The Social Leadership Handbook Helps Build Human-Centered Leadership in a Tech-Driven World


As a leader, your online presence is now as important as your offline title. Understanding how to manage that presence is a vital "soft skill" for leaders. While many books focus on surviving the world of social media and online engagement, "The Social Leadership Handbook" teaches the basic skills and values to thrive in the tech-focused environment of our society's future.

The Social Leadership Handbook Helps Build Human-Centered Leadership in a Tech-Driven World

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The Social Leadership Handbook ushers in a new era of leadership in the world of work, the Social Age. In the Social Age, leaders must increasingly navigate in a world without the boundaries of the past. Previously, work centered around a fixed location (the office) for a fixed amount of time (usually 9 to 5) with a fixed hierarchy. In the mobile, always-connected global workforce of today, this world of “fixed” assumptions is crumbling fast. This change in the world of work requires a new leader, a “social leader”. The Social Leadership Handbook is about developing that kind of leader.

What Is The Social Leadership Handbook About?

Being an effective leader in the Age of Social involves navigating an uncertain and unsteady future compared to the past. Unlike the past, social leadership is defined less by formality and more by technology-leveraged connections. These connections can be across the office or around the world, anywhere, at any time. In this kind of world, a fixed identity is less important then the community you can build around you (social capital).

With social capital leveraged by technology, leaders can access a whole new level of connection. This level of access can provide anyone seeking an audience access to billions of people for promotion, collaboration and communication. On the flip side, this level of access can make leadership vulnerable as well. Previously, when a leader had an angry rant at the office, the impact of that rant stayed within the confines of that office. In the age of social, that rant can be shared with billions around the world.

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Navigating this kind of world requires a different kind of leadership than traditional leaders are used to. As The Social Leadership Handbook points out, it demands a leadership that is based on collaboration, agility and experimentation. Instead of speaking from an ivory tower far removed from the group, social leaders actively co-create their roles with the people around them. Instead of trying to control every aspect of the communication message, they hone in on the core story behind the message and adapt it to fit the context of the communities they want to influence.

As The Social Leadership Handbook and other books argue, social leadership isn’t a loss of power for leaders. It’s a shift of that power into something more powerful. Previously, leaders only impacted their little “world”. Now, leaders can potentially impact the entire world.

The Social Leadership Handbook is the brainchild of author Julian Stodd. Stodd is the founder and owner of Sea Salt Learning, a global business helping other businesses prepare for the Age of Social. Stodd founded Sea Salt Learning after a career in the e-learning industry and postgraduate work in communication theory and educational psychology. In addition to his work activities, he is an artist, poet and photographer.

What Was Best About The Social Leadership Handbook?

The best part of The Social Leadership Handbook is that it deconstructs the vague advice often given to leaders who want to enhance their social leadership skills. The book centers on the values that drive a social leader, rather than a particular platform (like Twitter) or strategy (like “getting 1,000 followers in 1o days”). By focusing on these values, the book is able to foster the agility and flexibility that must be encouraged in leaders in the new Age of Digital.

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What Could Have Been Done Differently?

The Social Learning Handbook is more about the aspiring aspects of leadership instead of the technical aspects. In fact, readers won’t find details on social media ROI, advertising — or even marketing budgets. Instead, they will find a lot of conversations about aspects of leadership with which many might not be so familiar (It’s impact upon  issues like equal leave policies for mothers and fathers, for example.) For leaders who embrace this view of leadership, the book will detail specifics approaches that will help you excel. If you don’t embrace this view of leadership, the book might be too value-focused for your taste.

Why Read The Social Leadership Handbook?

Understanding how to engage online has fast become a “necessary evil” for leaders, whether you own a business or manage a Facebook group for avid PokemonGo players. Unfortunately, there aren’t many roadmaps that show leaders how to adapt their leadership as technology evolves. While there are plenty of books about managing your online presence using current technology, The Social Leadership Handbook helps leaders develop a framework for mastering technology as it continues to evolve.

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1 Comment ▼

Charles Franklin Charles Franklin is a Book Reviewer for Small Business Trends. He has a background as a professional reviewer, and is also a content provider and customer relations professional.

One Reaction
  1. It is very important to also look at the human element especially when managing an organization. An organization is comprised of human being after all.