Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

Introduction

The development of the Societal Web has enabled individuals to become publishers, authors, musicians, radio stars, and commentators on anything and everything. Hierarchical structures have broken down and leadership is something which no longer comes as a result of position, at least not online.


Leadership Principles

By definition, a leader is somebody who goes to new places or existing places by new or difficult routes. In doing so, they attract others to follow their example and to aspire to achieve the same goals as they have achieved. Followers have to be able to see enough of the leader's aims and goals and methods to believe that they are appropriate for them; they must remain in touch, and close. In the Societal Web visibility is universal, so the ability to be seen is equally available to each of us.

When we look to see who can bring each of us on, to a new level, we seek out those people who we believe provide additional knowledge and skills through their contributions online, but also whose knowledge is attainable, reachable, and comprehendible. If we are bamboozled by technical terms, lost in acronyms, or confused by detail that is beyond our current knowledge we will seek others and grow our understanding from them. For this reason, I describe leadership in the Societal Web in the context of being (no more than) half an hour ahead.

If a leader is seeking to build a strong following and is providing knowledge which requires detailed study and effort, then hours of work lie ahead to become an expert through that knowledge, people follow those who make those hours a pleasure rather than a chore. Malcolm Gladwell indicates over 10,000 hours is required for true expertise in his book 'Outliers', so we are talking about years of following, not reading a few articles. Throughout that time the leader needs to be just far enough ahead to be reachable, just far enough for you to strive to learn; half an hour at a time. If that effort is too great we simply move away.

So for each of us it is likely that the people we follow closely are close to us; their abilities and skills, or ability to communicate their knowledge and skills, is done at our level. If you seek to be a leader in the Societal Web this is a point that has to be borne in mind with care. We need to be attracting followers at every level through our knowledge and skills, not just those who are capable of being within half an hour of our own current pinnacle of our knowledge and skills.


Adaptability: a key skill for leaders.

When we produce content on the Societal Web, when we write a blog, when we distribute articles, PDFs, when we engage in conversation in groups and social networking sites, we create levels of engagement with others. Those near us who challenge us and bring us on, and those near us who we are challenging and bringing on, are clearly our closest cabal. But a great leader will be able to communicate his knowledge and skills so that to all of his followers he appears no more than half an hour ahead.

To do this you need adaptability, an ability to see when messages are being misinterpreted and misunderstood, an ability to engage in different mediums and different ways according to the needs of those whom you lead. Leadership has always been an honour, not something that can be bestowed by one person on behalf of others but which you earn through the followership of others, on the Societal Web that followership is much more visible and in many ways more tangible. For many, this is changing the nature of leadership, and their ability to communicate with, and build others.


Conclusion

As a democratizing force, the Societal Web has enabled us all to become both leaders and followers, to be seen by many as an expert whilst simultaneously learning from expertise elsewhere. As we bring people towards us as leaders through sharing our knowledge, skills and experience, so we too have a duty to them to maintain our lead, to keep as Stephen Covey would say, "sharpening the saw". The best, the very best, don't forget their roots, they maintain a presence wherever their leadership is needed and they provide a skill and an experience of leadership in this new world in ways which others are still struggling to find.

For social networking, the masters of an offline world that have made a transition online are demonstrating that ability to be adaptable and to change, Ivan Misner is one such, for those involved online, Louis Gray, Guy Kawasaki, Robert Scoble, and here on Ecademy people like Steven Healey, Alan Stevens, Nick Tadd, and Penny Power and others have all created their own niches and followerships in that market and demonstrate effectively the skills of leadership by being half an hour ahead.

This is not a new type of leadership, nor does it require new skills, it's a new framework in which to place your leadership when you consider those whom are following you and whom you seek to support. It needs strategy and thought to be consistent and make it work well, but I hope that these thoughts help you  towards developing your own Leadership in the Societal Web.

Pratyush Agarwal

pratyushagarwal-369689

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

Societies at web have given people real democracy this is good be there.

