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


Well, I qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG before joining the printing industry as a Financial Controller. I was lucky that I worked for a truly inspirational leader who recognised some kind of talent for leading people and at the ripe old age of 25 I was promoted to Managing Director. I knew then that I loved developing and inspiring people to bring out that talent that I believe is inside all of us.

I continued in industry working for FMCG companies for 20 years latterly as a Group HR/Finance Director for a major worldwide brand but then decided to establish my own company - The Engaging Brand.

I guess that I am really proud of building The Engaging Brand as I started with a budget of only £500 and now it is a successful thriving business that has helped many others achieve their dreams – all done through social media. Engaging people internally and externally with your brand is so important and I love helping people find innovative ways of engaging people in this hectic modern world.

The Engaging Brand was my dream of working with passionate people who want to grow their businesses through social media – often on tight budgets.

Much of my time is spent speaking and delivering workshops on branding, social leadership and social media.

As for my style well, I love this quote from a Melcrum event that said I was  "a ball of energy and crammed packed of ideas".

I also produce The Engaging Brand podcast - nominated six years running for the Best Business podcast – which is my way of giving something back to the business world which has been so wonderful to me. The show interviews a wide range of people looking for creative ideas of how to develop both you and your business.

And a recent addition to the CV is a 1st Class Honours Degree in Law, which I am very proud of and hopefully will be progressing on to a Ph.D researching social media and the effect on the modern employment contract.

If you want to contact me directly to see how I can help you grow your business then you can

Phone me on +44 (0)7914 381864

E-mail me at

Or engage with me on twitter at

Awards and Recognition

The Engaging Brand names in Top Leadership Blogs
The Engaging Brand is in Top UK Online Marketing Blogs
The Engaging Brand Blog in the Power 150 Of Advertising Age Blogs
The Engaging Brand podcast voted in Top 10 of Small Business Radio
Nominated for Best Business Podcast at the Podcast Awards 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011
The Engaging Brand podcast voted in Top 10 Marketing Podcasts
Voted in Top 16 Most Valuable Podcasts
Listed in the Small Business Top 100 Small Business Trends
Reviewed on Cool Podcasts
Voted 21st in the Top 100 Best Business Blogs
Top 25 Marketing Blog
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Bart Battaglia
Posted on May 30th 2013 at 6:12PM

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?