Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead by Charlene Lie (Jossey Bass, 2010), reviewed by Steve Gladis, Ph.D.
Overview: When most of the current CEOs of large established companies were in college or getting their MBAs, social media had not been invented. Heck, in some cases, the Internet had not even been in play. Just as most of us could never imagine a business model that did not have the Internet as part of its DNA, surely in the near future (I’m talking later this week!), I predict it will be impossible for any viable business to not have social media at its core. And that’s the message Charlene Li makes in her book, Open Leadership, and so much more. She explains, using real world examples, how leaders have to give up control to be more open, while also being rigorous and intentional about guiding the process of engaging employees, customers, and various stakeholders in the dialog about the company in the marketplace. She explains how letting go of the reins, while still riding this social media horse with a guiding strategy, balances the risk and opportunity that this medium presents. Open Leadership was written for leaders who can think strategically and act tactically. It’s the sort of book that executive teams should read and discuss at a retreat—sooner rather than later.
In the forthcoming days, I’ll be reviewing Open Leadership in some depth.