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Curation and Leadership : The Art of gaining Followers and Likes

Source | LinkedIn : By Manpreet Ratia

This article is as much a commentary on the popularity of Instagram and the needs it addresses, as it is about potential learnings for how to lead in the modern workplace. The idea which ties them together is “Curation”. Curation has become the latest buzzword, once the preserve of museums and art galleries, it is now being applied in everything from online shopping to vacations, wine lists to personal identity, music shows to restaurants. But before we dive in some caveats are in order. This article is by no means comprehensive; much white space exists due to constraints of space and time. And this article will not convince everyone. For some it may be the height of pretension to even draw analogies between the two, for many the linkages may seem tenuous at best and for others, the very word “curation” will provoke much eye rolling, distrust and they would deem it as frivolous and self-indulgent. I readily admit that these views will remain. The purpose of this article is to get a dialogue started around the appeal of social media as well the emerging new dynamics of what it means to lead in this day and age.

But before we get started a quick glance into my journey into social media would be useful.

My journey: Gaining Followers and Likes.

I got myself a Facebook account in 2007. After the initial enthusiasm of a few months of adding the friends and uploading pictures, things settled down into a routine. I checked the account a few times a week, and liked pictures, commented on posts, wished people on their birthdays and anniversaries, swooned over the picture of their kids and expressed envy on their holiday videos. I uploaded pictures once a while and changed my profile picture a few times a year. It became a repository of pictures and memories which were personal, and also kept me in good books of my friends as it always reminded me of their birthdays and anniversaries. It was a good way to reconnect with old friends and It allowed me, and them, to be a part of memories, though depended on what they or I choose to share , within a social circle we felt comfortable with. All that changed for me in 2015.

In 2015, I made a career transition. I had spent most of my career outside of India in Banking and Financial services. Wanting to experience a more dynamic industry, and firmly believing that I did have one last major career transition left in me, I took the plunge and decided to go work in technology and e-commerce and moved to India. So I traded in my three-piece suits, cufflinks, and ties for jeans and T-shirt. It was an immensely satisfying transition to make. They were the obvious ones to make; the faster pace of work, the constant need to innovate, the growth and the scale at which we solved problems; which was the fun part. There was the abysmal infrastructure in India and a social life which basically ended at 10:15 PM, which was the not so fun part.

Then there were the people. Younger, dynamic, curious, passionate and more demanding. Very different from the people I had worked with or led in the past. I tried to understand their hopes and aspirations better. So I hung out with them. That was the best decision I made. I learned a lot on what made them tick which made me change the way I led and interacted with them, making me far more effective as a leader.

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