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.

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 Leadership and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

48 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 🙂

  3. Pingback: Six Tenets of Social Leadership | Social Busine...

  4. Pingback: ‘Process literacy’ 101 | Agile KM for me… and you?

  5. Pingback: This Week’s Links « Timothy Siburg

  6. Pingback: Six Tenets of Social Leadership | Enterprise So...

  7. Pingback: CIPD Show 2015 Day 2: Power and Control | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  8. Pingback: An Imperfect Humanity? | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  9. Pingback: The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women: Proud Mentorship | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  10. Pingback: The Leadership We Need | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  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

  12. Pingback: 3 Organisational Change Curves: Dynamic, Constrained, Resisted | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  13. Pingback: 16 Resisters of Change | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  14. Pingback: Change Curve: The Constrained Organisation | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  15. Pingback: Humility in Leadership | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  16. Pingback: Change Curve: The Control Effect [Part 1] | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  17. Pingback: Change Curve: The Dynamic Change Model [Part 1] | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  18. Pingback: Change Curve: The Dynamic Change Process [Part 2] – Framing Change | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  19. Pingback: Reflections from Learning Live and eLearning Guild 2015 | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  20. Pingback: Tacit and Tribal Knowledge: Socially Moderated Sense Making | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  21. Pingback: The Advantages of Building Curiosity into Learning and 7 Ways to Do It. | Rob's Learning and Technology Blog

  22. Pingback: Change Curve: Grounding your Authenticity | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  23. Pingback: Dynamic Change: Creating Agency | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  24. Pingback: The 3 Levels of Narrative: Personal Narrative | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  25. Pingback: The Humble Leader | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  26. Pingback: A Great Shared Venture: Why We Need To Rewire HR | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  27. Pingback: Mapping the Social Age: update | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  28. Pingback: The Social Age: a map for 2016 | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  29. Pingback: Spotlight on the Social Age: Social Leadership | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  30. Pingback: Spotlight on the Social Age: Social Leadership - Learning Professional Network

  31. Pingback: Spotlight on the Social Age: Authenticity | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  32. Pingback: 10 Things a Social Leader Does | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  33. mindthetime says:

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

  34. Pingback: The Change Leader: Framing Change | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  35. Pingback: Aspects of Social Leadership #1 | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  36. Pingback: Aspects of Social Leadership #3: Community | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  37. Pingback: A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  38. Pingback: Agencia de Aprendizaje | LO SOCIAL EMERGE

  39. Pingback: REFLEXIÓN 10:LO SOCIAL EMERGE | Mariano Sbert

  40. Pingback: Humility in Leadership – fairlyradical

  41. Pingback: #WorkingOutLoud developing a Social Leadership Workshop | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  42. suesj says:

    Reblogged this on Bits and Pieces and commented:
    Just came across this, I want to use the wisdom therein in my organisation The University of the Third Age.

  43. suesj says:

    I just came across this while looking for something else. I want to use these ‘Six Tenets’ in my local U3A. Thank you so much it says exactly what we are about, not just leadership, but the lifelong participative learning that is the central premise of the University of the Third Age.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.