How can leaders leverage social media today to improve their business

Social Media has become the King of Marketing.

So What Should I be doing as a Leader?

I left the corporate world a year ago as a 38 year executive career. I prided myself that I was pretty up to speed on social media, and certainly ahead of the curve with my peers. I had a Facebook account for years, used LinkedIn; I even had Twitter and Instagram accounts (even though I never used them).

I started my own business and started to seek advice from a lot of people. I was advised by a close friend to hire a social media expert to help me launch my speaking, coaching and consulting career. I also had several friends who said it was a waste of time and money. They were especially focused on the money when I told them what I was going to spend. But I was certain of one thing, I knew I did not know how to effectively use social media to launch my business, and the worse thing that could happen was I was going to waste a few thousand dollars.

After the first 90 days, I was 100% certain I had done the right thing… and I was also frustrated because I realized I had missed out on hundreds of opportunities while I was still in the corporate world. There were so many ideas that I could have leveraged in my corporate jobs, but I didn’t even know they existed at that time.

I truly had no idea now each of the big 4 platforms worked, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and Twitter. I did not know what a Linkedin or Facebook Group was or how to use them. I did not know how to build my network or which network was important to me. I did not understand Twitter at all and was unclear on how to “tweet” and who to follow and should I even try to build a following. Most importantly, I didn’t understand how I could effectively use social media to build influence, create connections, and see real-world business implications.

I realized that if I was missing this information, so was basically everyone in my network, even the most influential of leaders among us.

I have now partnered with Christina Hager, President of Ovations Digital, to develop a 2 to 3 hour discussion and workshop to help Executive teams, leadership teams, and Boards for both for or non-profit organizations learn how Social Media can increase their influence, and lead to real business results for their organizations.

In our program, we first take a deep dive into each platform, explaining them in detail. We use lots of examples for each platform to show how they work in the real world.

We explain all this new terminology and help you, “Speak Social.” You will understand and use things like #hashtags, @ signs and finally understand what “views” “likes,” and “engagement” means.

This is not simply about having a presence on social media: this is about driving business results with clear strategies and metrics.

We show you how to join each platform, help you with your posts, and get started.

If you have platforms already established, we can show you how to get a significant multiplier effect across each platform to drive more “likes” and engagement by understanding and leveraging the “Social Media Circle of Life.” We will give you insights on what is the best content to develop and how to get the maximum scale from each piece. We provide insights on the use of photos and videos to increase clicks. We will show you how to establish your YouTube channel to store and share you content for maximum leverage.

And will we give you ideas on how to manage all this content.

Christina’s role is the social media expert and I play the role of the provacator and will push you to be uncomfortable and think about real-world applications for social media for your organization. If you are not very uncomfortable in the first 30 minutes I will be shocked.

Let me give you a few examples.

Do you or your team use social media today to send out key messages to your network? New Product launches, important achievements, key information you know your consumers can use?

Do you know how to build your network?

Do you know which platform is right for you?

Do you use LinkedIn groups to target your messages?

Do you use Facebook groups to share information with members of your organization?

If you don’t have a strategy and plan for these platforms then you are behind and your competitors might be ready to rush past you. And when that happens and they get first mover advantage, it’s really hard to catch them.

I feel so strongly about this that I believe very soon when leaders are looking to fill key positions in the organization they will ask about a candidates social media following. If two candidates are very similar in skills but one has a large social media following they will get the job because they have reach and influence.

The candidate with a large social media following can quickly and effectively support the organizations strategy by leveraging their social media network.

At the end of this presentation you will have new ideas and questions and will be wanting to change your existing marketing to include a heavy dose of social media marketing.

If you are interested contact us at: wstrickland7@gmail.comor Christina@OvationsDigital.com

Wayne StricklandComment
What Leaders Can Learn From Rock and Roll

Meet Tanya O’Callagan and Wayne Strickland

Tanya is a global touring musician from Mullingar Ireland who left home at 17 to pursue a career as a Rock Musician. Tanya has played the big stage and in studio with membners from Guns and Roses, Twisted Sister, Foo Fighters, River Dance and many more.

Wayne is from Kansas City and had an award winning 38 year Executive career at Hallmark Cards. Wayne is a CEO Coach, author, consultant and keynote speaker who believes you must always be developing new skills to grow and using your peers to help you solve your toughest challenges. He has published 2 books with latest Get Over Yourself: Decide to Lead available on Amazon.

Wayne and Tanya have crafted a very special keynote presentation that shares lessons corporate leaders can learn form Rock and Roll.

