Social Media Has Changed What It Means To Be A Leader

Despite its increasing popularity with employees, consumers, and as a source of competitive advantage, many leaders still shy away from social media. They fear making a mistake, the lack of control, and being overwhelmed by information.

According to a new report at the McKinsey Quarterly, that’s a personal mistake for leaders, and an organisation-wide mistake for companies. Companies need to develop new types of leaders that are social media literate, that can use these tools, and can make others better at using them. Otherwise they miss out on an increasingly important way to communicate and gather information.

Roland Deiser and Sylvain Newton took a deep look at GE, which has developed a strong social media presence despite not being a digitally native company, and found 6 traits that lead to success. They’re broken down in this chart from the report:

Social media

Photo: McKinsey Quarterly

Not every contact with employees, consumers, and the media is going to be as polished or controlled in the past.That’s going to require a different type of leader with different skill sets. 

Because it’s such an unruly and occasionally risky medium, the first instinct will be to stay completely away. It’s up to organisations to equip leaders so they feel first comfortable, then confident in using these tools. 

Find the full report here

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