New Year Resolution: Social Leadership #ibmsocialbiz #ibm #socbiz #ibmconnect

January 2, 2013

Have you set your New Year’s Resolutions yet?  I am still working mine but today as I sat down with one of our clients, and his New Year’s resolution was social leadership.

What does a Social Leader look like?  Act like?

Here’s what we agreed were the top 10 attributes (thoughts?)

  1. Transparent
  2. Non believer in silos
  3. Authentic
  4. Likeable
  5. Collaborative
  6. Comfortable with fast decision making
  7. Explorer of new tools
  8. Active in both internal and external networking
  9. Actively looks for new ideas from employees and clients
  10. Passionate about engagement and dialogure

Would this challenge to be a great social leader in 2013 be a New Year Resolution for you?

How can I help you?!


  1. Sandy, much of this sound a lot like servant leadership. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Servant_leadership

    • That’s interesting. Do you think a social leader is a servant leader?

  2. I like number 10. We don’t often see that in ‘leadership attributes list’, yet I do feel that it is a key requirement.

    However, I am curious why you think a SM leader needs to be ‘likeable’. That sounds more like trying to be popular, which is not the same as being leader.

    • Well, I think that likable is maybe more like trusted and respected? That the team would “like” her leadership style, and appreciate the openness.


      • Maybe ‘liked’ then?! To me, ‘likeable’ sounded tentative, trying to please… and leaders don’t have to please. Having said that, my interpretation may be due to cultural factors.

        And for 2, what about turning it into a positive statement? Maybe ‘bridging’ or ‘overcoming’ silos.

  3. Sandy, this is a great list of not just social leader qualities but for leadership in general.

    Social business is about culture.
    Social leadership is about character.

    And I like the servant-leadership approach. “To whom much has been given, much will be expected.” With the power of social media to globally spread ideas and impact decisions, I believe a social leader has a tremendous responsibility to those who listen (and possibly follow).

    You might enjoy this prez on “Developing a social PACT” http://bit.ly/socialpact

    Thank you for reminding us of our important responsibility as social leaders.

    • Thanks Louis!! I do agree that all leadership should be servant leadership! A Social leader is so important in today’s market!

  4. […] Check out Sandy Carters Blog Posting describing the attributes of Social […]

  5. The interviews I’ve been doing for TheCR’s Social Executive research have been fascinating… and to me, it seems like social executives fall into two broad categories: Those that have the characteristics you list above and communicating through social tools seems simply to be an extension of their existing management approach and those that are more pragmatic and see the business impact. Hard to say yet which one is more effective and I don’t think there is necessarily a correlation. Regardless, quite interesting. Looking forward to catching up with you this week at Lowe’s.

    • Rachel: I’d love to see that research! I’ll be there tonight at the reception and tomorrow!!! How long are you staying? Sandy

  6. This is not a problem exclusive to social leaders but some leaders would look at that list and say “I do all those things” when most around them would beg to differ… That’s one of the reasons I like Charlene Li’s Openness Audit for her Open Leadership book.

    • I like the Charlene audit as well. I think that Charlene is a great leader and visionary!

  7. […] Check out Sandy Carters Blog Posting describing the attributes of Social […]

  8. […] Check out Sandy Carters Blog Posting describing the attributes of Social […]

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