Tanya shares her story on what it was like leaving high school to become a Rock Star and the hundreds of disappointments, failures, wrong turns and creepy people who were not there to help. She tells you how she did it and how she still has to hustle every day to keep the money flowing and to expand her brand into new places.

Wayne will tell you what he has learned from Tanya and will provide new insights and perspectives for you to implement as you work to become better leaders. Wayne will challenge you to think very differently about how you do you work every day, week, month and year. You will hear about real time collaboration, mastering your craft, working with no entitlements and more.

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Leaders must have Competitive Intelligence

Enterprise Leaders must have a personal, intimate understanding of the marketplace.  They must know first hand what is happening with the competition and what their best customers are saying about them.

They must clearly understand their flat spots and face them with courage and conviction.  They understand that the next big idea is out their it just has not been scaled yet.

Leaders must understand and articulate their competitive advantage and drive it into the organization with strategies and metrics.  This is not a bottom up exercise where leaders allow for bubble up ideas drive strategy.  This is a top down driven point of view that will differentiate them in the marketplace.

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Collaboration - insights from Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp

8 Lessons I Learned at Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp 

How You Can Apply It to Your Teams

Part 1 - Collaboration

 

I just finished 38 years in the corporate world with the last 25 leading 9 different meaningful pieces of work.  So, I have a point of view what the corporate world is all about.

As I entered this 4-day immersion called “Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp” I was intrigued to see how the incredibly creative culture of Rock and Roll would mesh with the structured, disciplined and measured culture of the corporate world.  I was listening and watching for things I could learn and share with those of us from the corporate world.

This is the first of 8 articles I will share that highlights what I observed and some insights for corporate leaders.

Lesson: Playing with a Band is a Highly Collaborative Process. 

All of us in the corporate world drop the word “collaborative”around describing the work we do all the time.  I have lead many teams and described them as highly collaborative.  This camp re-defined the word for me. 

Let me describe the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp process… 

1.    You check-in on a Thursday afternoon and grab a jam session with one or two of about 12-14 counselors (more on these incredible musicians later)

2.    You select 1 of 12 rooms to enter and people quickly learn to jam with one another.  After a while, you may choose to leave, select another room, and the process starts over again.  This happens for a couple of hours.  

3.    Everyone breaks for dinner and then each person is assigned a counselor and put in a band.  

4.    Your band has less than 18 hours to decide on a song, learn it, and play with Nancy Wilson of Heart, on stage, with an audience, while its being recorded.

Insight: I have been on corporate teams that might have taken a week to decide the song to play much less learn it and play it.  We might have taken a month to decide the venue to play it. The corporate world lets “collaboration” go on too long.  

5.    The next day, your band will select another song to play with Chris Layton the drummer from Stevie Ray Vaughn’s band. Rest in peace SRV, (Chris has also played with many accomplished bands)

6.    That same night your band will play a couple of songs at Reggie’s in downtown Chicago.

7.    On the last day, your band will play yet another song with the legendary Buddy Guy at his club in Chicago.  The term legendary gets tossed around too frequently in my opinion but Buddy Guy, this guy is a legend.  What an experience!

8.    The Grand Finale, culmination of all your hard work, is later that same evening, each band plays 2-3 songs on stage, live broadcast with their Counselor.

In summary, you meet 6-7 people for the first time on a Thursday evening, together you decide on a song to play in 18 hours, and start thinking about the next handful of songs you must play with big name talent over the next 3 days, and what role everyone in the band must have with each other.  

Insight: Everyone has an important role. The guitarists can’t play over the vocalists, the drummer has to keep the beat, the bass lays down the low, the harmonica player knows when to take their solo, as do all the other band members.  If one of the band members flies out of formation the whole things turns sour.

Guess what?  We figured it out.  

Was it perfect? No.  

Was it good? Most people think so.  

Did it accomplish the goal of having a great time with some legends in the music business?  Yes, in fact it over-delivered for everyone.

Insight: As I reflect back on the hundreds of projects I lead or was a part of, at the company I worked for and also with other suppliers and dozens of customers, in the corporate world, we take too long to decide and get things done.

In Corporate America we just take too long. It’s probably a combination of not being clear on the deliverable (You will be playing with Nancy Wilson in 18 hours) or the role of each team member (You are going to play rhythm guitar, not lead and not sing, and don’t bring it up again) or the leader not taking the lead (Our leader was Chip Z. Nuff – he took the lead, no question about it and he made the decision once he had everyone’s input and his assessment of the talent) Or maybe it was the simple fact that we had a quick deadline? 18 hours that’s it.  We didn’t have the luxury of pushing it back to the next team meeting, next month.

