Popularity and Leadership

Reflecting on political leadership and popularity in today’s Financial Times, John Kay remarks that leaders who obsess about their public image soon lose the voters respect.  This insight prompted us to think about the pitfalls for business brands in social media.  When brands engage in marketing via social media they are hanging with their customers, to use undoubtedly dated slang.  Before long, if they are not careful, though, brands in social media can become like the saddest kind of teenagers, endlessly trying to invent new ways to suck up to the popular kids so they will continue to be included in the cool crowd.  Inevitably, in this high school scenario, the cool crowd moves on, leaving brands that are desperate for popularity washing their hair on Saturday night.

What’s the solution?  Learn from the “alpha” teenager: lead, be cool, be available, take some risks, but don’t try too hard.  Move on without a tear when ideas fail or grow old.  Once in a while, act like you don’t give a damn. Loser.

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One Response to “Popularity and Leadership”

  1. Mike Tully Says:

    nice work; good analogy

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