Ted Coiné, author of A World Gone Social talks about his new book (co-authored with Mark Babbitt) and outlines how social media is really about being social and less about media. It’s energizing to hear stories of individuals and businesses thriving in this new social age, where we can all be active participants; where the values of engagement, collaboration and transparency are actively lived out by ordinary people forming extraordinary networks.
Ted has a favorite expression: “Awesome.” Therefore, I invited Ted to share with us what filled him with awe as he wrote this book A World Gone Social and now that he’s promoting it. Included in his story of awe were:
- Finding that he wrote a book that resonates with people fills him with delight
- There have been very positive reactions from people he holds in high regard
- The subject of the book – leading in the social age – is a topic of relevance globally
He did say his yard stick of the book’s success with be to appear on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart – or, rather, it was his daughter’s yardstick of success!
Since “social” is the feature of the book, I asked Ted to elaborate. It simply comes down to we humans are social creatures and people actually like each other. The advent of social media has allowed us to connect with each other. Listen to the entire episode to hear some great take-aways for our weekly “Positivity Lens” activity.
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Social Connections: Virtual and Face-to-Face
Is one more effective than the other?
From the beginning of the web, we have been meeting people via chat rooms; we have found partners in life and business, and relationships have developed across the web based on common interest, so it’s not new.
What works on social networks is that we find each other and relationship develop. It might start with our reading a few tweets, and then we read each others’ blog posts, and next we start a conversation.
How to Thrive in The Social Age
Tweets lead to blog posts, to phone calls to f2f meetings. When you finally meet “it’s like a homecoming.” That’s how it’s been for me, for Ted and countless other people we know. We find people who are interested in the same things. Ted has almost 400K twitter followers. He thrives there. He calls Twitter his social media garden. He owes his start in the social space with a trusted colleague suggesting he hang out for a while on Twitter. He found he quickly met people and he loved it.
Ted points out that, as with anything you value and provides an ROI to you, it requires effort, rigor and discipline. You stick with it and put the time in.
On the topic of rebel heretics, (a key role in the book, along with “blue unicorns” and my favorite role), Ted reflects on the genesis of his blog, Switch and Shift, a hugely successful leadership blog that focuses on the human side of business. Switch and Shift is about shaking things up in businesses in recognition that the world has changed, and leaders need to get on board. Switch and Shift attracts a tribe around thought leadership and the rebel heretics among us, when we bump up against the status quo, we either thrive and transform industries or get burned at the stake.
Engaged versus non-engaged organization cultures
Ted tells a story contrasting two big corporations in the same industry – one who’s doing engagement right and one who isn’t. It comes down to treating employees well and with respect. In cultures of engagement, there is shared understanding of what they are all there to achieve across the entire organization: give great customer service and keep costs down while ensuring there is mutual respect for all. You can be an engaged leader, and if you aren't, it's likely you have a disengaged workforce.
- Engaged leaders = you have to be it to make it happen (walk it/ talk it everyday)
- Disengaged workforce = unhappy employees, unhappy customers
A rare breed, you’d have to agree. So at this time in 2014, exceptional leaders who are personally involved on social media themselves, and engage with employees and customers are a rare breed – as rare as blue unicorns!
Attributes of people who best engage on Social
To find the people to represent your brand on social look within your organization or within your network. There are bound to be socially fluent people who really enjoy it and therefore doing it already. So find out who’s interested in representing the brand socially – make them your community managers on social.
Values + Interest = Performance.
OPEN – Ordinary People Extraordinary Network
There’s a great story behind this. Essentially, it captures the ethos that we all have the capacity to build extraordinary networks. So that when we have need for expertise through social we can find the talent to meet the need – that’s the extraordinary network.
- The strength of the network depends on you – how much effort you’ve developed
- The network depends on how much giving you’ve done
- The strength of the bonds depends on how much goodwill you’ve been sewing along the way
- Good karma circles back – that's the power of OPEN
It’s about being a source of value to your network. Ted referenced Adam Grant’s book Give and Take. We have been building our reputations as givers or takers over time. In the social age, we can’t hide from such truths any more – we’re givers and takers – just in what proportion?
Positive habits to improve your contribution in the social age
- More social and less media
- Focus less on the technology
- Focus more on others and less on self-promotion
- More sharing resources for others
- More of the relentless giving
- Connect people to others to build the extraordinary network
- Be the social animal that you are
- Ask for connections, when you’ve built relationships over time
- Celebrate that someone in your network will know who someone that you can help and who can help you
Links Mentioned in This Episode
- The “A World Gone Social” Web Site
- The Switch and Shift Web Site
- Ted on Twitter: @tedcoine
- Ted on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/tedcoine