What is your brand when you can’t be there ?
Every minute of the day, our brand communicates information about who we are, our character, interests, perspectives and performance. People can find out a lot about us online. If you have not googled yourself lately, I suggest doing that now. Are you pleased with what you see?
How you show up in social sends a message about yourself whether it is intentional or not. I think by now, most of us see the importance of having an authentic presence in social media. At least in the business world I participate in, you can’t avoid this. You are checked out before a networking meeting, before an interview and before someone says they want to do business with you.
Bob Johansen, a distinguished fellow at the Institute for the Future in Silicon Valley recently wrote a book about leadership literacies as we look out the next ten years. He writes about one literacy in particular that has me thinking about how we “show up the world.” He says we will need to be there for our teams across the world, when we are not there. It is virtual and non-conventional platforms for communicating that will become norms. We see it now. We will earn trust in our network or our company through other means that just being in a physical setting. Building on-line relationships and having presence virtually across geography will be more important in the future. Technology makes this possible.
Imagine a future where; where you are leading a team without physical presence. We have that now most of the time in our small and mighty team of recruiters. Our managing director, Kate Kjeell brings them together once a week for de-briefs and problem solving. Instant messaging keeps daily communication a key aspect of being present. We use phone, email, conference call, skype or combinations.
How do we convey presence when we can’t be everywhere?
Here are the three things to do in order to create your voice online: 1.) Ask yourself, “How will people know what I know?” In your effort to share a story online or your point of view make a list of topics that are important to you. These topics or themes are areas you are passionate about and will be the starting point for your writing, blog or on-line presence. 2.) Research how others are known in a field that interests you. Where do they express themselves? Dorie Clark writes a book called, Stand Out. It is a great foundation for building a presence and point of view without being physically together. 3.) Share your ideas with your colleagues. How do others influence virtual teams? Test out "being there when you aren't" by scheduling a skype call.
Consider being your best you, when not being there in person. One of the future competencies to learn is how to lead when you are not there. What is your way to start this journey?