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New Leadership Skills for a New Social Media Age

by Lenna Garibian  |  
January 24, 2013

People who work in companies that are actively using social technologies tend to value a more humanistic approach to corporate leadership over more traditional "command-and-control" methods, according to the 2012 Social Leadership Survey, conducted by Jamie Notter and Maddie Grant.

The new report examines how companies and corporate leaders participate in social media, and how today's corporate environments, changed by social media, require leadership methods that include "people-centric" principles.

Importantly, researchers polled the opinions of business professionals working in companies that have fully embraced social media. For example, among those surveyed:

  • 85% said they worked in a company that understands the value of participating in social media and maintaining an online corporate identity.
  • 84% said they are able to participate in social media in their own voice.
  • 84% said their organizations use social media to connect with people, not just promote products and services.
  • 68% said their company routinely collects and responds to customer feedback.

Also, many of the professionals surveyed said their companies enjoy some level of executive-level support for social media:

  • 64% said their corporate leaders are involved in social media.
  • 48% said any employee can speak for the organization online.
  • 40% said their company offers training for staff on how to use social media.

Below, additional findings from the 2012 Social Media Survey, conducted by Jamie Notter and Maddie Grant, co-authors of the book titled "Humanize: How People-Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World." 

Desirable Leadership Traits

Participants were asked to identify the traits they found most desirable in a leader. At the top of list was providing clear direction (75.7%), followed by embracing change (65.0%), transparency (59.4), valuing experimentation and failure (59.2%), and openness to diverse perspectives (51.9%):

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Lenna Garibian is a MarketingProfs research writer and a marketing consultant in the tech industry, where she develops engaging content that builds thought leadership and revenue opportunities for clients. She's held marketing and research positions at eRPortal Software, GAP Inc., Stanford University, and the IMF. Reach Lenna via Twitter @LennaAnahid and LinkedIn.

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