My Reflections [Leadership Series: Part III (B)]
(Concept of Leadership & Role of Media)
“I haven’t consumed news since long and it has been a very good journey. A car crash or a bomb explosion somewhere is not relevant to me, it has no bearing on my life. I don’t need to know it. Such news causes stress. On Twitter, I have may be 1,300 followers and I follow zero people because I don’t want to know any news. News is to the mind what sugar is to body.”
~ Swiss writer Rolf Dobelli known for his books ‘The Art of Thinking Clearly’ & ‘What Do You Do For A Living?’ on his well-known aversion to news
When public figures like Rolf make a conscious choice not to watch or listen to the news anymore, there must be no wonder why some of us have a ‘love-hate’ relationship with social or mass media. This single statement is sufficient to explain why something seen or read on social media is enough to change our mood, why a small motivational video on You Tube uplifts our spirits, why people prefer not hearing of tragedies or dramas happening to others, why people get excited with more and more ‘likes’ on their FB status, why people feel a sense of accomplishment to see more and more ‘shares’ on their posts, why people feel a little uneasy to witness some hurtful comments on their ‘wall’, why people get enthusiastic while chatting on Skype. There are so many emotions and expressions it can throw at you. And without even realizing, you can feel a tsunami of moods in no time. And it’s quite interesting to know that it works like a virtuous or vicious cycle. Sometimes you feel yourself surrounded with information and inspiration, simultaneously you feel fed up and bombarded by so much negativity.
No doubt, social media is highly contagious. Have you ever observed yourself how you react or respond (smiling/ laughing/ feeling tickled/ enthused/ motivated/ upbeat or just the other way round) whenever encountered with social media and get emotionally captured (or tortured)? YES ! …that’s what many corporate houses, service providers and PR agencies are doing on social media. Didn’t you realize that on the basis of this emotional vulnerability of ours, they capitalize on our emotions and make the most of it. They build their brands, market their products, attract our attention, change our mind and get us hooked on to their ‘Emotional Contagion’. Because they do know that emotions spread like wildfire and they do transfer from one person to another. Like a ‘sponge’ effect, we borrow emotions from others even when we are not seeing them face to face specially in case of social media.
|No doubt, social media is highly contagious.|
Here this trait of ‘Emotional Contagion’ (Positive as well as Negative) of Social Media has a great 'Leadership Lesson’ behind the curtains. In fact, this great lesson is the core of what makes a leader great. Believe it or not, leadership is more or less about the relationship between a leader and the people around him or her. And emotions play a huge role here. There are leaders with Positive Emotional Contagion and you share a connection with them. They are communicative, upfront and always accessible. And you feel excited in their presence. They make you feel amazing, powerful and euphoric about you and your work. Their moving and positive words make your day and fire you into action. They bring some sort of strength to the workplace. They seem to trigger your positive emotions every time you share a word with them. They are full of positive energy. They exhibit a go-getter attitude. You sense an aura of authenticity, optimism and passion being around with them. You exude extreme confidence in their ability to lead. You feel super hyped and get ready to rock. Work seems fun and this really inspires you to give your best shot.
And There are also some other leaders who lead us to disaster. We seem to swept away by their Negative Emotional Contagion. We are never relaxed and are always ‘on our tense toes’. They really drive our moods and behaviors accordingly. We feel demoralized and disheartened. Their heavy interactions are enough to spoil our day. We sense being hopeless and empty. We always get fearful to even our well planned deeds. We seem to ride an emotional rollercoaster and it becomes hard to maintain our strength.
Hence, sometimes you will have to really pull yourself together and find a way to see the brighter side. Again it’s more about leading yourself at the very first place than leading others.