10 Things a Social Leader Does

Social Leadership is contextual and consensual: it’s a type of authority granted by the community, founded upon our reputation and social capital. Social Leadership complements formal leadership, but works in places where formal leadership cannot reach: our communities. And that’s important because, in the Social Age, it’s our communities that will help us thrive.

The NET Model - two layers

The NET Model of Social Leadership in full, showing the three Dimensions and nine Components

So what does a great Social Leader do? Here’s ten things for starters:

1. They act from a foundation of humility and kindness, because they recognise that leadership is about helping others to be equal, to thrive, to succeed

2. They tell compelling stories, because they understand that magnetic stories travel far, whilst formal ones get stuck in the system

Scaffolding and Storytelling

3. They are authentic in their words and actions, no matter who is watching, because they recognise that authenticity is earned, not aware or bought

4. They often set aside their mantle of leadership to instead learn, or support others

5. They fight for what’s right, not for themselves, but for their communities

6. They curate a space: choosing where they will stand and then doing everything they can to make that space theirs

7. They help frame the new Social Contract, helping the organisation to wieldd authority through consensus, not weight

8. They #WorkOutLoud as they go

9. They reward others graciously, both in formal and social spaces

10. They measure the change, because they recognise that if they don’t measure it, it may not be happening

Social Leadership is not something soft, something ‘nice to have’, something of an add on to formal power: it’s central to the authority we need to wield in the Social Age to truly lead. Through the permission of our communities.

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.
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