Posted by: Dr Churchill | September 20, 2014

Are you ready to be a Social Age leader or roadkill ?

If you are ready to be a Social Age leader, you must exhibit these traits and practice daily your best on these issues.

In the past, all people working in corporations, organizations, and in government — did what they were told and then went home.

But that rigorous top down hierarchical model of leadership and stratified existence that defined the Industrial Age which is pretty much dead and buried — is now gone.

It’s so dead, it’s not ever coming back.

In it’s stead, a new age of management has arisen.

Some people call the Age of Social.

Or Social Age.

So welcome to the Social Age.

We humans are Social beings as Aristotle and Socrates taught us. We are Social down to our very core. We live and die by being Social. And Social is not just who we are and what we do. It’s flat out, what we are.

We are Social Beings always, connecting and communicating; sharing ideas, news, tips and sometimes warnings; making introductions; mating and breeding, birthing and dying, and always growing our influence or diminishing it, by our own actions. That’s all we are and that all we’ve ever been and done.

At first, of course, connections were limited to the confines of our cave dwelling family. Then the tribe. Then the village. Recently we had organized societies that posted letters that tied us together over great distances. Phone lines came and then e-mail and this allowed us to connect globally. Yet, mobile arrived and Wi-Fi and brought us seamlessly always connecting and always dropping off, but mostly always on. Yet even with all these advances in technology, communication is limited in scope: one person connecting with one other and sometimes for the most powerful, numerous others.

Now, 2 billion of us are connected, many of us by just one or two degrees of separation. At most six or eight degrees but these delineating lines are blurred because the voice of the people supersedes these separation lines. Vox Populi is now everywhere and magnificently so. Not all of it is interesting and most of it is shrill and paranoid but it’s there. And flaming is ever present in the argumentative websphere. But here we are…

Yet today, many more people are coming online each and every day and the entire globe is getting smarter with smart phones and devices on the ready, so that we are carrying the entire Web around in our pockets and purses.

Soon everyone will be just a thumb-press away from everyone else.

What does that mean to the Social Leader, a phenomenon still so rare people refer to it in the book “A World Gone Social” as the Blue Unicorn ?

Through the world gone social, you — and your customers, employees, vendors, and even your competitors, are all just one or two social connections from each other. And they’re all talking to each other, with or without your participation.

This is driving PR professionals nuts, because nobody will listen to them when they stray too far from the truth. It’s causing those corporate recruiters who represent less-than-desirable employer brands to pull their hair out, because current and past employees are speaking to each other and to potential workmates. And within our organizations, this unfettered connectedness and freedom of Speech, is killing the Industrial Age belief that all-knowing corporate, political, and government leaders wield all the power.

When everyone has knowledge, where does power come from?

Depending on your outlook, you choose: It either comes from the people or top down. In both cases you are wrong. It comes from the most Visionary and Vocal ones.

Remember this…

And you are either going to love living and for some of you “leading” in the Social Age, or you’ll hate it.

Regardless — none of us gets a vote on how the Future comes to be shaped unless we design it. And happily for some of us — the Social Age has already changed how we lead. Yet for you and many others, we still have a choice on how good we’ll be in this era of change.

But you’ve got to come Clean, because in the Social Age, truth and transparency rules.

Peel back this grossly overused buzzword — truth & transparency — and explore what it really means to you and your company or organization today. And you’ll see that it is really different than what it was at the time of Julius Caesar.

For today it means there is no hiding — and PR along with corporate and government spin is seen through the eyes of millions of potential skeptics. Lies are either ignored or exposed and plastered all over the Internet. Half and full truths are always discovered. Somebody always knows better. In the end if you want to lead — You must have the last word.

And regardless of spin — the last word is Visionary Truth.

Because in this new, socially enabled era leaders and companies that embrace transparency and Vision are the ones that are led ethically, and thus have a distinct advantage over their Industrial Age counterparts — who still think they can tell employees and customers how to think.

In the Social Age: Empowerment isn’t optional but mandatory. People are far more empowered behind their keyboard than any PR Doctor of Spin in the Corporate or Government Headquarters.

Remember that.

But what is the key to employee empowerment?
Simple: Give employees and coworkers, the keys, the tools, and the time, they need to create, communicate and collaborate, and share with the world. In short give them space and incentives to create a safe, respectful, and uplifting work environment — and then get out of the way.

After all, intelligent and capable team members don’t need your permission to work well together. They don’t need your blessing to creatively solve problems. They just need to understand the “why” and double down on the Vision. Then the Agenda is set. And all that remains is that they need to believe in the mission. And for that they surely need your support.

In the Industrial Age, leaders focused on “buy-in” often through manipulation, by cultivating clientilism, by engaging in widespread horse trading, and by simply buying votes, hearts, and minds, in dark & smoky backroom deals.

But in the Social Age all is out in the light of day, and he who has eyes will see. Thus all employees, clients, followers, citizens, and all others — once they see the objective — they self power up. They really empower themselves. Wise leaders who have VISION and empower their People know and cultivate this because it is the most delightful role one can play.

And because Social Age Leaders are adaptable — they are giving up their role as controllers and becoming coordinators, facilitators, and motivators. And they are doing this quietly, willingly, and cheerfully, because they are smart and it is also far easier to let go and fly…

Yes – you need a lot less energy to lead this way but it takes balls, guts, and faith, in yourself, your capacities, and in all the others…

Today’s best leaders simply lead by Visioning. The Vision thing, is what Great Leaders who aspire to inspire have.

And they have plenty of trust, going both ways. Because in the Social Age: Trust is everything…

The trust imperative isn’t about getting others to trust you as a leader. That is good but to be great You must be able to trust your people to work and deliver, like the mature, responsible adults you hired them to be.

This means tearing up rule books, discarding employee manuals, and throwing out antiquated policies designed to help managers exert control. And it means backing off the stifling metrics Industrial Age management often used to ensure everyone was doing exactly what was expected and saying exactly what they were supposed to say.

In this Social and increasingly Sharing Economy, it is the inventive and solution-oriented organizations that will survive and thrive.

The other ones will be roadkill on the great Progress Highway.

Old-school procedures are being replaced rapidly with ingenuity and creativity.

Antiquated customer service scripts are replaced with creativity.

And only those employees who feel 100 percent trusted are ingenious enough and willing to stick their necks out and make a real difference — even if only for one customer at a time.

One Citizen at a time.

One voter at a time.

One Human Being at a time.




Yes – the Social Age isn’t for sissies.

Yes – for many folks, this transition won’t be easy.

Yes – change is painful…

But change is inevitable and the Social Age of Leadership is already here.

So. that makes the question you must answer quite simple:

Are you ready to be a Social Age Driver, leader, follower, or just roadkill ?

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