Are You a Social Leader?

Jemima Gibbons

Jemima Gibbons, Social Media Strategist at AAB Engage UK and author of Monkeys with Typewriters presented a fascinating analysis of the characteristics of social leaders.  When social media tools became available, people saw that they were fun and easy to use. Now, they are being incorporated into “social businesses” — designing a business around people — and “social brands” — designing a brand around people. Social leaders must understand social media, social businesses, and social brands. They are entrepreneurial, know what makes people engage, courageous, passionate, have a belief in self, and exhibit “servant leadership” — a leader who serves. They also have emotional intelligence, are self-aware and people-aware, and are able to control their emotions. They give to their communities.

These photos show the characteristics of 3 types of people.



Which type are you? It is interesting to note that corporations may exhibit some of the same characteristics as sociopaths. They can be irresponsible and manipulative, grandiose, lacking in empathy, ego-driven, and ruthless.

Here are 6 rules for social leaders:

  1. Empower others. Bring a bright team around all you do. It is all about the network.
  2. Follow your passion (like Craig Newmark). Are we doing what we love and believe in?
  3. Build trust. Be open with your community. These CEOs publicly apologized for service disasters.

    Apologetic CEOs

    Communicate all the time.

  4. Keep it simple. Set up filters for information and make things easier for people. (For example, see i Newspaper, which publishes digests of stories.) Avoid feature creep.
  5. Have a service ethic. Listen, listen, listen to your customer base. Remember that you are there for the stakeholders.
  6. Show empathy, and show that you care. Be generous. Listen to what people want. Try to enable them as much as possible.

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor

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