Being the head of a creative team is incredibly rewarding. It requires you to be a protector and a facilitator for your team, removing obstacles and cultivating openness so great ideas have space to flourish. It also requires flexibility to play different roles throughout a project lifecycle. Sometimes you play the hype-man for the project. Sometimes your role is simply to get out of the way and let your amazing team of designers get after it. And then sometimes it is helping them see the greatness in what they just did.

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The pandemic accelerated change and, with it, the need for executives to rethink how they nurture their careers in a new business environment where agile, virtually connected, and tech-driven skills are essential to thrive as a leader. What worked 2-5 years ago is no longer optimal for how businesses and people work together. Subsequently, the need for executives to rethink how they nurture their network is paramount.

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If there is one thing I've learned from my years of helping brands tell their story it's that successful businesses struggle to survive if they don't have a strong branding strategy. Building a strong branding strategy takes time, resources, and commitment. Many executives can get stuck completing the branding strategy. This article will answer the question of what branding is and how it can help your business.

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Are you in a race against time to get everything you can possibly get done in this lifetime?

Do you have a bucket list of things to do that you never seem to complete? Are you unaware just how much all of your bucket list will cost or how you will actually complete each item?

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As a marketer, it is important to connect your work to business results. When you do, you will have influence, relevance, and credibility throughout the organization.

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This job of a marketer can no longer be the narrow work of promotion. It's something bigger and broader.

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There is a definition of what leadership is: an omnipotent figure that is telling people exactly what to do and how to do it.

Because the leader knows absolutely everything. He or she is the most intelligent person in the room—at all times.

It survives to this day because it is comforting to the leader. But it is also toxic to effectiveness and morale. It amounts to treating employees like they are automatons, not brains.

Not surprisingly, it leads to sagging results.

Effective leaders know pretending to be all-knowing is the best way to lose their team's trust and cripple their efficiency. Rather, they practice servant leadership and empower their team. They are the spark plugs of their teams.

Here's why.

That All-Knowing Figure Of A Leader Is Dead Wrong!

File:Father Knows Best cast photo 1962.JPG - Wikimedia Commons

No, Father doesn't always know best! - commons.wikimedia.org

Everyone I know of was raised with a certain idea of the ideal leader. A father-like figure telling his team members (a.k.a. his "kids") what to do, when to do it, and how.

In other words, an all-knowing, almost omnipotent being showing the way forward.

That image is present in multiple cultures, but perhaps even more so in highly hierarchal ones.

That image is also dead wrong. And dangerous.

If that "Father Knows Best" leader ever was the way to effective leadership, it died with the rise of the knowledge economy. It passed away when the world became so complex that no one in their right minds could even pretend to know everything.

Servant leadership is the way to efficiency. That starts with the humility required to recognize you do not have all the answers.

Pretending To Know Everything, The Surest Way To Lose Credibility And Effectiveness

long-angle photography of tunnel Photo by Valentin Lacoste on Unsplash

Trashing your credibility is the surest way for a leader to lose his or her reports' trust.

Hiding the fact the company is going through tough times? Trying to show a brave face in front of a challenge by stating that you know precisely how to tackle it, while in your heart of hearts you know otherwise?

You may feel you are doing your team members a favor. That you need to be their rock in the middle of a stormy sea. That they need not worry since you got this all figured out.

You may also feel that if you do not act as if you knew everything, then your reports will lose trust in you.

In other words, you may feel you are doing your job by pretending omnipotence.

But you are not.

No matter how well-intentioned these efforts are, employees will, one day or another, see right through it. They will detect that you don't really know what you are talking about. That everything is indeed not fine.

In other words, you will damage your credibility.

It gets worse. When the leader is not credible, employees do not trust him or her. That is when they start second-guessing every move.

You may say, "Don't worry, everything will be fine as long as you stick to the plan." But they hear, "A blind person is leading me to the edge of an abyss."

When this happens, it cripples your ability to lead effectively. In sports, this is when the coach "loses his locker room." Something similar happens in the corporate world.

Team Members Are Brains. Time To Treat Them Accordingly.

plasma ball digital wallpaper Photo by Josh Riemer on Unsplash

Effective leaders understand a simple concept: their team members are brains. And they treat them accordingly.

The industry doesn't matter. The value of employees, even manual ones, resides squarely in their brains (which are controlling the hands).

