expectation”. Not just meeting the expectation (that’s management), but setting an expectation. Leaders paint a vivid picture of a future state and promise positive change. That is the starting point of leadership irrespective of whether you are leading an organization or improving a small process to ease execution. People want to know where you are taking them along.
But creating an expectation means delivering on that expectation. Leaders deliver a meaningful experience to match the expectation. Not just the outcome, but an experience with touch of humanity. The way outcome is delivered, the mindset and intent behind how it was all put together is a key leadership differentiator. This journey may have its peaks and lows – times when tough calls have to be made and times where difficult conversations have to be made. It only leading others was easy. But, the point of delivering an experience is staying completely true to the intent. Actions become powerful when driven with intent.
And when outcome is delivered with right mindset and intent, it resonates with others. The experience of delivering the outcome is as important as the outcome itself. When the experience resonates with people, it builds an emotional connection and people would want to work with leaders to repeat that experience.
This post is inspired by an excellent post on three pillars of branding by Bernadette Jiwa. When I read it, I found parallels between the essentials of branding and essentials of great leadership.
Here is a quick sketch on three pillars of great branding (and leadership too).