Since Everybody’s Talking, Is Anybody Listening?
by Stephen Ingalls, President & CEO
Increasingly, it seems like I’m spending the majority of my day locked in mortal combat with e-mail, telephone, and social media feeds. Some of this is my own doing, but much of it involves a cacophony of “push” nuggets from one media outlet or another.
Our company, LGL Leadership, is in the business of reading these posts, especially as they relate to the past, current, and future states of leadership, and mining those “best of” that relate to our current projects or that contribute to our thinking (on a variety of topics). Certainly, we wish to add our voice to these topics, both to push LGL front-of-mind (a marketing term), but also to contribute substantively to the conversation.
Yet, as we pursue the former, isn’t the substance getting lost in the noise? If so, doesn’t that dilute the contribution somewhere toward uselessness? Oh…for the E.F. Hutton approach.
Younger professionals may not remember this series of ads – two businessmen, locked in conversation in a crowded space (e.g., restaurant, airport/airplane, park, etc.), discussing investments. One offers his input and asks for the other’s. The second actor chimes in with, “My broker’s E.F. Hutton, and E.F. Hutton says…” The setting goes quiet, and everyone leans in to hear what advice E.F. Hutton has to offer. The tagline for this series was “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen.” And there’s the challenge…
We haven’t achieved “E.F. Hutton-level” stature, so we engage a marketing organization to help us brand and promote ourselves. Those marketing efforts include an editorial calendar and pushing content to the masses via multiple streams in hopes something we say or promote resonates strongly with someone (we’re working to get people to listen). In fact, Robert Stephens, founder of Geek Squad, said that “marketing is the price you pay for being unremarkable.”
I’m just spit-balling here, but wouldn’t it be remarkable these days to keep our collective mouths more shut until we have something substantive to say? But…doesn’t that approach effectively prevent us from ever rising to the E.F. Hutton level? Importantly, is there an approach that might simultaneously contribute to raising brand awareness, but that doesn’t involve pushing the “breathe well while leading” nuggets to the universe? It’s a dilemma we’re combating every week with our business.
So…if you see something with LGL’s byline on it, and that doesn’t rise to the level of useful, practical, interesting, thoughtful, etc., we hope you’ll let us know. It’s on our minds to be important by what we offer, not by who we are.
We hope you’ll be interested in what we have to say, but want you to know that we’re interested in what’s on your mind, so please don’t hesitate sharing that with us. Some day, maybe we’ll hear you say, “My leadership development partner is LGL Leadership, and LGL says…” – and the World quiets down to listen.