Perhaps in Corporate America we need to get more performance, in less time. We need a lot more progress and a lot less perfection.  We should be more clear and direct, but fair. Be less tolerant of people flying out of formation because they don’t like the solution. And we should not give people or teams a long time to figure it out.  They are not going to get that much smarter and they should have the courage to make the decision and implement it.  If it starts to veer off course, fix it.

Several more articles to follow over the next few weeks…

Thanks to David Fishof, CEO of Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp, for a one-of-a-kind experience.

Wayne StricklandComment
Undercover Leader - insights from Rock and Roll fantasy Camp

It's quite an eyeopening experience to not b the leader and no one knows who you are and what you have done in your career.  First, no body really cares what you have done, right.  But it is an eye opening experience to see how important all the little details are to make the experience a good one or a not so good one

Wayne StricklandComment
Immersion - Insights from Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp

8 Lessons I Learned at Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp 

How You Can Apply It to Your Teams

Part 3 – Immersion

I just finished 38 years in the corporate world with the last 25 leading 9 different meaningful pieces of work.  So, I have a point of view what the corporate world is all about.

As I entered this 4-day immersion called “Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp” I was intrigued to see how the incredibly creative culture of Rock and Roll would mesh with the structured, disciplined and measured culture of the corporate world.  I was listening and watching for things I could learn and share with those of us from the corporate world.

This is the third of 8 articles I will share that highlights what I observed and some insights for corporate leaders.

Lesson: To get Great at Your Craft You Must Be Immersed in it Without Distractions

If you have read the first two articles about my experience at Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp you know that I was blown away by the incredible talents of the counselors.  They are the musicians that lead your band.  They drive the song choice, the practice time and decide who does what.

These are wildly talented individuals.  Do you know how they got so talented? They practice and practice and practice and they work at it all the time.  They play with multiple bands, they work with multiple artists, and they play. I am sure there is some talent they are born with or it’s in their family DNA but work on their craft and make it better.

I have read a little about the Beatles and one of the reasons they grew into icon status is because they played, all the time.  They took a gig in Liverpool and they had to play multiple sets a day, 6-7 days a week, for years.  If you play that much you get better. It’s just that simple.

As leaders, how much time do you spend becoming a better leader? 

Were you promoted from a manager job to a first time leader position?  Are you still managing or are you leading?  My experience is that fist time leaders first need to learn to get out of their own way and let people do their jobs.  First time leaders need to figure out quickly that leading is not managing and if they don’t figure that out they never get to the next level of leadership which is cross-functional leadership.

Cross-functional leaders manage a team of managers or leaders that have very different skills from their skills.  The leader might be a marketing person and now they are leading sales, finance, supply chain, I/T, product development, merchandising, etc.  They can’t tell their teams how to do their jobs but they must lead them.  They must learn how to connect with them and learn what drives them.  They must learn how to communicate effectively, which is not the same method for everyone.  Some people want to debate, some people need to process, some need one on one discussion.  It’s not the same for everyone and it’s a process that includes repetition.  One time will not get it done.  These leaders must also master the skill of setting metrics, dates, assigning responsibility and holding people accountable. This is a tough and demanding leadership job.

The final level of leadership is enterprise level.  These are the jobs at the top of the house and they make decisions that give a company a path for growth or they screw it up and people go home, including them.  They must have intensive focus and the ability to listen and look around the corners.  They must understand the competitive landscape personally and clearly know what’s happening the marketplace.  I call this competitive intelligence. It’s not research or the aggregation of everyone’s opinion about the marketplace, it’s their personal, hands on knowledge of the business and what their competitors are doing all the time.

So, what level leader are you?

What are you doing today, this week and next month to develop better leadership skills?  Are you making plans to become a better leader or are you always diving into the details of today’s fire drill and work? 

No question that doing the work everyday will make you better at doing that work but what are you doing to train yourself to become a better leader?

If leaders learned how to immerse themselves into the skills of becoming better leaders the way musicians learn how to immerse themselves into their craft, I wonder how much better leaders could be?  Can better leadership change the growth path of a company?  I know it can. Can better leadership inspire employees and generate new ideas and innovation.  I am sure of it.

Then as leaders, why are you not spending more time learning how to be better leaders?

I have some ideas. Go to my website waynestricklandspeaking.com for more insights and ideas. 

Several more articles to follow over the next few weeks…

Thanks to David Fishof, CEO of Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp, for a one-of-a-kind experience.

