Many many years ago in my youth I loved punk rock. Bands like The Clash, The Damned, The Saints, The Sex Pistols, and The Jam would fill my bedroom as they resonated rebellion from the vinyl disc on the record player. Today, people believe that punk was from an era gone by - however punk was an attitude! An attitude of defiance, rebellion, anti-establishment, and disruption. It’s all the things that make up true innovation in today’s business community.
Unfortunately, as it was back in the early 80s, punk in the business community is often seen as being disruptive, and certainly not valued. Quite often when we have someone disrupt the current systems, processes, beliefs, and go against the chairman or CEO, they’re seen as being the troublemaker, the square peg in a round hole, the person who is not a team player.
My belief is that punk rules, punk is right, and punk is where businesses like AirBnB, Uber, Zappos, and all the other disruptive business models find inspiration. Punk influenced many of today’s musical greats, and in a way it should do the same thing in business - be it your side hustle, start-up, or the new generation of your established organisation.
Embrace the disruptors, entertain their new way of looking at things, hear their alternatives, and don’t be the narrow minded leader stuck in the status quo of today. Be aggressive and embrace the punk of disruption
Recently I was working with a large supermarket brand when one of the workshop participants talked about how social media had changed the landscape of branding. The comment was you have to be prepared to be exposed. What this comment meant, was that extensive due diligence can be undertaken very easily now by your customers or clients via social media. It is very simple for customers or clients to get online and start digging deep into your true DNA, your beliefs, the integrity of your management , staff and your operations, how you spend or allocate money, and who you associate with.
Many companies and charities talk about being totally transparent yet keep valuable information from their customers. They’ll share what they want to share but hold back information that could incriminate, damage or shed an unhealthy light on their operation.
Brands need to appreciate that in this day and age, if you don’t give me a reason to believe everything you’re saying is true, I’ll go looking for it. True authenticity in your brand, your people and the contribution you make to society comes from being honest, upfront and dealing with complete integrity.
The US Marines say that integrity is doing the right thing.…even when no-one is looking! Powerful lesson.
In my job as a keynote speaker I’m fortunate enough to meet with a lot of leaders across all categories of industry. Quite often I’m asked what makes a great leader? I’ve come to appreciate that the great leaders are those who give a damn and that primarily separates them from the rest.
A great leader truly gives a damn about their people, the lives of the people, the challenges those people face, the conditions under which they work, and what’s going on in their world outside of just work. They give a damn about the culture of the organisation, the representation of their brand, how people feel about each other and the company.
Too many leaders are too caught up in their opportunity to be in front of an audience to spruik how good they and/or their company are. They’re so wrapped up in their own little world that they completely forget to give a damn about their people, the company, the brand, the culture and the general vibe of how people feel within their organisation.
I think any leader of any of industry, in any category and of any size should sit with their journal and say do I truly give a damn, and if I do have a way how do I display it? It’s not enough to take the glory that comes with the title of Chairman, CEO, or MD of a company. In a future episode of the Mojo Radio Show our guest is Glenn Capelli, who discusses corporate culture and how it centres on culture and character. To me character starts with truly giving a damn.
Last week I was sitting in the library I heard an eerie sound. The sound caused me to stop reading - reflect on where I was, and think about where I was going. It’s a sound we all hear every day but mostly we are oblivious to it. It was the sound of the second hand working it’s way around a clock.
Have you ever just stopped and stared at a ticking clock and noticed the secondhand ticking by? Sit quietly in front of a clock and watch the numbers tick over, the hand go around the face of a clock. Or, go outside and watch how quickly the sun moves from the east to the west. I remember being in Maui sitting on the beach at sunset. What started as an empty beach, suddenly filled with locals. They came from everywhere. They came to watch and celebrate the setting of the sun. It sets so fast once it gets near the horizon. As it crested the horizon and disappeared for the day people applauded. Perhaps some of them were reflecting on their day - and thinking 'have I made it a great day?'
The second you just watched on the clock you’ll never get back again. It’s gone… finished …. disappeared forever. We’re so busy taking care of the next thing we quite often don’t stare at the clock and contemplate the fact that we let that second, that minute, that hour getaway from us without an appreciation, contribution, or a feeling in our own hearts and minds that that was time well spent. Was that time well spent?
As the sun sets this afternoon look to the west and think was that a day well spent?