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maria silva

mariabento-223575

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

Thank you William for your interesting blog I believe that is too complex. What does it mean to lead in social web? who has more followers? A leader is a friend? How minds and creativity works? Nobody knows. Does that culture encourage us to think and learn? First of all I need to lead myself and ask so many times, in different situations, I'm prepared, I'm not, I'm ready? I'm not. There are interesting people i like to read about. I try to understand, to know, to learn. ... where is reality? Things change all the time..What's true today is no longer tomorrow. We have so much to learn with older people, other cultures. They have a knowledge and wisdom but do not play a big party in web and if they did? I have so many doubts about everything and experience makes me much more doubts. But it's life!

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Muchina Thuo

symonthuo-75282

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

a).....Hierarchical structures have broken down and leadership is something which no longer comes as a result of position, at least not online.....interesting development in the space. b)......Leadership has always been an honour, not something that can be bestowed... Can we have George Washington in today's society really? office searching for you not the other way?. Asante William Warm regards Entrepreneur, Symon Muchina Thuo www.streamtech.co.ke : End of the iceberg When i am not thinking future enterprises, i am sleeping the future of our children, eating soccer, walking the talk and of course fun..!.

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Mindy Gibbins-Klein

mindygk-38436

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

Good points, William. And never has it been more obvious how effective people's leadership is than in the transparent world of online networking. I like what you have to say about building up a following but not sure I agree 100% with this point: Throughout that time the leader needs to be just far enough ahead to be reachable, just far enough for you to strive to learn; half an hour at a time. If that effort is too great we simply move away. I think when the motivation is high enough, people will spend hours following leaders they respect. Just look at the 'groupies' of top motivational gurus who keep their followers captiv(ated) for days on end... :-) Agreed, half hour chunks are probably what the average person is willing to put in. Your point about being adapable is spot on. I love it when I can literally watch people shifting their strategy or their message, not on a whim but on careful consideration of feedback they have received real-time and usually online. Cheers, Mindy Gibbins-Klein The Book Midwife - Leading Book Coach, International Speaker and Thought Leadership Strategist Please consider being a REAL thought leader

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Anton Baumohl

antonbaumohl-153759

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

Hi Willaim I don't regularly comment on blogs because so few have little to say but as you've entered my world .... leadership .... I was interested, especially as your definition of leadership so closely fits my own namely 'people who are able to move into new spaces' . For me that carries the implication that they are also able to get others to follow them. I don't however believe their route has to be difficult or tortuous. With many leaders I have worked with their route has been a case of simplifying complexity often trusting their own intuition and then having the courage to make the move. Social media has without a doubt enabled new leaders to emerge although there is growing evidence that many only manage to lead in communicating ideas which others latch onto for a time but their ideas fail to be translated into anything more productive. This for me is the same gap that exists between creative thinking and innovation which has troubled organisations for centuries..... The important thing for me is that larger organisations need to wake up to this new understanding of the nature of leadership - both its emergent quality and its ability to migrate to new space - and need to embrace it Anton

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Sadie Murray

sadiemurray-275058

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

Thanks William for providing such exceptional and appropriate food for thought. Perhaps the most accurate definition of a Leader I have seen is "someone others choose to follow"; also there are leaders at all levels. While there are similar attributes found in all levels of leadership, it is indeed crucial that they are astute enough to find a way to test the level of understand of their followers so they don't lose them literally and metaphorically. There is an amazing opportunity to teach, learn, lead and follow on the Societal Web for everyone that chooses to do so! Like Alex said,"I shall be a follower to become a better leader". Sadie Murray 847-302-1379 Freelife - Healthy Solutions Lose Weight - Feel Great Freelife - Live it! IMAGINE....Earning What You're Worth!

