Six Tenets of Social Leadership

Social Leadership is a style fit for the Social Age: it’s about building social authority, reputation based leadership that is consensual by the community. It’s complimentary to formal leadership but vital at a time when formal authority delivers a diminished return. Here are six tenets that any social leader will adhere to:

Six tenets of Social Leadership

Be curious: question everything. Just because ‘this is how we have always done it‘, don’t assume that’s how you should continue to do it. Solve for today, remain curious as to tomorrow. Curiosity, a willingness to question and the permission to challenge (and be challenged) is key.

Try, Learn, Try: new technology, new ways of working, new ways of sharing, new approaches, new techniques, new mindsets. Try, learn, fail, learn. Agility is about always being willing to stretch, and to support others as they find their stretch. Agility requires effort, but the reward is clear. What was the last thing you learnt?

Share: when you succeed, when you fail, as you try. Work out loud. Bring your experience to your communities and make them stronger. Be part of the ‘sense making‘ process. Sharing is a differentiating behaviour in the Social Age: share widely, but share wisely. Interpret what you share to be relevant to the audience. Contribute to the signal, not the noise.

Be humble: learning is about humility. You know an answer, but not all the answers. Behave without expectation of reciprocity. Add value to the community, because the community will pay it back when you need it. Invest when you can.

Tell stories: craft your experience into stories that transmit wisdom. Short stories, long stories, stories in the moment or longer and more reflective pieces. Explore co-creation. Writing stories together is a great way to learn. Experiment with stance, tone of voice and genre. Learn from the stories other people share.

Be fair and protect: fairness is about doing what’s right, not what a system or set of rules tells you to do. Fairness often sits within an open space. It can be hard to find. Continue to search. Search for inequality and make it right. If you don’t know how to make it right, strive. Because the battle for fairness is our own battle, and the duty to protect is yours. Not in a system, not in a process, not in a reporting button. It sits with every individual.

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About julianstodd

A learning and development professional specialising in e-learning and learning technology.
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46 Responses to Six Tenets of Social Leadership

  1. Very useful post – thank you for it!
    One possible typo: “share widely, but share widely.” Should the second one be “wisely”?

  2. nick135 says:

    Great summary Julian, thanks 🙂

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  11. It is as though you are writing specifically to lay Church leaders, Julian. “[Social leadership] is complimentary to formal leadership but vital at a time when formal authority delivers a diminished return.” There are so many lessons for those of us who believe in the power of Belief in an era when formal leadership has diminished credibility.

    • julianstodd says:

      You are not alone in noting the links between ideas of Social Leadership and the values people find in their beliefs. I had a very interesting conversation around this a month or so ago (and it reminded me of our very valuable and interesting conversations in Minneapolis). I don’t make any specific references to religion when i talk about Social Leadeship, as it’s specifically about fairness and equality, humility and support, which for some can be a function of faith, and for others simply a function of trying to apply fair values to their decision making and thinking. It’s a subject i may explore further later down the line as i expand the work in this area. Best wishes to you and the team Robert, Julian

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  33. mindthetime says:

    Reblogged this on WCS Leadership Network and commented:
    Another great read by Julian Stodd!

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