Join Charlene Li for an in-depth discussion in this video Share to Shape, part of Charlene Li on Digital Leadership.
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- A key point of becoming a digital leader is also about sharing, and sharing is the place where you establish what you really care about and it becomes a foundation for developing that relationship with somebody else because what you're doing is saying this is what's really important to me. These are the objectives that are really important to us in our relationship, and let's figure out a way how sharing can actually move this relationship forward. Now you may be thinking, "Well, how does that actually "formulate itself, how does it actually come to life?" Let me give you an example.
Rosemary Turner is the Regional Director for U-P-S in Northern California, and she has 17,000 people reporting to her. There's very little chance that she's going to see these people directly in the course of a day. There's just too many of them, and frankly, they're traveling all around the Bay Area in these brown trucks. But she wanted to change the relationship. She wanted the relationship to be at that point where any of those employees could knock on her door and be able to say, "Rosemary, "there's something I want to talk to you about." So she decided what she called The Twitter to be able to connect with people because she realized that more and more of the drivers were using this in the course of their busy day.
So she started taking pictures. She would go onsite, take a selfie with somebody, praise and give rewards to people, tell people, "You remember, there's a game going on tonight. "Make sure you stay clear of the ballpark." And through this sharing, she got to know people more directly, and they got to know her not just as their leader, but as a person. So through this sharing, they became much more comfortable and familiar with her, and then one day, one young driver knocked on her door, and said, "Rosemary, there's something I need to talk to you about." What we're seeing here in the digital era is the ability for leaders to use digital, and I think the opportunity for you in particular is to say how can you shape that relationship through what you share? This is all possible because of what I call The Sharing Shift, from scarcity to abundance.
Now, what does this look like? Well, the first one is in the past, there were very few opportunities to share, and it was very infrequent, but now, because of digital, you can share anytime and all the time if you really wanted to. There's also a shift on formal sharing to informal sharing because it was really hard and expensive to share. You could only share through a memo or through a conference. You had to be very formal about it, but now we can share very informally.
It could be as simple as sharing an observation or cheering for a team. Sharing has become informal. And the third shift, is that because it's now much more abundant, what used to be perfect and polished now can be very informal and also imperfect where our tolerance for things that go wrong, stuttering or just flubs in particular, is actually makes us more human. So all of these shifts really can become very powerful in developing that relationship.
But also oftentimes I hear from people, and you maybe feel like, "This is not comfortable. "This is not the way I'm used to being a leader "and showing up; I'm used to being much more perfected, "structured, and thought through." The three shifts in sharing that I just talked about is not the normal way that business has always been done, and that can make us feel very vulnerable, very thrown off of our game. "What if people don't like "what I'm sharing," you may be thinking. "What if I share the wrong thing, or worst case, "what if I share and nobody cares?" This new way of sharing is very unstructured, very informal, very continuous, and a key part of becoming a digital leader is feeling comfortable in this new way of sharing.
That is a key skill for you to be able to master.
In this course, she explains the three steps for extending leadership into the digital space: listening, sharing, and engaging. With her tips, you can transform your professional relationships with employees, peers, and influencers. At the end of each chapter, she provides a list of questions to help you get started on your next step.
- Listening at scale
- Scanning your environment
- Choosing the right type of engagement
- Cultivating followers