Reinventing leadership for the age of mass collaboration

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Author : Emmanual Gobillot

Leadershift is not only about the subject of leadership, but how leadership is shifted from a traditional sense of leadership to one more defined by social media, collaboration and engagement.  I love the subjects of this book and it covers the subject well from various aspects of such a shift.  Four specific areas of leadership are argued to be irrelevent in this new age of mass collaboration.

  • Experience
  • Knowledge
  • efforts
  • power

I like the discussions on these and while I can’t say I was all that aware of this new ‘shift’ as it is called, I’ve certainly seen evidence in leadership and learning about leadership where each are true.  These factors do not on their own carry much weight and when it comes to mass collaboration which has been proven time and time again with online content, system for anonymous creation like Wikipedia and massively multiplayer online role playing games.

One quote I love in the book is this:

The key to leaders’ success is not their willingness to accept a day of reckoning and the efforts they make to prepare for this.  Rather, it is their ability to embrace the idea that, given some fundamental trends, each day is a day of reckoning.  This is the difference between mediocrity and excellence.

I just love that as the point of embracing an idea is by far the most important thing to lead change.  There are literally thousands of great ideas that stay as just that, ideas.  it is not until one of these is truly embraced by a leadership that the idea takes form and begins to shape into reality.

The remainder of the book covers how to create the leadershift the book is really talking about.  It focuses on building communities, on engaging a social atmosphere around the shift and building followers that are fully participating in the community.  The four usual suspects of business that are desirable outputs are engagement, alignment, accountability and commitment.  The corresponding leadershift inputs to make these occur are simplicity, narratives, tasks and love.  Completely different from the old school list which is clarity, plans, roles and money.  These fundamental changes force a new kind of leadership, one where engagement happens without structure or hierarchy, where the leader is more involved and equal to the masses with narratives and dialogue to deepen the community and with compassion that bonds it all together.

All in all, the book is very good, I am not sure how to act on some of the ideas in the book or how to make those neccessary changes, but it certainly gives enough examples and stories to get a person thinking about application.  I’ve certainly seen many aspects of the mass collaboration and as a blogger, this is more obvious than it might be to most, since social networks, collaboration and building a community are certainly the success factors of any good blog as well, its interesting to see this in a context of business as well. Its a book that I’m sure you will enjoy if you are a leader, have interest in these mass collaborative efforts or you are simply interested in learning about how business are changing the way they operate to be successfull.  I don’t think the book is a game changer by any means but the information in it, the references, the examples are all solid, informative and very intriguing to any leader exploring collaboration.



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