The Engaged Leader: A Strategy for Your Digital Transformation Author: Charlene Li Amazon Link: The Engaged Leader Available on Audible: Yes The Engaged Leader was not entirely what I expected. When I picked the book out, I was actually searching for a book on leading others. This book was not that. Admittedly, I should have read the summary before purchasing so I have no one to blame but myself. I say this to point out that the book had some pretty surprising and unique content. It was something I’m not sure I would have come across if not purely by accident. And I’m happy that I did. I never had any idea how much the digital transformation affects us all. The power of data visualization in the digital age is what really struck me. You can learn more about this at https://www.microstrategy.com/us/resources/introductory-guides/data-visualization-what-it-is-and-why-we-use-it if you’re interested. The book itself was rather good, and I’m very happy I read it. I hope you enjoy the summary and please feel free to comment in the post below. Enjoy!
This book is really about how and why a leader should engage others (employees, customers, fans, etc.) through various social media outlets. It starts by asking the question, “can a leader delegate their responsibilities to reach out and connect?” The answer: not if they want to have a functioning, robust relationship with customers and or colleagues. These days there is a many to one relationship between leaders and followers, and if a leader wants to be engaging, they need to be present on one or more platforms. The author distils her entire message into three key steps. The steps act as a runway for a leader to accomplish their goals. Listen – Listening determines what followers need from them to enhance the relationship and deepen the connection. A leader should be listening at scale. Listening is also about narrowing down your focus. An engaged leader needs to determine who and what they listen to with a purpose. Listening is easy to do in today’s world, but hiding the noise is much harder. Chapter 1 goes in detail with several tools one could use to help. Hootsuite is a really great tool for listening to social media. It’s worth checking out. Share – How leaders your stories and tales to describe the actions they take. Sharing is a fundamental skill for a leader and one that requires practice to find the most effective balance. The author believes there is a spectrum for sharing. On one end those who don’t share become closed off and socially isolated. Whereas those who overshare, often find others backing away from them as a form of risk mitigation. The reason sharing in the professional world is an area of concern is because in traditional hierarchies there is a chain that information travels. Each level has some responsibility to filter information up and down the chain. What makes people nervous about engaging directly is that that filtering doesn’t happen. But the author challenges us if it is really needed at all. She states that usually only 2% of messaging really needs to be hidden and most of the times it will be obvious. So should there really be a concern with sharing? Engagement – a two-way dialogue that motivates and mobilizes followers to act in concert toward a common purpose. Data has shown that only 13% of people are engaged at work. People tend to be more engaged with they feel appreciated for a job well done. Historically, managers would not have a direct line to their employees to make sure this happens on a frequent enough basis. Today, with the tooling we have all around us, this is an easy thing to achieve. Managers can reach out to almost anyone in almost no time to strengthen and cultivate relationships. With little effort, anyone can build up a colleague resulting in increased engagement at work. A true leader is able to engage their workforce, and today’s tooling makes it easier than ever.
In summary, I wanted to show some of the items this book had to offer in case you were interested in picking it up. I would recommend this book for those who are looking to understand why and how engaging through alternative platforms. This book showcases how social media can not only help themselves be better leaders but the people that follow them as well which is why business needs digital transformation. The author dives into the “why” with several relevant stories, and she spends a lot of time on the “how” by suggesting tooling and behaviors that help leaders be engaging. If that is the type of book you are looking for, this would be a worthwhile read.