The Social Skills Refinery for Social Leadership

Posted on May 30th 2013

The Social Skills Refinery for Social Leadership

The digital economy needs a different kind of business leader - not in terms of core principles of human values but in terms of skills that make the most of a connected age.


  • Collaborative - in a connected economy the traditional approach to leadership has to change from command/control to collaborate/decide. It is not about deciding by committee, it is about listening, asking, working with people, valuing people. 
  • Filtering - The digital age is wonderful but it can be overwhelming - now more than ever leadership and management is about consuming all the information and being able to filter out the 'noise' both for you and the company.
  • Learn, look and live. We must learn to learn from the past, look to the future BUT live in the now.....ok, we have always had to do this but now change is happening so fast that if we only do it at the end of projects, the year end etc then we will have fallen behind. Social business needs social leadership that is constantly looking at what have we done, what do we need to do and therefore what can/should we do now.
  • Networking - A digital economy runs on a network. The web, the Internet are networked based and it needs social leaders to make the most of all their networks. The mass production age needed people to perform on their tasks, the networks need people to generate ideas, passion, growth through their networks.
  • Desire to learn - As mentioned before change is all around us.....change is a constant and the skills of five years ago are not the skills of today. Social leadership is about evolving with the new technology and knowing enough to assess how technological advances can bring your networks closer and stronger. Technology is not the driver - you are! But to be the driver you need to understand where you want to go.
  • Decisive - Networks and collaboration doesn't mean the leadership style is not decisive. Social leadership is about filtering all the information from the learning, networking and collaboration and making a decision. Decisions need to be made......decisions remain flexible for new information...but never confuse social leadership for pleasing everyone! You never can and you never will!


Anna Farmery

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I agree with your view, but how do we even get the technical attributes in place feeding the social platform to begin with?

Why does the US continue to have issues producing highly skilled and educated computer science graduates?

The commercial and private sectors are most often trend setters on how the work place uses technology.   Now that the Federal government, the largest employer and spender in the US and likely globally,  is aggressively adopting and incorporating mobility as a way of life, the demand for skilled developers will continue to be a stress on the US work force.

In casual and business conversations, I find a range of answers including cost of education and sending children to college, or that Universities are highly incentivised to admit international students leaving less room for US born students, or that K-12 education in this country is failing to prepare and encourage students to pursue technical fields, and lastly that high school graduates are just not motivated to pursue careers in favor of more romantic ideals.   

What is your perspective?