As a leader, where are you going? Who are you taking there?

20 Oct

Update:  I thought I’d dust off, update and share a previously unpublished article I wrote on Leadership Positioning … you can download it as a convenient PDF file here. Let me know what you think. Thanks!

Ken

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Invest In the Upswing #4

People buy from leaders. It’s natural. Whether you’re buying for yourself, or for your business, you want to some kind of validation that you’re choice is one that others will approve of, or the trendsetter that puts you out in front.

It’s pretty common for executives to look around at aggressive goals or sluggish sales (or >gulp< both) and determine that the company needs to be seen as a leader. And then they look at marketing.

Now, it’s easy to challenge the desire to be seen as a leader with a challenge: What are you doing to act like a leader? It’s often a legitimate challenge: For many companies, having a better product may just be enough; others want to be seen as leaders, but do little actual leading.

But a more important, and useful, question is this:

Who do you want to lead? And where do you want to lead them?

The answer take can take you directly to strategies that position you as the leader you want to be.
For example, if you’re in technology, do you want to lead your industry toward open standards, or toward greater interoperability?

Or do you want to lead your customers toward greater success, serving as a ‘community organizer’ among like-minded users, and an advocate for their cause?

Or do you want to lead your target customer toward more fun, more hipness, more coolness … toward a greater sense of individuality, or belonging?

And consider … if your customer finds an advocate, innovator and a leader during a down market, where will they turn when they’re ready to invest in the upswing?

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