Social media can help leadership

Esmee - Deloitte Insights


My current reading kick has been on leadership and non-profits. There are many reasons why I think a non-profit is successful, including it’s need in the community, the volunteers, passion, available funds, etc. But ultimately, it can come down to the people running the operation. Thier passion, respect, and drive to see it through can make or break the organization in times of crisis.

Social media and great leadership have much in common. Some people might think that social media is a self serving outlet for those that are misunderstood or (my favorite) can’t get any ‘real friends’. Ouch.

Where it’s cool to hear other voices

Leaders could learn a great deal from social media. Ultimately, everyone wants:

  • a voice
  • community
  • support
  • and conversation…

However, the people that don’t recognize the community possibilities are the ones that are losing the resilience factor. They see what it can be for their sole purpose, not a big picture. Most leaders in organizations are big picture thinkers and shakers. Tag on a little tweeting and blogging to that and you have comments and conversations that support, oppose and challenge your world. This can result in high accountability and support in a time of need. They put themselves in the light voluntarily, instead of being dragged in later when the going gets tough. By being an active participant, people get to know them.

Why do you think that (good/decent) managers and owners show their faces around factories and boardrooms? They want people to know them, and what they stand for, whatever it may be.

What’s wrong with a little public accountability?

I believe that people say that Gen Y-ers spend too much time online, or don’t have ‘real life’ skills. What if the definition ‘real life’ skills, is changing… or evolving. If I learned anything in school, it’s that 1) history repeats itself and 2) that the only thing for certain is change.

When you’re trying to get business, having a presence online can really make or break you. So, you need to invest in learning how to manage yourself online. Some of the Gen Y-ers can do this, from their phones (I can’t). Others are able to at least acknowledge that it’s a reality, but choose not to participate. That’s different than ignoring or pushing social media away because you think you’re bigger than that. FYI: If you can’t be found online, you might as well not exist.

Are you prepared to communicate online?

Great leaders are constantly listening and learning- what social media has become, a living, breathing, changing thing. We now live in a perpetually ‘beta’ world. Online communities are growing, dying, reviving and thriving. It’s a cycle- it repeats, but change is kept constant.

Who knew?

How are you preparing or growing in the online world to better your company or organization? How can you see leadership evolving with the online world?

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