Social Leadership is consensual: founded upon reputation and authority forged in social spaces, not hierarchical or positional authority laid down in structure and organisational charts. Consensus is built, not ordered, meaning that we forge alliances, provide support and be willing to learn along the way. That’s why social leadership is, at heart, about communities and our ability to thrive within them: some communities that we may lead, others that we may simply learn in.
As i start work this week to edit the manuscript for the ‘Handbook of Social Leadership‘, this changing perspective is very much on my mind: so often perspective is what we lack and what can give us insight. Broadening our perspective makes significant problems evaporate, whilst focusing on too narrow a perspective can make us lose the wider picture.
Only with a broad perspective and alongside our communities can we gain consensual authority to lead.