Becoming a better leader – part 2

23 September 2021 Myra Knoesen

In a competitive business environment, effective leadership is an essential requirement in order to achieve organisational goals, success and stability. To do this, leaders must be able to provide inspiration, motivation and clear direction to their team.

In part one of the article Dave Kerpen, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Likeable Local, and the New York Times bestselling author of Likeable Social Media and Likeable Business highlighted the most important principles to integrate to become a better leader. 

In the second part we continue with the principles. 

  1. Responsiveness - The best leaders are responsive to their customers, staff, investors, and prospects. Every stakeholder today is a potential viral sparkplug, for better or for worse, and the winning leader is one who recognises this and insists upon a culture of responsiveness. Whether the communication is via email, voice mail, a note or a tweet, responding shows you care and gives your customers and colleagues a say, allowing them to make a positive impact on the organisation.
  2. Adaptability - There has never been a faster-changing marketplace than the one we live in today. Leaders must be flexible in managing changing opportunities and challenges and nimble enough to pivot at the right moment. Stubbornness is no longer desirable to most organisations. Instead, humility and the willingness to adapt mark a great leader.
  3. Passion - Those who love what they do not have to work a day in their lives. People who are able to bring passion to their business have a remarkable advantage, as that passion is contagious to customers and colleagues alike. Finding and increasing your passion will absolutely affect your bottom line.
  4. Surprise and delight - Most people like surprises in their day-to-day lives. Likeable leaders under promise and over deliver, assuring that customers and staff are surprised in a positive way. There is a plethora of ways to surprise without spending extra money – for example a smile. We all like to be delighted — surprise and delight create incredible word-of-mouth marketing opportunities.
  5. Simplicity - The world is more complex than ever before, and yet what customers often respond to best is simplicity — in design, form, and function. Taking complex projects, challenges, and ideas and distilling them to their simplest components allows customers, staff, and other stakeholders to better understand and buy into your vision. We humans all crave simplicity, and so today's leader must be focused and deliver simplicity.
  6. Gratefulness - Likeable leaders are ever grateful for the people who contribute to their opportunities and success. Being appreciative and saying thank you to mentors, customers, colleagues, and other stakeholders keeps leaders humble, appreciated, and well received. It also makes you feel great! 

Adopting leadership styles

By adopting the appropriate leadership styles, leaders can affect employee job satisfaction, commitment and productivity. 

Kerpen concludes by saying, “the golden rule above all else, is to treat others as you would like to be treated. By showing others the same courtesy you expect from them, you will gain more respect from co-workers, customers, and business partners. Holding others in high regard demonstrates your company’s likeability and motivates others to work with you. This seems so simple, as do so many of these principles, and yet many people are too concerned with making money and further fail to truly adopt these key concepts.”

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Quick Polls


Do you believe this is the toughest period for financial advice in many years?


Yes, it’s hard to navigate the challenges and difficult to adapt. I’m struggling.
No, I have managed to navigate the challenges and have adapted. I’m good.
50/50. I just feel like whether we like it or not, we have to ready ourselves for change… be resilient and scale for the future. It’s not about survival of the fittest anymore but survival of the quickest. We just have to move on with life.
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