The reputation of Social Leaders

Reputation is forged in our communities, founded up upon our actions, our choices, our stance. It’s about our ability to curate great content, add layers of context and share it effectively, to be known as someone who gets things done and does that collaboratively and whilst developing others. In the Social Age, reputation forms a bedrock of leadership and isn’t hierarchical or bestowed by others. It’s earned through actions and deeds.

Forging a reputation

Reputation is forged within communities: for social leaders, reputation is the foundation of authority

Many leadership development activities focus on behaviours and skills, but miss the broader picture: leadership is curated. We make active choices what ethical and behavioural stances we will take on any subject. We choose who to bring into our networks and who to exclude, who to develop and who to avoid. Our choices around community building are not accidental, they are considered.

To effectively develop social leaders, we need to support them building their reputation, by teaching the concepts of curation, narration and storytelling.

Our reputation is highly portable: it comes with us wherever we go and into whatever communities we engage with, so it’s worth exerting some effort to get it right.

Social leadership resides with individuals: whilst older forms of positional or subject based authority were dependent upon longevity, social leadership and reputation can bypass all of these.

The challenge for organisations is this: how do you support your leaders in building their reputation? It needs investment in socially collaborative technologies, in training for the core skills of curation and storytelling, and in a mindset that recognises the evolving nature of work.

Organisations that get this right will be truly agile, able to benefit from the creativity and agility that social leadership brings.

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
This entry was posted in Agile, Authority, Community, Leadership, Learning, Narrative, Social Learning and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to The reputation of Social Leaders

  1. kvenema213 says:

    Hello Julian, Thanks so much for your blog. I just stopped wondering how it is possible that each time I am reading your “comments” they fit in with my experiences… I take it in an breath it out: in order to move on. I am a believer. Have a nice day and enjoy the moment, ’cause it truly is spectacular. Warm greetings from a rainy and grey (but sunny) Amsterdam, Karin Venema XXX

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  5. benoitdavid says:

    I sure would love to discuss this at a pub!!! 🙂
    Many thoughts raised here… Yes, social leadership is built by the individual: experience acquired as one goes, sharing, mentoring, supporting, helping, fostering, etc… with others. I believe it is driven by instinct, at least initially, because it can be consciously focused, when one wants to get better at it. To think that organizations could intentionally support it? Cool! I guess first the organizations’ c-suite need to recognize it, then recognize its value… I’d see that as a skill set in a job description, right? I’m currently involved in recruiting for an account manager position, who’ll manage a fairly large team… knowing that specific context, I would have suggested adding it to the posting. 🙂

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