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The 11 Principles of Likeable Business

Likeable Business

I love Dave Kerpen‘s take on word of mouth and social media. I highly recommend you check out his new book: Likeable Business.

Take a lesson from Dave’s 11 principles of likeable business that together make for more likeable leaders and better, more customer-centric organizations:

1. Listening: Listening is the foundation of any good business. Great leaders listen to what their customers and prospects want and need, and listen to the challenges those customers face. They listen to colleagues and are open to new ideas. They listen to shareholders, investors, and competitors.

2. Storytelling: After listening, leaders need to tell great stories in order to sell their products, but, more important, in order to sell their ideas. Storytelling is what captivates people and drives them to take action. A likeable leader has a strong vision and purpose and always has stories to sell that vision.

3. Authenticity: Great leaders are who they say they are, and they have integrity beyond compare. Vulnerability and humility are hallmarks of the authentic leader and create a positive, attractive energy. Customers, employees, and media all want to help a person who is authentic to succeed. There used to be a divide between one’s public self and private self, but the social Internet has blurred that line. Likeable leaders are transparent about who they are online, merging the personal and professional life together.

4. Transparency: There is nowhere to hide anymore, and business people who attempt to keep secrets will eventually be exposed. Openness and honesty lead to happier staff and customers — and a happier you.

5. Team Playing: No matter how small your organization, you interact with others every day. Letting others shine, encouraging innovative ideas, and following other rules for working in teams will help you become a more likeable leader. You’ll need a culture of success within your organization, and one that includes out-of-the-box thinking.

6. Responsiveness: Today’s leaders are responsive to their customers, staff, investors, and prospects. Every stakeholder is a potential viral sparkplug, for better or for worse, and the winning leader is one who recognizes this and insists upon a culture of responsiveness. Responding shows you care and gives your customers and employees a say, allowing them to make a positive impact on your company.

7. Adaptability: There has never been a faster-changing marketplace than the one we live in today. Leaders must be flexible in managing changing opportunities and challenges, and nimble enough to pivot at the right moment. Stubbornness is no longer desirable. Instead, humility and the willingness to adapt mark a great leader.

8. Passion: Those who love what they do don’t have to work a day in their lives. People who are able to bring passion to their business have a remarkable advantage, as that passion is contagious to customers and colleagues alike. Finding and increasing your passion will absolutely affect your bottom line.

9. Surprise and Delight: Most people like surprises in their day-to-day lives. Likeable leaders underpromise and overdeliver, assuring that customers and staff are surprised in a positive way. We’ll explore a plethora of ways to surprise without spending extra money. We all like to be delighted, and surprise and delight create incredible word-of-mouth marketing opportunities.

10. Simplicity: The world is more complex than ever before, and yet what customers often respond to best is simplicity — in design, form, and function. Taking complex projects, challenges, and ideas and distilling them to their simplest components allows customers, staff, and other stakeholders to better understand and buy into your vision. We humans all crave simplicity, so the likeable leader must be focused and deliver simplicity.

11. Gratefulness: Finally, the likeable leader is ever-grateful for the people who contribute to her opportunities and success. Being appreciative and saying thank you to your mentors, customers, colleagues, and other stakeholders keeps leaders humble, appreciated, and well-received. It also makes you feel great, and karma is always returned to the bottom line.

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