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How one CEO motivates employees and builds his brand at the same time, Part 1

In a recent article, the Harvard Business Review advises CEOs and other leaders to ditch the Carrots and Sticks approach to motivating employees. Instead, they recommend sharing context and providing relevance.

Let me translate that into language that’s not so Harvardy: Tell stories about your customers.

If you want great examples of how to do that, look nofurther than Nate Randle, CEO of Gabb. This is not the first time I’ve used Nate as an example, and it won’t be the last, because he’s the current LinkedIn Storytelling Champion*.

Why His Approach Works

Nate’s approach seems to be quite simple. Lift up andcelebrate Gabb’s customers in any way he can.

As an example, the post below makes an emotional appealabout the company’s mission to provide electronic devices that are safe for kids. In just a few lines, this post appeals to their target market (parents) who are worried about their kids’ health and safety.

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At the same time, it serves as a reminder to his employeesthat the work they’re doing is important. Any employee can feel bogged down and demotivated, even at the best of companies. Messages like that are energizing because they refocus them on why their work matters.

Nate does a lot more with his content, including helping parents raise money for cancer treatment, helping them find jobs, and generally celebrating families and single parents. It’s too much to analyze in this space, but all of it provides the context and relevance the Harvard Business Review recommends.

Copy This Strategy

If you’re a CEO, executive or team leader, motivating your employees while building your brand reputation is probably high on your list of priorities. Nate offers a simple strategy you can copy.

Become a tireless advocate for your customers. Tell their stories.

Look for every opportunity to advocate for them, celebrate their successes, and lift them up. When you do, the stories you tell will make a big impact on everyone who sees them.

Your employees will be energized and reminded why their workis important. Your current customers will be reminded why they work with you. Your future customers will want to learn more about what you offer.

This week’s email newsletter has some practical advice onhow you can be a better customer advocate and storyteller. If you aren’t already, subscribe here to get these and other tips every week.

*Not a real thing, but it should be.


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