It’s no secret that people who find lasting success, at the end of the day, are “people people.” When you are a people person, you recognize the value of listening before you are heard.
Thought leaders in corporate culture are emerging who champion for more empathy and others-centeredness. Let’s revisit some of their more poignant messages, which are highly relevant for any leader who is seeking to grow a brand.
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Brené Brown has written some bestselling books and emerged as a voice for the cause of connection in corporate culture. In her book, Dare to Lead, she promotes the idea that good leaders are vulnerable. They seek feedback, engagement and even conflict that moves the team forward. This book made huge waves in all kinds of businesses for its honesty and reality checks. Discarding antiquated notions of hierarchy and infallibility, Brown encourages a kind of openness that hasn’t typified the executive branch of most businesses.
Millions of copies of Simon Sinek’s books have been sold. He has a cult following at every level of the corporate chain in businesses throughout the world. This is because his revolutionary idea is very simple: go down to go up. Start with Why, Leaders Eat Last and his latest book, The Infinite Game, decry the notion that the best man is the last one standing. He refutes the idea that there can be one winner, who must obliterate others at all costs. Instead, he says, people should go to work and be inspired, feel safe and find fulfillment.
The CEO of Zappos was arguably one of the first strong voices for company culture in the last decade. Zappos is renowned for its customer service. It unapologetically professes to being a “customer service company that happens to sell shoes.” Their articulation—and staunch adherence—to a set of inspiring and whimsical core values have piqued the curiosity of industry experts, who fully expected them to fail. They have succeeded. After being acquired by Amazon, they continue as a solid company that is unflaggingly innovative and others-oriented. Their openness to new ideas, fresh opinions and doing it differently have made a splash and caused many leaders to rethink culture on a larger scale.
From his books, Give and Take and Originals, Adam Grant has shouted from the rooftops: “people should like work!” He explains that it’s the give and take of helping and being helped that creates the right balance in a work environment. His premise is that our success is dependent on interactions. People may take, match or give. Givers are the people who see the highest level of success. The idea of unconditional generosity may sound foreign to most people, especially at work. His extensive background in psychology and sociology amply qualify him to make this assertion and back it up with social proof. Trust, love, honesty and other character qualities just may be the new metrics for CEOs and leaders.
When Seth Godin released This is Marketing late in 2018, it felt like an echo chamber to other, similar authors (some of whom are written about above). Generally, he is a voice of the cultural shift outward, beyond the boundaries of our own brands and businesses into the larger milieu. Godin focuses on marketing. He has inspired millions of people to use marketing as a way to solve other people’s problems. His work is a loudspeaker for the virtue of empathy, connection and emotion being leveraged in a meaningful and helpful way. He has helped many marketers catch a vision for the usefulness and value of their work that goes beyond a transaction.
Great content is all about the implementation of these revolutionary and powerful ideas. Skillfully developed messaging provides the bridge between great companies and the people who join them. This is a powerful transaction that is intrinsically people-oriented. Whether you are inspired to assess your message, strategy or practices, all of us can grow in a vision of our true
purpose in the marketplace.
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