Wayne StricklandComment
Grateful - Insights from Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp

What I Learned at Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp 

They are grateful for what they have

 

No Entitlement You Must Earn It

I just finished 38 years in the corporate world with the last 25 leading 9 different meaningful pieces of work.  So I have a point of view what the corporate world is all about.

As I entered this thing called Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp I was intrigued how the incredibly creative culture of Rock and Roll would mesh with the structured, discipline and measured culture of the corporate world.  I was listening and watching for things I could learn and share with those of us from the corporate world.

This is the second of 7-10 articles I will write that highlights what I observed and some of the ideas I want to share with all of you in the corporate world.

At Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp you have an intensive 4 day immersion with some of the world’s best musicians and are expected to perform live with legendary people like, Nancy Wilson, Chris Layton and Buddy Guy with people you have never met before. And it will be recorded if front of a live audience in real venues. With Buddy Guy it was streamed live and my family in Kansas City and Melbourne Australia were able to watch it live. No pressure, right?

One of the biggest surprises was the level of talent of all the counselors.  These are the people who have the responsibility of getting their band together, picking the songs with the band, driving the rehearsals, (from early morning to late at night) and assigning all the band members their roles.  It was amazing to watch this happen across 12 different bands with a wide range of personalities.

 About the counselors.  These people have world class talent but are not the headliners. I will not list them all and I apologize for the ones I leave out but they include, Monte Pitman, lead guitar for Madonna (actually taught her to play), Tanya O’Callagan, described by many as the best female bass player in the world (not sure why they say female because I can’t see how anyone could match her total package), Gregg Potter, the drummer for the Buddy Rich Orchasteria, (find him on YouTube for a taste of his talents) Joe Vitale the drummer for Joe Walsh (A great guy) Michael Straertow, the lead guitarist for the Foreigner frontman, Lou Gramm, Vince Apice, drummer for Black Sabbath, Slim Jim Phantom, the drummer for Stray Cats.  Others include Ashely Reeves, Rob Mount, Rusty Wright (wow), Gary Hoey (great), and Chip Z’Nuff (my counselor)

The talents of these individuals are beyond explanation.  They could play with anyone in the world, today.

But they have to earn it, everyday.  

There are no guarantees.  There is no corporate HR function that has a pay scale and mid-point for each job.  There is not a deposit that drops into their checking account no matter if they have a good month or a bad month and still get paid.  There is no corporate I/T function to fix a computer, no travel service, no corporate cafeteria, no health benefits.  I think you get the picture.

They have to earn it, everyday.

Some of them give guitar lessons, they play in many bands, they travel to remote locations to get a gig, they work at Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp for the love of the music and the exposure, they release new music, sometimes a single at a time. Bottom line, they hustle and have to earn it.  If they don’t get a gig, they don’t get paid.  It’s one of the ultimate perform to get paid jobs.

Ok, back to the corporate world.  I think many people have gotten soft and feel entitled to benefits they might not have earned and don’t appreciate what they receive from their employer.

How many times as a leader have you listened to an employee tell you they have earned the right to a promotion or a salary increase because of how long they have been in a job? It’s like they have hit a fantasy number and expect that, boom, just like that they should get promoted. Or, they have a long list of activities and tasks they have accomplished on time and complete and for that, its time for a big promotion.  Or they see other people in other companies make more and now they are entitled to more, not understanding they are completely different jobs.

As employees, do you take an assessment of all the benefits you receive from your employer and start assigning a cost to them if you had to pay for them yourself?  Do you like knowing what your work is going to look like for the next 12 months or so?  Do you appreciate having a performance plan that tells you exactly what you need to do this year and how you will get compensated for it?

I think the many, certainly not all, people in the corporate world have gotten to soft, too entitled, are drinking their own Cool-Aide and need to stop, take a pause, and appreciate the benefits they have today.

For all the counselors, my hat off to you.  You are an amazing group of wildly talented individuals, that people like me don’t truly appreciate, until now.

Thank you.

Wayne StricklandComment
Keep it Simple - Insights from Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp

8 Lessons I Learned at Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp 

Part 4 – Keep it Simple

 

I just finished 38 years in the corporate world with the last 25 leading 9 different meaningful pieces of work.  So, I have a point of view what the corporate world is all about.

 

As I entered this 4-day immersion called “Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp” I was intrigued to see how the incredibly creative culture of Rock and Roll would mesh with the structured, disciplined and measured culture of the corporate world.  I was listening and watching for things I could learn and share with those of us from the corporate world.

