According to Twitter’s Q1 2022 report, the social media platform now has 229 million daily active users. This is a 15.9 percent year-over-year increase and 6.7 percent more than the previous quarter. Numbers like this solidify Twitter’s ranking as one of the top five social media sites in America.
After news and entertainment content, leadership advice remains one of the hottest trending topics on the popular social network. As a result, Twitter has become the defacto source for many trying to stay current on the latest leadership trends. It’s not unusual to hear a work colleague ask, “who do you follow on Twitter?” in the context of a leadership discussion.
Unfortunately, time spent on Twitter can do more harm than good for today’s leaders. Here are three reasons why.
Aspiring leaders are replacing real experience with Twitter.
In today’s digital world with content at your fingertips, it has become common to dive into online networks, like Twitter, for knowledge. The challenge is if you’re not careful your screen time can become your primary source of leadership intel, and this “Twitter knowledge” rarely evolves into practical leadership wisdom. Ideally, one learns healthy leadership skills through time, experience, and mentors. Real wisdom comes with the experience of doing hard things. Memorizing an inspiring quote you read on Twitter isn’t hard—anyone can do it. Don’t be anyone, be a leader.
Twitter is often connecting you with the wrong leaders.
Yes, social media platforms facilitate positive connections, but they’re also popular marketing channels. Aspiring entertainers, authors, and speakers leverage these networks every day to build their visibility. As a result, our Twitter feeds are saturated with brand-builders handing out advice on every topic, including leadership. In reality, many of these self-proclaimed experts aren’t leading real teams. Instead, they are focused on building a larger digital platform. If you’re looking for authentic leaders on Twitter, chances are you’re looking in the wrong place. The most inspiring leaders are often close by, in your community, building strong teams and dealing with hard situations.
Twitter may be replacing your relationship with your team members.
The allure of building a tribe of faithful digital followers who will praise your every opinion or Tweet in this case can be more appealing than tackling real challenges in the real world.
As a result, an increasing number of leaders are spending their time posting content online instead of leading their teams. This distraction not only stunts your growth as a leader, but the team you lead may resent you for it. Nothing drags team morale down quite like your employees seeing “expert leadership advice” posted on social media by their unengaged leader. Your team, not Twitter, deserves all your leadership attention.
Seeking daily inspiration from a series of 240-character tweets will not develop you as a leader. That Twitter account may be a good way to connect, but it’s far from a master class in leadership. Time, experience, and a mentor are among the most effective tools in your professional development process. Your team deserves a leader that is truly equipped to meet their needs.
July 2022 — Editorial Staff