For leaders in the mortgage industry—as well as in any other—social media is an absolutely essential means of building professional relationships in today’s day and age. Promoting your organization. Serving your customers. Discovering news about important industry happenings. These reasons and more are all valuable benefits we can derive using social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
If you’ve spent a decent amount of time with me, you’ll know that I’m a big believer in social networking. I’ve acquired many clients and built some valuable business relationships through interacting with industry professionals on the web. To ignore the reality of the digital world is to lose out on a great amount of opportunities. However, I think there is something more important than social networking–something leaders can’t quite get through the computer screen.
Social networking—just like traditional networking—is great for meeting a large number of people. It’s great for broadening connections. But the most effective leaders will not only want to broaden connections—they’ll also want to narrow them. That is, they’ll not only connect loosely to a great number of people; they’ll also want to form strong connections with a few number of people. The best leaders will focus closely on their inner circles.
Your inner circle is what keeps you accountable—it’s what make sure that you are practicing what you preach. In the era of social media, it’s very easy to make yourself look like you’re accomplishing a great deal without actually really doing anything. When you have a close-knit group of friends and colleagues with which you interact on a regular basis, it becomes harder to hide in the hype. You’re forced to live up, in private, to the standard to which you publicly claim to hold for yourself.
Who you choose to be in your circle can be your greatest strength or your most detrimental weakness. If you invite people who are unethical, lazy, or have some other kind of severely bad character, you can be sure that it will spread to you like a virus. History is full of examples of leaders who were betrayed by their closest friends. Shakespeare put the feeling of shock quite well in his play Julius Caesar. When Julius Caesar is assassinated and finds one of his closes friends, Marcus Brutus, among the assassins, he says, “And you too, Brutus?” When we’re choosing the people for our inner circle, we want to make sure that our values are aligned so that we’re never surprised.
On the other hand, we don’t want to simply avoid bad character in selecting the people for our inner circles. We also want to seek out good character. We want to attract people to us who have the highest standard of ethics, the most results-oriented mindset, and the level of positivity that can motivate and inspire us to be the leaders we need to be. We often become like those to whom we are the closest. If we aspire to be great leaders, we will surround ourselves with great leaders as well.
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