Are you running your marketing, or even your corporation, like a motorcycle without wing mirrors? Imagine the perils!
We were cruising along a road along an industrial area, going towards the highway, and then there it was – a motorbike wobbling without grace, and its driver precariously on it. The motorbike had no wing mirrors, and the driver could not see anything behind, merely going blind forward. He must have hoped for others to take care of him, while totally disregarding the safety and needs of other road users behind him. Wing mirrors aren’t luxuries – ALL motorbikes and automobiles come with them (some even more than two). Proper bicycles come with wing mirrors too. Wing mirrors, let me repeat, are safety devices for drivers and other road users in the macrocosm of the roads.
In corporations, and in marketing departments, a true leader is one who leads by charging forward, and allowing his people to follow behind as a synergistic team. The wars to be fought in the marketplaces are difficult and painful, and a leader demonstrates his vision, his wisdom, his courage, and his compassion, by taking charge and charging forward. No leader can hide behind his people and still be called a leader.
And yet, a true leader has to have wing mirrors that stay close to his people. The leader has to know what is going on within his department or the corporation. There are many management areas that would parallel the wing mirrors on a motorbike – executive dashboards, analytics, business processes, continuing education programs for employees, and so on.
However, the greatest wing mirrors would be the leader himself. The leader engages and endears his people by walking about, interacting with his people in the field, going out with his field people to face customers during sales or troubleshooting, and in the production workflow to understand the woes and challenges in the clean rooms or shop floors. The leader has to be hands on, with his people, to show that they are of one spirit.
Should there be some amongst the teams who are falling wayward or on the side, the leader will then be able to correct and help these employees to fold into the team playing as one again, or take remedial action for the greater team if necessary. Not having insight into the internal team would render the leader going blind forward, without knowing the challenges, dangers and perils he may have behind him.
The highway is a dangerous creature, just as the marketplace is gravely challenging to business owners and managers. Without the wing mirrors on the motorbike we are driving forward, we have no senses to help us navigate forward well, or to keep us safe in the long journey ahead. It is about survival. It is about clarity. It is about cohesiveness. Do you have wing mirrors on your motorbike traversing in the marketplace?
Dr Seamus Phan is the Head of Content and CTO at McGallen & Bolden. He is an expert in branding, marketing, communication, leadership training, crisis management, and entrepreneurship. This article may appear concurrently on his blog. Connect on LinkedIn. ©1984-2018 Seamus Phan et al. All rights reserved.