 

This is the fourth of 8 articles I will share that highlights what I observed and some insights for corporate leaders.

 

Lesson:  Keep It Simple

 

If you read the first 3 articles you have a flavor of the 4-day immersion into Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp. At 6:00pm on the first day you are introduced to your counselor and your band for the next 4 days.  You have to pick a song, decided everyone’s role and practice so you can play with Nancy Wilson at 1:00pm the next day.  You also have to be ready for Chris Layton on Saturday with a new song, play at Reggie’s in downtown Chicago Saturday night and have another song ready to play with the legendary Buddy Guy at Legends Sunday evening.  So you must have 3 songs, maybe 4 if you want to add a song to your set Sunday evening.

 

So you meet 6 other people for the first time and start picking songs.  That’s no easy task.  Everyone has a favorite, has a lick they rehearsed, has a song that fits their vocal range, has one they have practiced 100 times, and so on. Our counselor, Chip Z’ Nuff, was a master at navigating us to our song selection and what everyone was going to do.  And he was very clear with everyone about it.  For example, you play rhythm, you play lead, you jump in here, you don’t sing, etc.

 

After we picked the first song there was lots of ideas on how add to it.  A few fancy licks here, an added vocal, a little drum solo maybe a long harp solo (harmonica).  These were all good ideas.  Everyone had a specialty and had probably practiced it a 100 times.

 

But Chip said we must keep it simple.  Some of the best songs ever written and performed, are simple.   You don’t complicate them just to complicate them. Keep it simple.  That meant playing some simple chords and rhythms.  Add a few single note melodies.  Keep the vocals clean and simple.  He kept reminding us we have one song with Nancy, Chris and Buddy so lets keep it simple and hit a home run with that one song. (my translation – Chip might have used another phrase)

 

So that’s what we did. I have to admit I got a little bored the 25thtime we played some of those songs.  I wanted to add a little something as did the other band members but we stayed the course and kept it simple.  

 

In the end we were not the best band or the worst.  But we did what we set out to do.  We played with Nancy, Chris and Buddy and we played at Reggie’s and a few extra songs at the Legends after Buddy left.  I got to do exactly what I wanted to do when I signed up for Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp.  I got videos and pictures and autographs and it was a fantastic experience because we kept it simple.  I am sure it would have felt different if we had tried a song that was really hard and we screwed it up.  I would probably be still thinking about that vs what a great experience the entire camp was for me.

 

That’s because we kept it simple.  Thanks Chip.

 

 

As business leaders do we keep it simple?

 

My experience is that we have a gravitational pull to make it more complicated.  It just pulls us into a process that adds unnecessary complications, process, people, time and cost.  It seems we just can’t help ourselves.

 

Maybe it’s because we want to take everyone’s input and add it to the process so they feel included. Maybe it’s because we lack confidence, so we add a few extra steps.  Maybe it’s because we lack the courage to say no to a few highly influential contributors because they might not like it. (Chip said no all the time to our ideas) Maybe the idea is just bad and you need to start over but can’t admit you were wrong.  Maybe we think we need to add a few extra steps to look smart or clever.

 

The reason we make things more complicated is probably complicated but we do it.  I think as the bandleader, Chip had been through thousands of times where someone in the band had to be the leader and make decisions and he was very comfortable doing it.  He was confident it what we needed to do to play a solid song with Nancy, Chris and Buddy.  He measured our skill level, navigated us to the right songs and kept us on track.

 

Here is a challenge for all leaders this week, make things less complicated this week.  Take out unnecessary steps, make decisions faster, be clear on what needs to be done and what does not need to be done.  Be as comfortable saying no as you do saying yes.

 

Try this for a week and see if it makes a difference.  I believe it will.

Wayne StricklandComment
No Distractions - Insights from Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp

In the corporate world one of my biggest nits is the indiscipline use of cell phones, tablets and laptops in every meeting.  Yes, it's great when people are searching for information to help the meeting.  But too many times people are checking email, texting, and checking Facebook and all the rest.  It's a distraction and a problem leaders will have to deal with more directly if they want to improve productivity.

At Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp none of the artist had their cell phones out, none.  they were focused on their customers, us, and they practiced. They were into their jobs and made sure all oil us were getting the instruction we needed to perform with the headliners, Nancy Wilson, Chris Layton and Buddy Guy.  They were fiercely driving us to be better.

As leaders, we need to be more like the teachers at Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp and require ours teams to stay focus on the challenge in from of us, not texting.

Wayne StricklandComment