I hear this from leaders far too often, “I don’t have time to use LinkedIn. I have too many meetings to attend, too many challenges to overcome and too much client work to do.”
Many, who call themselves leaders, justify this lack of involvement with phrases like these;
- “I’m not looking for a job.”
- “It’s my sales team’s responsibility to find new clients.”
- “I’ve gotten this far without it.”
- “I meet my clients in their boardrooms.”
- “My recruiters are using it.”
- “I have too many email messages already.”
These statements, and many more like it are missing the point.
Regardless of your leadership role and the status of the business, (startup, growing, thriving or struggling), there are many benefits for leaders of organizations to be involved on LinkedIn.
Leaders must be present
The Open Door Policy is dead. Today leaders must be far more accessible and transparent.
We live in an ‘always on’ society. Our employees, clients and business partners want access to us 24/7/365. Resistance creates tension and encourages our employees and clients to look elsewhere.
We don’t need to engage on LinkedIn 24×7, however we can be accessible via our LinkedIn Profile, Company Posts, Newsfeed Discussions, private messaging, etc through LinkedIn.
In this ‘world of transparency’ our employees and clients can learn more about us from our LinkedIn Profile, the content we share on LinkedIn, the conversations we engage on, the groups we are in, and the Companies and Influencers we follow. Leaders today need to be transparent and present.
Leaders who adopt LinkedIn to expand their public presence become trusted at a higher level based on the conversations they start, the words they use and the content they engage on.
Employees are more likely to trust and respect leaders who are publicly present. Clients want to know that their business partners are trusted and respected by the people they lead. Get involved on LinkedIn to present yourself, to be accessible and transparent and to become a more trusted and respected leader.
Leaders must be active listeners
Social Listening is not just for the marketing departments. It’s a business tool that is useful to Leaders who want to hear what is going on.
Leaders can ‘hear’ various conversations on LinkedIn:
- conversations their clients and employees participate in.
- new topics and ideas in their industry and/or region.
- discussions regarding their own business and/or products
- open discussions regarding previously unseen challenges or barriers.
- news and network chatter regarding new competitors or merging competition
Leaders must always be paying attention to what is going on in their industry, with their clients, their competition and their employees. Paying attention to all of this can be a little easier if a Leader adopts social listening on LinkedIn.
Leaders must always be learning
“Leadership and Learning are indispensable to each other” ~ John F. Kennedy
Leaders who are not learning every day will eventually not be able to lead. LinkedIn adds a new channel or source of learning. On LinkedIn leaders can learn from:
- Members of relevant groups
- Their peers in the industry
- Their customers who are looking at new ideas and asking questions
- Their competitors who share new ideas and philosophies
- LinkedIn Influencers and Authors who write content that can make us think
- The unique ideas, questions and stories that are shared on LinkedIn every day
A Leader will soon lose out to others if they are not willing to be present, listening and learning every day. Additionally the businesses lead by leaders who miss out on these opportunities could soon lose out to other businesses with better leaders. If we believe that the old ways of leading are the only way to lead, failure is imminent.
Leaders must find time to be Publicly Present on LinkedIn. Leaders must find a way to use this business tool to accomplish their own Purpose and Goals relevant to the business they lead.
I love working with new clients and helping them to discover activities that are wasting their time and helping them to use that time with this business (LinkedIn). Often with these clients I hear, “I had no idea,” “We can do this?” or “Wow, this is good stuff.” All it takes is a little effort, a little training and the desire to be better and different than you were in the past.