Leadership Development in an Enterprise Social Network
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As virtual work environments and digital collaboration tools are expanding, new forms of learning, collaborating and leading are appearing in this new type of organization.
5 critical actions to develop leadership in an Enterprise Social Network
1. Participate. A social network is, before anything else, an architecture for participation. The leaders of an enterprise social network are those who actively participate, individuals who know how to create participation spaces and they generate more participation.
2. Share. In a social network, what is not shared does not exist. And, for the most part, individuals who do not share do not exist either. Leaders in an enterprise social network learn, enjoy, grow and achieve shared influence in a spontaneous manner while opening their talent.
3. Connect. The power of connection in a social network is one of its main strengths. The leaders in an Enterprise Social Network are nodes in the network because they are accesible, open, flexible, and they enjoy being connected with all the members. For them, being connected with other people is valuable for themselves, beyond operational collaboration and timeliness at any given moment. And being connected to leaders is valuable for others because they provide value in different ways (by the content, by their connection capacity with the rest of the network, etc.)
4. Converse. Communication does not only consist of transmitting and receiving information. The way in which we communicate determines the disposition of others to collaborate with us, their attitude, their mood, and even their motivation. Leaders in an enterprise social network are good conversationalists; they know how to “listen” in an empathetic and active way. They are assertive. They make dialogue, express their emotions and adequately interpret the emotions of others. And they have communication skills.
5. Enthusiasm. Leadership is above all the capacity to influence others. In a social network things are not achieved through orders or pressure, but rather through convincing, motivating, and enthusiasm. The leaders in an enterprise social network give enthusiasm to other network members, and get involved in their projects and generate a sense of community.
Finally, it must be emphasized that in a social network there is never a leader without leaders, for leadership is collaborative, horizontal, open and dynamic. Beyond the individual and beyond the team, only those who enjoy dancing in a network are called to be leaders in the enterprise social network.
Raúl González García (@Conektio) is a certified coach (ICF) and holds a Master in Work and Organizational Psychology from Mälardalen University (Sweden), specialized in participation, organizational sociology, and coaching-based leadership. He has collaborated as a coach and trainer in organizations around the world, and is author of the blog coachingcritico.com, a space continuously investigating the way in which coaching and other trends are transforming learning and collaboration in all types of organizations.
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