Whether one is a self-employed businessman or a professional, success usually comes to those who have the best understanding of the people around them and can be at ease with a pauper as well as the king.
At most levels in our work-life, technical expertise are taken for granted or you would not have the job in the first place. However, for success to be yours for the taking there has to be the X-factor that distinguishes the achiever from the plodder.
Successful businessman, be it even a retailer at a booth, has that --- for the purposes of this article we can call it social intelligence --- the X-factor and you just know that he would not be selling only from a booth for long.
At various press conferences that I have attended, there has always seemed to be an element of WOW with the managing directors of successful companies compared with the companies, which were just trying to market themselves and find a toe-hold with the customer.
The million dollar question is, what is this social intelligence that seems to enamour us, the customer or the consumer, to a particular business or brand for speific needs that we have in our daily lives?
Experience says that besides the obvious confidence and competence that leaders generate that takes them a brand apart --- whether a shopkeeper or a professional --- they usually have a keen sense of reading people’s motivations correctly.
These inspirational leaders are past masters at analysing the hidden weaknesses of people and seem to have an embedded inner compass that guides to the essence of human nature, which is that it’s totally unpredictable, but there are rules to get by.
The first rule of business is that there are only circumstances in life and nothing can be branded as good or evil. Staff shortage at your retail shop: the solution, you learn the intricacies yourself and get off your ‘owner does not work’ mentality.
Another rule that successful business owners are usually aware of is that it pays to grab attention at all cost within the bounds of relevant laws and customs. Marketing is primarily based on this premise, but of course in today’s age digital is the way to go. Of course, digital has proved to be a far more democratic medium of communication and its rules are still being written. This is something that will evolve, but it does pay to be on the medium.
Has the digital world rendered our old-fashioned face-to-face communication irrelevant is a question that should start bothering the business leadership now.
There is no ‘right’ answer to this difficult question, but my opinion is that with twiddling thumbs at an iPhone becoming the favoured pastime of at least one individual in each family in the tricity, communication has indeed been hampered to an extent. Ironically, this is happening through devices meant to empower, educate and most importantly communicate better. The speed has indeed become better, but quality seems to have gone to the dogs.
Those with the social intelligence compass understand that the digital is the new future and the trend is irreversible. However, will the intelligence be relevant anymore is a question that refuses to go away.