The number one starting point to be a powerful social leader

I was tagged on LinkedIn by the president of the International Coaching Federation (ICF) Singapore, Han Sam Lai (Sam) after speaking at the recent ICF Singapore Business Forum 2018.

In my speech/workshop, I did a one-minute meditation and Sam selected the question: “What gives me energy? What feeds my spirit?” (All questions included at the bottom.)

Sam said that what came forth, from the depths of her soul: “was so powerful for me, I was not able to stop my tears from pouring out.”

And Sam did cry – freely and beautifully. Those are the moments you wait for as a trainer and speaker. It’s incredible. However, it was the next comment that really blew me away, because this is the essence of the message she wants to be known for!

“I wake up knowing my purpose is to serve. To let women know not to play small. To let their light shine. To know they make a difference. They are important. They matter. They are needed. I want to help them see themselves as worthy and when they do, I do too.”

Sam then said, every time she reads these words: “I feel my body recharged, my mind awakens, and my spirit is ablaze.”

How cool is that? And focused? Off the charts. I love it and I’m obviously delighted I could help Sam draw it out – because that’s all I do. Everyone has something powerful within them, everyone. It’s just working out how to bring it to the surface.

And of course, Sam’s job now is to make this the drum beat of her life – every decision, every share, every action, everything. It’s complete focus and what a social leader understands is critical to success – not just digitally, but in every area of your life. Go Sam! Win.

So, if you are really committed to becoming a social leader, start with focus. What you want to be known for. You’ve heard me say that before, right?


What it takes to succeed in social leadership

After working with thousands of business professionals across Asia – which covers a massively diverse community – I know why some rise and others do not. Because with social leadership, to be remarkable, you need focus and then you need this.

Social leadership become your mission. It is a cause. It’s something you believe in so powerfully, you’ll take the last minute of your day to get the message out there, because you know it can make a difference to your audience. You are driven by it. It becomes part of you. It’s like breathing to you.

In the early days of blogging, when I wasn’t getting a lot in return, my husband said: maybe focus on something else, where you will get more back?

He had excellent intentions – because he could see the pain caused by the limited responses I was getting (you start to doubt yourself) – but until that point, he didn’t realize I was doing it for a deeper reason. I needed to do it.

I needed to share my thoughts. I wasn’t doing it for ego, I was doing it hoping to make a difference. I was doing it, hoping to learn from my community. It drives me to this day, a decade later.

My husband may as well have asked me to chop my arm off, it was that deep a need in me. It’s an incredible driver I can assure you. Because it’s driven by a mindset of service, not personal glorification. I know many don’t believe anyone is social for that reason, but trust me, many are.

And that’s why I encourage all professionals (no matter their seniority and why I’m so anti-outsourcing of your voice) to really consider participating in this way. With a service mindset.

It’s the only way you can really stand out.

It’s the only way you can really make an impact.

Because your audience believes you.

They believe in you.

And while social leadership can be excruciatingly slow– building an audience and getting people to engage with you, if you keep going, your audience will grow and their loyalty to you as well. That’s why it’s important to be laser focused in an area you care about deeply, and keep going, despite the vanity metrics. The results will come if you persist and if you keep believing.

If we can all be completely passionate about making a contribution on social media – which will positively impact the organizations we work for, as well as the audience/s we want to reach – collectively, we are powerful. It is by ensuring that we put intentional energy behind everything we do, that we can rise high above the noise on social media.

I always say that so many are present on social media, but they have no presence.

They’re turning up because they think they have too, and we are inundated with this type of presence. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s making many of us very cynical too.

Just remember, if you want to make a difference, be focused, passionate and care deeply about what you’re putting out into the world. Everyone gets bought into passion, because people want to be around passionate people.

So, Sam, thank you! You have found your voice and that is the most exciting thing of all. Many struggle to achieve what you did that day, and I really couldn’t be more delighted to stand witness to you achieving it. I will be equally proud as I watch you owning it on the digital channels.

Own your voice my friends and you will own the future you want for yourselves. I know it to be true.

Is anyone struggling to find their voice? Who do you think has nailed their focus as a social leader?




Guidance for the one-minute meditation

Select one question below or come up with another one. The question isn’t important. Then for one minute, relax, close your eyes, and ask yourself this question repeatedly, shutting out all other “noise.” Don’t think about anything else.

At the end of the minute, start writing whatever comes up and don’t judge it. If nothing comes, write anything until it does. Within the words on that paper is the answer to your question.

I find there’s usually no surprise in the answer, just an acknowledgement that they’ve known it all along and it’s time to accept this path and get busy owning their future. Give it a go and let me know if it works for you too?

  • What do I want to be known for?
  • What makes me stand out in a crowd?
  • When I light people up, what am I talking about?
  • What is my expertise – am I unique in it?
  • What are my core values?
  • What comes easily to me?
  • What do I read about until the early hours of the morning?
  • What do I get up early for – eagerly?
  • What do I enjoy?
  • What gives me energy? What feeds my spirit?
  • What do people compliment me on?

Want proof social leadership transforms business and attracts customers?

Check out this case study with IBM Asia Pacific. Incredible results.

Want to be a super star online?

How to build a profile on LinkedIn

Don’t know where to start, check out my e-learning course How to build a rock star personal brand today.

I believe it’s time for all of us to embrace our voice and embrace the future. We do this by working and living out loud with meaning, intention and by being true to ourselves.

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