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To Be Able To Lead, You Have To Be Able To Listen

To Be Able To Lead, You Have To Be Able To Listen

There are business owners who are very, very hesitant to embrace social media. They understand how important social media is in today’s business environment – after all, as research firm Chadwick, Martin, Bailey points out, “…an impressive 51% of Facebook fans and 67% of Twitter followers are more likely to buy the brands they follow or are a fan of.” – but they’re afraid.

They’re afraid, because not everyone on social media says nice things. Having a Facebook page or a Twitter profile simply invites nastiness from the public, or so the logic goes. There are business owners who are so worried that someone will say something negative about them or their business that they’re opting out completely out of social media.

You’re Not the Only One

I’d like to be able to introduce these business owners to Shinzo Abe. He’s a man who knows a little something about facing negative commentary. He’s the current Prime Minister of Japan. In this Huffington Post story, you can read about some of the challenges Prime Minister Abe is facing. In his country, the economy is stagnant, women’s economic opportunities are severely limited, and the national suicide rate has steadily been creeping upward. To solve these challenges, the Prime Minister is introducing some bold and controversial changes into Japanese society.

It is at this moment – the time at which people are most likely to have negative things to say about the Prime Minister and his leadership – that Prime Minister Abe has made a whole-hearted embrace of social media. He has nearly 340,000 Facebook fans and 100,000 Twitter followers. Rather than shy away from their commentary, the Prime Minister has a different approach. He says, “Of course it’s a two-way conversation. We need to respond to the messages we get as much as we need to send our own,” he said. “If we include any wrong facts in our messages there will immediately be someone to fact-check us. I know that whenever I make a mistake on my Facebook account, there are always people who point it out.”

In this comment, we see Prime Minister Abe acknowledging the need to interact with his constituents, listening to their concerns and focusing on solving their problems. He even seems appreciative of his constituents’ input on the country’s business.

It sounds like a pretty good definition of customer service, if you ask me. To lead his country in a new direction, Prime Minister Abe has taken on the risk that comes with listening: at times he will encounter things he doesn’t necessarily want to hear.

Are You Brave Enough To Lead?

Are you willing to take on a similar risk in order to lead your company in a newer, more profitable direction? It’s important to understand that staying off of social media presents a different sort of risk for the small business owner: the risk of being completely invisible – and therefore irrelevant – to your customers.

There’s no way to get out of this risk free. Being on social media has its risks, and so does not being on social media. As a small business owner, you have to decide which risk is providing your business with a better reward.

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Creative Director/Senior Designer

Tom DiGrazia

With over a decade and a half of professional design experience, Tom brings his knowledge of design principles and focus on user experience to every aspect of his contribution to TTG. Paying special attention to each client’s brand, personalized needs and individual interests, he strives to create compelling concepts utilizing intuitive and highly-refined design solutions. In addition to traditional and digital design work and oversight at TTG, Tom also boasts a wide portfolio of web development projects with the company, allowing him to stretch his CSS and HTML skills across multiple platforms and disciplines. He feels that being a designer in the digital landscape of websites, eCommerce solutions, email marketing platforms and social media, it is important to understand the code that goes into these areas as it assists his ability to tailor designs specifically targeted to achieve the best end result and further builds understanding and communication with backend development teams.

In his off hours, Tom is an avid pop culture enthusiast, staying up to date on the latest shows, films, comics and games. He can also typically be found taking part in a whole host of artistic activities that help him further stretch his creative legs. Regardless of the activity, Tom is always accompanied by his dog, Eli, and his cat, Tib.

Design, Photography, Illustration, Digital Imagery Manipulation, Wesbite Development

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, HTML/CSS, Wordpress


Courtney Dumont

As Senior Marketing Strategist & Analyst at Technology Therapy Group, Courtney is energized by the ability to flex both her left and right brain daily. Courtney discovered her passion for Marketing at Bryant University, where she spearheaded research on students’ perceptions of Social Media Marketing for her Honors Capstone Project. After graduating Bryant in 2012, she joined the Technology Therapy team, where she’s honed her skills in social media, search and social advertising, email marketing, SEO, and more.

Since joining the team, Courtney has created digital marketing strategies and managed campaigns for clients across the country, ranging from plastic surgery centers, to jewelry stores, to construction companies. With a cohesive, cross-channel approach and a focus on data-driven decision making, she has increased their leads by up to 217%. But Courtney doesn’t leave her zeal for social media at the office; she also runs a local foodie Instagram account with her husband to document their meals across Rhode Island and beyond. Check them out: @hoppilyfed.

Marketing Strategy, Data Analysis, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Social Media

Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Facebook Creator Studio, Instagram, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Emma Mail, Google Data Studio, WordPress, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Microsoft Office