Leadership in an Experience Economy


There are a few things that come to mind when I think about great leaders. First and foremost excellent leaders have an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. This self-actualization allows them to work with a high level of emotional intelligence. That’s important because work and life is a journey full of ups and downs.

The best leaders can rally people around a vision. In good times and bad the best can keep their ego in check. Too little ego and they’ll struggle to lead a team well, confidence in them will fade. However, too much ego and their effectiveness will plummet. And finally, all great leaders make things simple - they take the complex and make it understandable so everyone can easily get where they need to go.

According to the Gallup ⅔ of the global workforce remain disengaged and this is causing the US economy to suffer at an alarming rate - as much as $550 billion of lost productivity annually. [Gallup]

Having said that, there are myriad situations in which leaders find themselves where a deeper understanding of workforce expectations would help guide a fantastic employee experience. Here are a few that come to mind:

Understand the workforce

We have moved into the experience economy. Our people and teams are no longer just motivated by money rather a meaningful employment experience where they can make an impact.

Align the organization around a mission first attitude

Purpose must be the topic of almost every conversation. Connecting the people and teams to why we do business is essential.

When on top

Work diligently to avoid complacency. Take note of success and focus on how to grow to the next level.

When people and teams are disengaged

Use qualitative and quantitative data equally to understand why. Strengthen mid-level managers as they are key to engagement success.

When achieving great results

Celebrate and push past upper limits. Success often breads a strange kind of fear that can cripple progress - know your upper limits and grow past them.

When vision is waning

Don’t panic and act out of character. Remain calm and reconnect with your why.

When great talent joins the team

Demonstrate being human and learn to be you all the time. Know the power of connecting, authenticity and transparency in action.

When asking for help

Always look for blind spots to shine a light on ways to manage a weakness. Surround yourself with trusted advisors who will help to identify what’s missing.

When making organizational changes

Communicate, communicate, communicate - But don’t blame communication for challenges. Challenge your change management processes as you cant out communicate a horrific process.

When new leadership arrives

Great leaders are crystal clear in their expectations. All new leaders want to gain knowledge and understand what winning looks like while being seen, heard, and felt.

When addressing mistakes

When people are offered a high trust experience they will admit mistakes, learn from them, and grow. Great leaders know that if they don’t admit their mistakes, they risk losing a huge amount of organizational influence.