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Are you on “Auto-Follow” with your people?

In a world where social media seems to be king, I recall my first foray into the digital world of the self.

I had a Facebook page for the business, a website, a Linked In Profile, Instagram set up, and of course I needed chirping credibility, so next in line was the Twitter-verse.

After a couple of days of following people and the occasional online “social” engagement, I was excited to find my followers had increased by a dozen over night. I thought to myself that’s cool.

Next morning, I awoke to find another 5 or so followers, then 10, then 20, 30, and 40 in a day…..and I though to myself “wow….people are starting to get me!”

Something must be working!

80! Eighty new followers in a matter of hours. What had I done to elicit such a massive response? Had I tweeted that most profound of 140 characters, blowing so many people away that made them stop and think “hey, I should be following this guy”

I’m sure anyone with a twitter account found in the early days of social media that buzz when someone follows. It’s cool to get a follower, even cooler to get a follower you don’t know. It must mean your message is getting out there. 

That got me thinking – As a leader, do you get that buzz when you assume something YOU have done has generated some excitement across your team, only to realise when you take the time to look at the “Why” of the response, it was because of unrelated activity?

What did I do?

So whilst reviewing my blogs, my tweets, my Facebook trying to discover that little gem that I need to capitalise on, I discovered something else.


This little social deviant in essence was a paid service you could engage to get your twitter account followed by hundreds, if not thousands of people. My ego had fallen for this little miscreant and its allure of gaining an audience to feed my ego. (Please don’t judge me, most business owners have struggled with a  little ego-centric pride!).

Are you on Auto Follow with your People?

This gets me thinking about how often we are on “Auto-follow” with our people.

You know those times when you automatically respond to your team quickly without a lot of thought. Its like auto-follow, it happens quickly and often, happens without considered intervention on your part, and you actually may not realise that’s what you are doing.

I understand.

We get caught up in the day-to-day of business, busy being busy, and feeling stuck in what seems to be an endless loop of ongoing demands and constant interuptions by people. 

Have you fallen victim to ‘auto-respond’?

You know what I mean, the email response that’s an easy and quick yes or no. The response you give so you don’t “need” to make more time to consider. 

It’s easier to say yes rather than deal with conflict.

It can seem easier to say no so you don’t need to make more time to discuss the idea/suggestion/issue.

At best you save your self a half hour meeting. At worst you disempower your people, or end up with interpersonal conflicts with no idea where the problem arose….simply because you may have thought you were being quick and decisive.

As a leader, one of your roles is to align your people to do their job in a way that gets them working towards the vision and mission of the organisation. It doesn’t mean you need to be the expert in all things – the experts are in the team. 

Your role, as a leader, is to help bring out the best in the team, to enable your people to best use their skills, knowledge and experiences towards the strategic direction of the organisation.

Are your people aligned to the mission?

Are your struggling with getting all your team aligned to the strategic direction of the organisation? Do your people actually know the vision AND mission of the organisation?

How often do you hold a performance review?

Performance management is often viewed as the way to address underperforming people.

However performance management can be as simple as having a regular conversation with team members about what they are working on, and asking the question “How does this activity fit in with our mission? “

The amazing thing about this SIMPLE approach, is that you address performance BEFORE it becomes underperformance.

Many business leaders and managers feel overwhelmed by the pressures of their role, and although it will take time out of your day, the long term benefit of regular, simple, performance discusssions will be that you start to better empower your people to develop solutions to their problems, whilst keeping them aligned to the business direction!

Help is at hand!

If you’d like some help with implementing a simple and effective performance system, to get your people aligned to the organisations strategic direction, contact People Motion for a business review and we can identify some simple steps to get your people working towards the right goals.

Post Author: Geoff

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