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Tom Doiron

tomdoiron-255248

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

Dear William, Very provocative as usual. Forgive me if I am redundant here, whereas I don't have the time presently to review the posts. About leaders: we all have heard about the "natural born " leader. Although genes come into play, I think some deserving parents/guardians have missed out on their due recognition. I was taught long ago and still believe that you can tell who the leaders are by those that follow them. However on this new social media, followership, as you coined it, is found by me to be very disingenuous. Who can possibly keep up with 18,000 people on Twitter. To me when I come across a "leader" with such a large flock; I am not really impressed by much else than that persons knowledge of the gadgets and widgets to attract followers to their social sites. We see the same here on Ecademy. Nare a word passed , but a contact request. Master networkers like Dr. Ivan Misner are the very reason I am here at Ecademy. Although I consider him a lighyear ahead of me, I continue to follow him because I know he must see something that has yet to come into my view. Same goes for Penny, Thomas, and you. For sure, we that read your posts will never be intellectually fat because of your stimulation to our minds. Good words and I thank you for them, William. Wishing you Plenty To Live, Tom Doiron Atlanta, GA, USA http://www.PlentyToLive.com

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Peter Heavey

peterheavey-127815

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

Fascinating use of language...... Just thought I might add a different perspective as I am a great believer in being half an hour behind the crowd. It is less noisy that way while I work out where they are heading- Utopia? or just another lemming dash? I remember being the last of our party to reach Lennana Pt. on my hands and knees - many others dropped out along the way........ Very enjoyable - It works for me! Peter Network Your Way to Success - It's Fun! thendt Network

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Alex Garcez

alexandregarcez-176260

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

I like your thoughts William, Leaders are followers of many masters and give a spin in the world by linking new ways of thinking. The societal Web is the place to expose this insights and only the brave can become a leader because for everyone that will be a follower there will be another one opposing that very same idea. This challenge will be the fuel for new discoveries and expansion... Thank you for being so inspiring William and I shall be a follower to become a better leader... Alex Garcez The Speed Reading Coach www.TheSpeedReadingCoach.com

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Minnell Bond

minnellbond-396425

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

Very well put William, Pointing up the significance of the societal community we interact with daily and making us aware of the responsibility of being proper thought leaders in our respective industries. The content we provide in our societal communities do help shape those communities in small or great ways. The importance is being accurate, empathetic, responsible, and challenging. Yes, you should be close enough to be understood--like Jesus during his time here on earth among men--yet inspiring/credible enough to challenge people to grow beyond their present condition or state of mind, if you will. A good leader, leads by example. We must continue to seek new avenues of improvement, and be able to serve up bite-sizes of revelations as a result, that would in turn be a catalyst for positive change to those followers. Minnell R. Bond GMWA Marketing Designs We Are The Creative Solution to Your Marketing Success! www.gmwamarketingdesigns.com mbond@gmwamarketingdesigns.com 1.877.844.8543 (U.S.) 773.968.8427 (International)

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Minnell Bond

minnellbond-396425

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

Minnell R. Bond GMWA Marketing Designs We Are The Creative Solution to Your Marketing Success! www.gmwamarketingdesigns.com mbond@gmwamarketingdesigns.com 1.877.844.8543 (U.S.) 773.968.8427 (International)

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Ann Hotchkiss

annhotchkiss1-440579

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

Ann R. Hotchkiss Leadership is important! write on

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Nic Oliver

nicoliver

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

For me there are two aspects to this: leadership which is about selecting the right things to do, and management which is doing things in the right way. One can argue that one of the underlying issues behind the economic mess we are in is that whilst funds were being managed, often in self-seeking ways, nobody was providing effective leadership. Nobody seemed to be asking the basic leadership question "What is the right thing to be doing here>?" So, whilst it may sometimes be true that, as Arthur writes, "leaders need followers but followers do not need leaders", this is certainly not true all of the time. The followers in the financial industry were not given any leadership and the result is plain for all to see. Lack of leadership at the top of any organisation is dangerous. At lower levels, in areas like the Societal Web, it seems to me that 'leadership' is not a title one seeks, but one that is bestowed on an individual. Self-proclaimed "leaders" seem to disappear almost as quickly as they arrive. I think William is right in saying that the Societal Web will, in some areas anyway, change the emphasis back to servant leadership. And whilst it will no doubt become a management consultancy buzz word once more, it is not a new phenomenon; from Christ, the Buddha and Mohammed in ancient times, to modern examples like Gandhi, Mandela, servant leadership has been at the core of most great leaders. There's a lot of food for thought in your article, William - many thanks for creating brain ache at the start of the week! Oh, and BTW, sometimes I think it's optimistic to reckon it's as much as half an hour ahead! Have a great week Nic www.nic-oliver.com email twitter linkedin

