New year, new leaf. That’s how it typically goes. But no one can deny that we all have a bit of a 2020 hangover that isn’t likely to go away with a couple of aspirin. The concerns of 2020 are sticking with us, and as such, our business goals can’t ignore that trials of the past 12 months.
Leaders and brand stewards have their work cut out for them, but they still can make a difference and leave a lasting impression on people inside and outside of the organization. Here are a few key takeaways that can help guide decision-making amid lingering adversity.
Buy-in starts at the top but comes from within
Leaders who embody their brand’s identity and occupy a niche in the content strategy have the greatest potential for winning over even the most skeptical stakeholders. By serving as a brand steward at the highest level, leaders can accomplish in milliseconds the buy-in needed to move major initiatives forward. What’s the difference between this and garden-variety top-down executive communications? The effects of holistic content marketing can be felt inside and outside the organization in a way that’s positive and organic, not canned or forced.
This approach has added benefits. Nothing that leaders say will be a surprise to anyone inside the organization. Without fear of the unknown, a company’s workforce can focus on creativity and innovation – not the next reporting period or companywide meeting.
Empathy is a two-way street
Honesty and empathy are words that come up often when discussing the qualities of effective leadership today. They are some of the most important ingredients for an authentic brand. However, don’t embrace them just for their own sake. You’re sharing your perspective – your truth – with people. That vulnerability will help build goodwill when tough decisions are on the horizon. It will also encourage people to keep it real with their own teams.
Most importantly, as a thought leader, you invite a wide variety of people to support ideas that are new and sometimes controversial. If you and your brand prioritize empathy, you’re inviting people to be empathetic in return. Take a look at some ideas we’ve shared for how to put empathy into practice.
Change is inevitable
Change happens because something that once worked no longer does. It’s that simple. Change requires humility, adaptability, and a growth mindset.
Thought leadership enables you to navigate change effectively. In 2020, traditional marketing became extra tough for companies. Instead of redoubling efforts there, play the long game: Be the person and leader you need to be to meet people’s needs in a big way. Communicate regularly and effectively. Gather feedback. Listen. People will respond positively if the face of change is someone they trust, whose words and actions reflect an intuitive understanding of everyone’s contributions to your success.
All kinds of surprises are in store this year. Consummate Prose is here to help you build a rock-solid brand so you can get through it – and thrive. Contact us today to get started.