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:
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.