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William S. Wilkinson, P.A.

william-s-wilkinson-373457

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

Very good William. I appreciate the thought and work put into your blogs, they are very helpful. William (Bill) S. Wilkinson,P.A., Florida Keys Realtor Marathon- The residential waterfront capital of the world" Realtor of the year 1975 and 2008 Website: Email: wswilkinson@remax.net 305-743-2300 Skype: No. 305-600-4711 or ID:"billwilkinson"

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Gene 'GenericGene' Downs

genedowns-472017

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

William, Thank you, very helpful & informative - Gene Downs Twitter.com/GenericGene (GenericGene.com)

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Lothar Seifert

lotharseifert-306363

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

Hello William, a great article. Thank you for this. Best regards Lothar Seifert www.l-seifert.de

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Kevin Loberg

kevinloberg-425238

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

Thank you William for taking the time to express what you're seeing, what you're internalizing from this new Societal Web. And thanks William for making all of this ... more understandable and alot easier to work with. (I believe they call this clarity!) Cheers mate, Kevin Loberg kevin@kevinloberg.com

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eben dennis

ebendennis-494148

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

Eben Dennis In my world of teaching golf too many instructors try to baffle the student with information that will make the head spin. I have found that if you give the student the most direct path to finding their game they will enjoy the experience more and tell others about it quickly. There are only a few keys to helping the student become their own teacher and showing them that they already know them and just haven't learned how to tap into them creates very loyal followers. If this is how to be a half hour ahead then I totally agree with you. Golf as in life should be about enjoying the experience and learning to trust your instincts.

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Sandra 'bloomer' Fender

sandrafender-263730

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

William, a very fascinating perspective, But what I am struggling with is why anyone would want huge numbers followers on the 'societal web' in the first place. I mean surely, quality is of far more importance than quantity, as the loyalty of a few is more valuable than the familiarity of many? I do not think anyone should allow the infrastructure of an online community on the world wide web to preoccupy or take over traditional business and social networking, but rather it should be used to compliment those activities in a very concise and pronounced way. I think web articulation and intelligence is important and equals profile and perception, and so for anyone who wants to expand their leadership, and/or follow leaders online, they should use wisdom and tact. It has taken me a while to appreciate that the 'less is more' approach which key to being successful on the societal web, but then this is my own personal perspective, others may have a different view. Invariably, what works for one may not work for another, but I think it is important that one must leverage their knowledge, skills, interests and ambitions appropriately otherwise they may waste energy and time persuing activity, either as a potential leader, a follower or both, that is not relative to what they have earmarked to accomplish. Kind Regards, Sandra

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Nayanika Jayaram

nayanika-513954

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

May you be with: I quote from Emily Dickinson: If I can stop one heart from breaking I shall not live in vain. If I can ease one life aching or cool one pain Or help one fainting robin unto its nest again I shall not live in vain. Thanks for sharing and making us aware about the finer nuances of networking and building up useful,productive and effective relationship and with rich potential of mutual growth and benefit. You are spot on as usual, and my salutations for you thinking me worthy of posting and answering your blog Namaste and thanks once again kindest regards sincerely yours. Nayanika 91-80-26589499 Bangalore Karnataka India

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Maria del Pilar Diez Calderon

maria-pilardiezcalderon-88003

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

Excellent Sunlit, mdp Tel. 01483 202581 View my page on Carrot

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N Bhashyam

dr-nbhashyam-263898

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

A very fine exposition of of adopting laisse -faire leadership style in network based socio-tech-business systems. Thanks for sharing and making us aware about the finer nuances of networking and building up useful,productive and effective relationship and with rich potential of mutual growth and benefit. N Bhashyam