Brains are many things. Among others:

  • They are a repository for knowledge. They are a walking encyclopedia with information about the world, the industry, and how to achieve certain tasks effectively.
  • They are an analytical engine. When faced with specific challenges, they spring into action and analyze what is going on based on previous experiences.
  • They resent emotions. These often tend to be dismissed as nothing but a nuisance. And indeed, emotions can make things worse. But here is a secret: they can also be a tremendous multiplying factor when they are optimized. If you doubt it, then why are people saying of a hockey team on a roll that it is "inspired"?
  • They grow over time. They are not static. They keep evolving and reinventing themselves.
That has profound impacts on effective leadership. The wise among us know it and act accordingly.

An Effective Leader Is A Catalyst For Brain Networks

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The effective leader seeks to deliver results, to effect a change in the world or within an organization that would not occur if no one took action. And they try to do so in the best, fastest, and most cost-effective way.

They know they are the catalyst in the middle of a network of brains. Their number one job is to recruit the right set of brains for a task, each one bringing value to the table.

They need to ensure all these brains all speak a mutually comprehensible language and that connections occur.

They know they cannot know everything, that their teammates will sometimes know better than they do. In fact, they hope team members will sometimes come up with better ideas and better plans.

They do not consider these a challenge to their authority. On the contrary, they understand that the emergence of these dynamic connections speaks volumes to the quality of their leadership. That fellow team members are much more likely to respect someone with the intellectual integrity to recognize his limitations—and a good listener.

Effective leaders also keep in mind the importance of morale. That with the right policies and deeds, a sense of mission will take hold. That will multiply the team's effectiveness and help their brains grow over time, leading to a virtuous circle for the organization.

Above all, the wise leader knows that trying to substitute his brain for others by controlling every action his or her team undertakes is futile and counter-productive—that it is the best way to kill efficiency and drive oneself crazy in the process.

What Is WID's Executive Content Community?

How Can Executives Hit The Ground Running In 2021?

This exclusive community is optimized for search and allows you to present yourself exactly as you are: an expert in your field. As an exclusive member, you'll have the ability to write niche articles that will be hosted in the Community section of our site.

Not to mention, fellow C-suite professionals will be able to read and interact with your articles - that means, you will grow your executive presence AND your professional network.

Additionally, the community feature is built to be shared. This means your articles can and should be shared on social, increasing your executive online presence.

In a nutshell, our Executive Content Community can help you exercise your executive presence so you can get noticed by high-profile organizations who need your expertise!

How Will This Benefit Me Professionally?

Don't Let Cash Hold You Hostage

Great Question!

At the risk of sounding like we're bragging, let's talk about how we know this Community will grow your professional brand:

We receive over 3 million views on our articles in a month. That means your articles will have a reach that's not achievable by posting solely on LinkedIn.

By choosing to write and actively post in our community, your name and expertise will become searchable on Google. When a future employer searches you online, these articles will show and they'll look good, which will make you more sought-after for your area of expertise.

When you first join our community, you'll work with our highly-skilled team to ensure you understand how to utilize our platform successfully. Your first article will receive personal feedback to ensure it not only looks as good as it reads, but so it can perform as well too.

In addition to this initial coaching, we will feature the community article with the most views each week in our newsletter, which has over 55,000 subscribers. With the ability to share and promote your articles easily through social media, you have a great chance of being featured!

How Can I Join?

3 Rules To Smart Business Card Etiquette

This exclusive community is open to executives on an invitation-only basis.

You must be an existing Work It Daily Member part of our Executive-Level program. If you're not already a Work It Daily member and you're interested in joining this community, you can sign up here.

If you're currently an Executive member inside Work It Daily, please fill out this form and someone will be in touch with you shortly.

If you have any additional questions about our Community, you may contact Community@workitdaily.com and we will be happy to assist you further!

I'm A Work It Daily Member & Was Invited To Join This Community!

Female executive goes over her plan for 2021 with a colleague ​​​Dr. Jan Urbahn, Automotive & Shared Mobility Executive

​Now, this is where it gets exciting!

If you were already approved and invited to join the WID Executive Community and are ready to energize your executive presence, here's what you should do:

  • Check the email you used to sign up for Work It Daily for an email inviting you to create an account (If you don't receive one within 1 business day of being approved please email support@workitdaily.com)
  • Create an account within our Community. Remember, your articles will be seen by potential employers so choose a great profile picture and bio for your profile page!
  • Before you write; check out the Executive Content Community Course inside our coaching platform. This will walk you through anything you need to know about growing your online presence
  • Get writing! If you feel unsure about an idea or a specific tool within our community, feel free to email Community@workitdaily.com and we will be ready to help you out!