Some of us have an insatiable hunger for technology. As soon as new iPhone’s are released there are advanced orders and people queuing at the Apple stores from about 3am in the morning prior to it opening and some even the day before just so they can be the first to have the new and advanced phone.
Technology’s purpose is really to connect us and enhance our access to information. It should make our life easier, and it has in many ways. The wonderful world of the Internet now creates transparency and we have access to information worldwide.
However, has technology that seems to continue and get more sophisticated killed the art of leadership?
I for one think it has.
Given that communication is a key fundamental to effective leadership and people who truly connect with people achieve the best results, I think technology has been a hinder rather than enhance real authentic connection and communication.
I was lucky enough to see Seth Godin speak in Melbourne last week. It was his first time in Australia and he was worth waiting for. Technology supported Seth’s message by having a killer presentation on a huge screen so the large auditorium could have easy viewing. Thumbs up to technology there.
Seth’s message was very much about connecting. Connecting with your clients on an authentic and innovative level and then challenging them even further.
Seth said something that really got me thinking. He said “Don’t strive to be heard when you’re here. Work to be missed when you’re not.”
These words get me thinking of Martin Luther King Jnr, Mother Theresa, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela to name a few. All of who didn’t have access to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the rest. All of who made their impact on the world via their actions and their words. By being authentic and living true to who they really are. By being courageous and communicating their message and by connecting with people.
We all make so much noise, me included, on these social media platforms but are we really connecting in a meaningful way that will mean that we are truly missed when we’re not here? Are people going to say, wow, they were so good at Twitter and Tweeted a hundred times a day that it made a difference to my life?
The fact we can easily email, text or Facebook message people rather than have a conversation has, from my observations and experience, made people and leaders in particular hide behind bland, cold words on the computer screen rather than have a conversation with people. It has also made people feel less valued and quite confused.
Technology and social media in particular has a big place in our world now. It’s here to stay and will no doubt evolve. But if we are going to create a legacy we are proud of, achieve our goals, lead teams through change, role model behaviours and communication that are going to make a difference, we need to use the innate skills that we have, tune them up and utilise them to compliment our connection platforms.
As leaders we must connect with our people. We must communicate in a way that means something to them and given communication in words makes up only 7% of the components of effective communication we’ve got a way to go.
I agree with Seth. Strive to be missed when you’re not here. Be different and communicate the old fashioned way. Go and make a difference to someone.