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Gordon Wheaton

gordonwheaton-294525

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

A great article William. Leadership in the societal web is quite different from leadership at offline events, or in companies. It takes different skills. Regards Gordon

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Subra V S

subrav-s-313276

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

I am sorry I don't have so much time now to elaborate but leadership is something that attracts many people, including me. Instead of writing a 'thesis', I'd just like to give certain one-liners (and run the risk of sounding just a little cliche, but these are universal truths) To take bold, new and yet calculated steps in unfamiliar circumstances To set new guidelines instead of following old ones for greater success To demonstrate constantly by example To be the first to eat humble pie and confess errors of judgement To avoid judgement at all (in a human way) as far as possible To command respect and inspire those around to emulate you. These are the marks of a successful leader.

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Larry Boyer

larryboyer-303876

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

Great perspective William! One of the characteristics of a leader is to provide insight and help followers focus on what's important and get to the point. With so much information available on the Societal Web, it's easy to get lost. Your blog entry is that can help us find our way. Larry Boyer LBoyer001@yahoo.com EDGE.iLearningGlobal.tv www.iLearningGlobal.biz/LBoyer1 www.iLearningGlobal-BrianTracy.com

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Arthur Webster

arthurwebster-401088

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

A major point that seldom gets mentioned is the fact that leaders need followers but followers do not need leaders. The status of leader is a temporal aspect of being and every day each one of us will be either a leader or a follower for every second of that day. The societal web (?) seems to be wearing away at our inate abilities by trying to shoe-horn us into niches in which we do not belong. The web is not an alternative existence, it is supplemental to the physical world in which we live and trying to treat either as remote from the other could lead to disillusionment if not confusion. Arthur Webster http://www.costadelsol.mylocalgazette.com http://www.oldschoolsmarts.com The NDT Network

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Mark Lee

marklee

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

I've always enjoyed this analogy of yours Williiam. In effect I think what you're saying is that the leaders here are ploughing ahead of their followers. To some the Societal web is a jungle and we'll willingly follow those who have already hacked their way through the trees and vines. They may or may not know what we'll find when we get to the other side but their insights and lessons are worth following especially as there is no better guide around. Mark Lee FCA CTA (Fellow) Chairman of The Tax Advice Network The UK's largest network of vetted independent specialist tax advisers "For when you find tax taxing and want real help, advice and support"

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Steve Thomson

stevethomson-57961

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

A good argument William, and well put. There is (and arguably always has been) a need for visionaries who see a big, 'out-there' picture, but increasingly there is a need for visionaries who are, as you so succinctly put it, half an hour ahead of the game. It is by being willing to see a little further ahead that we can gain advantage through all available media and messages. Steve Thomson www.profile-training.com Communication Training for Professional People

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Georgina Lester

georginalester

Half an hour ahead, Leadership in the Societal Web

Spot on William - I like your suggestion of being just half an hour ahead and I think that you are right both for being reachable as well as being comprehensible. My recent Twitter blog is perhaps an example of this - only because I was acutely aware of the fact that it was immensely long - much longer than I would normally like to offer. In fact I should edit to offer those stalwarts who did get to the end of it a medal for their valiant efforts to plough through my tome. I will divide it up into bite sized chunks in the future but with references to the other bite sized chunks - when I get time - and trust me - there was a bit more that I could have comfortably added to it. There is a fine balance between creating something which is half an hour ahead. It is important to not be soooo way out the front that no-one understands a thing that you are saying at the same time you do not want to be so close that you are regurgitating something that has already been done half an hour ago. After all, you don't want to be considered slow or passe. It requires regular re-evaluation especially if you want to catch the wave. Creating something that stands the test of time of course being the greatest challenge of all. Georgina Lester Luxury Wearable Art for women | PR and Marketing | Arts Wales UK | Charles and Patricia Lester Luxury, Fashion and Designer Style Club | Ecademy - Forest of Dean and Monmouth Club Twitter | Morris: A Life with Bells On Twitter |

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