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Eric Barker writes a blog called “Barking Up The Wrong Tree.” His posts are, in general, insights and tips on “how to be awesome at life,” and The Week publishes what I’d call his “how to be awesome in business” guides. In “10 Things the Greatest Leaders All Have in Common,” Barker includes this short list under the section that touches upon the difference between leaders and managers:
- The goal of management is consistency and order.
- The goal of leadership is to motivate and create necessary change.
- Management is about processes. Leadership is about people’s feelings.
Looking at that list and thinking about what it means to run a business and what it takes to grow a brand, I think we at GCI may have missed some of the subtleties and nuances between the content and you, the reader. The heart of the content has been refocused in recent years on successfully reaching the consumer. And we know it’s about more than reaching a consumer once, selling one product; it’s about reaching a consumer in a deeper way, in a meaningful way, to become part of their lives—even if that part of their lives is the 30-second application of a product.
The goal is motivating and creating necessary change through understanding consumers’ feelings—their drives, their wants... It’s about leadership. However, GCI rarely, if ever, refers to job roles and goals as brand leadership. GCI refers to brand owners and brand management. Those aren’t inaccurate, per se, but words and the nuance of meaning do influence thinking and, as a result, action. Further, it’s not to say that consistency, order and process are not valuable and necessary to be successful, but I think they are the support mechanisms for the goals and crux of leadership.
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