Leadership. We all want it. Need it. Strive to have it. Leadership in ourselves. In the people around us. Leadership isn’t limited to a human quality, it is also represented in the companies and brands we follow.
Many people talk and tweet about leadership. When the COO of Facebook and the CEO of American Express talk about leadership, it is important to pay attention.
Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and AMEX’s Ken Chenault sat down to discuss the topic of leadership earlier this year during the #fMC in New York City. The Facebook Marketing Conference was a day-long event designed to announce the latest products and features driving business growth through the use of social technology. During #fMC, Sandberg and Chenault warmed the hearts of marketers and sparked the corporate creative spirit as the audience watched the two successful C-level executives discuss leadership during a fireside chat.
Indeed, these two juxtaposed juggernauts have earned the title of leadership. One, a newcomer tech giant trailblazing towards Wall Street. The other, a financial institution, steady and consistent as powerful as the bell towers of Notre Dame. As we seek solutions to lead in today’s digital divide, tips from the tech to traditional can help.
Facebook: A fresh and forward-moving example
Last year Facebook boasted of 680 million active monthly users. According to an amendment filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this week, the tech giant’s value has skyrocketed. Their continued growth includes a recent acquisition of Instagram and now claims 901 million active monthly users, with 488 million mobile users a month. Responsible for new friendships, influential online communities and razor sharp advertising targeting capabilities, this social technology game changer has proven leadership capabilities that business leaders must respect.
AMEX leadership: Old as gold
This shiny gold card carrying financial institute was founded 162 years ago. Like a fine wine, this traditional establishment has only matured and grown its wealth of wisdom as it evolves, keeping a smooth pace in today’s marketplace. Once catering to the business traveler, AMEX has shifted their market focus to the small business owner. With partnerships and alliances with social tools like Facebook and Foursquare, this traditional institution has earned the social creds to not only be included as a cutting-edge market leader, but also to be reverend and respected as one of the leaders in social marketplace.
One common theme Facebook and AMEX exude? Leadership.
Personal, Professional Leadership
These two chief executives have earned the right to speak on the topic of leadership. On a personal level, the stories they could share of their own career climb could teach us a thing or two as individuals. Both leaders represent diversity. As a female executive of a tech company and an African-American executive at a financial institute, there is no doubt their positions were earned by tried and true leadership qualities.
From a business perspective in today’s marketplace however, there are key points to understand as professionals seek to lead their businesses upward and onward, beyond the digital divide. As Sandberg led this fireside chat discussion, here are the leadership secrets Chenault shared on how AMEX has approached today’s tech-driven marketplace and maintained a position of leadership:
Link with people at a personal level. Inspire hope in others that leads to innovation. Don’t be consumed with competition that you lose sight of who you are. Own your identity and brand, never allow others to define you.
Connect and build trust through consistent thoughts and actions. Without trust, progress and innovation is stalled. Content should never be an accessory, but part of the relationship. Provide relevant content through engaging socially.
Drive change. Reinvent yourself as needed to reach your optimal purpose. Listen to where the needs are and what the market is wanting. Drive is not coasting or riding shot-gun in today’s digital era.
Chenault’s LCD approach can be scaled to today’s challenges we face where leadership is needed. This fireside chat represents proven leadership we can all apply. Throughout the discussion, Chenault shared the importance of trust as a foundation to leadership.
Would you agree that the LCD leadership principles built on trust is a solid approach to today’s digital divide? The comments are yours.