Maximizing Your Digital Footprint

“Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.”

– Milan Kundera, Writer

Digital technology is no longer a secondary tool in modern business and leadership practices; it is essential in nearly every facet of communication and infrastructure. This sort of necessity is more than the need for computers, mobile internet, or other devices that connect people to one another in an efficient fashion. Nowadays, entire networks of business, social, and personal information now exist and thrive online.

Your digital footprint represents how prevalent and aware you are of these landscapes. Understanding just what that means, as well as how to use it to increase your leadership reach, business production, and overall social awareness, can be the difference between succeeding and floundering in the modern world.

Your digital footprint more or less represents your overall online presence and effectiveness. This can be defined in a number of ways, but for starters, it should be understood in terms of your ultimate goals. In business, many peoples’ goal in this regard is to increase awareness of their brand/services/leadership ability, in order to increase production on a number of levels. With much of business being conducted via the internet and other online networks, a digital footprint determines just how effective you are in achieving this goal.

Even if you are not completely aware, you and your business likely already have a digital footprint in some regard, be it a website, social media, LinkedIn pages, or even simply others talking about you and your business. The point of maximizing your digital footprint is to expand these reaches, while at the same time having control of your messaging and desired areas of attack.

Each online platform provides a variety of tools specific to its user base, area of business, and monetization structure. It is important to learn about these different platforms and find the best resource for your specific area of business. However, many of these platforms share areas, so it is also important to keep your desired clientele in mind and focus your digital footprint efforts to cater to that audience. One of the biggest mistakes businesses make in doing this, however, is trying to market and spread awareness across all platforms in a general fashion. Understanding your target audience can increase your digital footprint in a way that actually provides an effective return to your business.

Having a solid understanding of the potential of a strong digital footprint is an important first step. Even if you do not necessarily feel ready to dedicate serious resources to grow your online presence, being aware of how your competition may take advantage of the increasingly dominant digital landscape is a necessity. A digital footprint, at the very least, adds more tools to your craft, allowing you to be more prepared for future success.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
The world’s leading business advisory and executive coaching organization

Employing Proper Placement as a Leader

“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”

-Franklin D. Roosevelt

The implementation of effective leadership can be realized in a number of areas. From establishing a companywide culture to the selection and development of personnel, successful leaders understand that significant efforts should be taken in all areas of leadership. One of the lesser appreciated, yet incredibly important, leadership responsibilities is utilizing proper placement; placing the right people in the right positions can be the difference between success and failure.

A major portion of employing proper placement is in the avoidance of improper placement. Discovering the exact perfect placement can be difficult and sometimes even impossible if the wrong personnel is involved. However, failing to address improper placement can often be even more harmful than other placements that are not quite perfect. It is important to understand that improper placement does happen, even from typically effective leadership. The key is to recognize and address the situation as soon as possible.

Oftentimes, one of the major contributors to poor placement is not allowing your personnel’s direct skillset determine your decision making. Some leaders tend to depend on familiarity or ease of transition when it comes to finding the right person for a job. However, successful leaders often determine the perfect person for a job based on their specific skills and experiences. Every job or assignment requires different, specific needs, so the same sort of specificity should be considered in order to achieve proper placement.

As with all major areas of business, placement is an ongoing and intensive process. Understanding its importance and not settling for below average results can make all the difference in your leadership effectiveness. Great leaders are those who understand the existence of non-ideal placement and work to avoid such results as much as possible.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
The world’s leading business advisory and executive coaching organization

Managing Ego as Leader

“Leadership is something which other people have to recognize. You cannot demand that I am a leader.”

– M.S. Swaminathan, Geneticist

For many, “ego” is often seen in a negative light, often used to describe someone abusing their power due to an inflated view of themselves. However, ego does exist but can be utilized in a positive fashion. Successful leaders understand ego as not only a constant in leadership, but also a tool that can be used to enhance leadership development. Whether it’s understood positively or negatively, ego is fundamental to leadership and deserves a concerted effort from effective leaders.

What does “good” ego look like? To best understand this, it’s important to first discern what “bad” ego usually means and how it may be present in your leadership practices. With all leadership comes an inherent power over others, at least in some small sense. Recognizing this as a reality is not a bad thing at all, in fact it can be very productive. However, misunderstanding this “power” as a direct reflection of your self-image can be dangerous and lead to a misuse of ego.

Having an ego that presents a false image of oneself can be used in a predatory fashion both directly and indirectly. Leaders with an inflated ego often wield their leadership responsibilities in a way that ultimately halts the development of their organization. Negative ego is important to identify in this sense because oftentimes, it’s merely a failure to recognize one’s self image, rather than maliciously harming others. Either way, ego gone unchecked can easily become the enemy of growth.

Ego understood responsibly, on the other hand, creates a wealth of opportunities for growth for both you and your organization as a whole. For a majority of leaders, a positively effective ego is present when a clear understanding of one’s inner self exists. Having this clarity of self-image allows one’s growth and perspectives to not be totally tied to one’s particular role of a leader in a certain circumstance. This means that leadership growth can exist openly and honestly, apparent for all in your organization. In seeing leadership in this way, others will both understand your leadership principles more clearly and better discover potential for honest growth in their own life.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
The world’s leading business advisory and executive coaching organization

Prioritizing Self-Development

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”

– John F. Kennedy

As a leader, you are responsible for the success of your organization and the development of all those you represent. Most successful leaders consider the growth of their personnel to be of the highest priority and worthy of constant direct involvement. Whether it be hosting regular seminars, getting more involved in hiring, or taking measures to clearly express company culture, direct teachings from leaders appears to be a necessity in development. However, many times unsuccessful leaders take these steps, but fail to properly engage in self-development, leading to a ripple effect throughout the entire organization.

It may seem counterintuitive to spend less time lecturing and more time on oneself, but the results of efficient self-development can often have an even stronger effect on others compared to direct teaching. Of course, knowledge can be gained by directly informing others, but it can come at the expense of developing yourself as a leader. Failing to constantly grow as a leader can cause stagnation and eventually diminish your ability to lead effectively.

What does efficient self-development look like in this regard? Everything done to enhance one’s leadership ability should be understood as a consistent, proactive process. One should seek out different areas of productive information; whether by viewing webinars, reading books, talking to other leaders, or reflecting on past practices. A leader who pursues growth and stability should always be absorbing multiple diverse areas of knowledge.

Though this may seem a more indirect method of leadership, it plays a large part in direct leadership practices. Investing in yourself and utilizing relevant knowledge, equips you to lead effectively and efficiently when times of direct involvement become necessary. On top of this, making this process open and visible for others to see your growth in measurable terms can have a lasting effect on your whole organization. Prioritizing self-development inspires others to seek the same sort of growth in their life, resulting in a stronger, more effective collective.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
The world’s leading business advisory and executive coaching organization