Poor Leaders Are Like ‘Slugs’

January 9, 2014

Last year I posted a tweet that got a lot of great reaction as it appeared everyone knew at least one person (some several) to whom the analogy applied. Here is that tweet:

“Poor #Leaders are like ‘Slugs’, they are slow to respond, have no backbone and leave a messy trail behind them. #Leadership.”

The message in the tweet is self-explanatory and is not (in itself) the reason for this blog. This blog has been motivated by some work I did over the holiday period where I analysed my tweets from the past few years. Here is the story of what happened.

Now I’m generally a positive person and as such I try to look for the good in people and situations rather than the negative. I have a spreadsheet from Twitter with EVERY tweet that I have ever done since joining the micro blogging site. If you are interested you can request your own, just log in to your Twitter account, select ‘Settings’, then ‘Request Archive’.

Over the Christmas period I analysed my tweets and put them into categories based on topics such as ‘Leadership’, ‘Customer Service’, ‘Sales’, ‘Motivation’, ‘Business’ & ‘Goal Setting’. Once I had done this exercise I compared the number of positive messages in each category compared to negative ones. Can you believe that 95% of the messages in EVERY category were positive and only 5% negative?

However, when I looked at some of my most popular tweets (based on most retweeted or commented on), they primarily came from the negative messages!

This got me seriously questioning my whole strategy for Twitter messages and indeed my blog and article writing. If the most engagement is from negative messages, those that criticise and complain, should I write more messages that criticise and complain? What do you think?

As a compulsive ‘positive thinker’ (I really do consider myself to have OCD – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder when it comes to attitude) and to stay ‘sane’, I have concluded that people do like my positive tweets. What is happening is the same as we get in the world of customer service where we only ever give great feedback and tell other people if we have experienced ‘exceptional service’, but we are very quick to complain to anyone who will listen the moment someone even ‘looks at us’ in the wrong way.

It is said that people ‘buy things’ based on just two buying stimulus, to gain an advantage or to avoid a loss (sometimes referred to as ‘pain’). This is why some adverts have messages that are overtly positive and some are overtly negative. Are we more likely to buy to avoid pain than gain?

So in conclusion, I will continue to spread primarily positive messages across social media platforms, regardless of my findings. If anyone has any research to support or disagree with me them please come forward and let’s talk. Like all businesses we want our investment in social media marketing to work.

To finish on a positive note – Have a great day!

Many thanks

Stuart Allen

Trainer & Consultant at MTD Training


(Image by Papalars)


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