What’s the price of not practicing social leadership with employees & customers?
What are common excuses for not adapting to social practices?
How much time should a leader invest in social engagement?
What are some best practices for time management?
What are examples of ‘ah ha’ moments of insight?
What should leaders stop doing in the age of social?


In the June 15th #SocialLeader Chat, the community came together to dialog and share insights on these and other questions. The focus topic was “Social Leadership: Who the hell has time for that?”

Looking at the engagement data, clearly this seems to be a challenge that resonates with many people and is something we all face in engaging our teams and our customers in modern social and digital ways.

Key Insights and Takeaways

To help you and your organization gain valuable insights and how-to tips in shifting to social leadership, let’s unbox a few of the key points that surfaced in the discussion.


@KristinMCoppens If you don’t have time for social, you’re effectively ignoring customer service, industry trends and customer reviews.

These are three critical observations on the dynamics of today’s marketplace. What does this mean?

(1) Today, customers in all industries expect immediacy in customer service through social channels; you must setup your organization so that you are staffed and skilled to meet this service need.

(2) In every industry, from retail to defense, industry experts share in social new findings, studies, articles, insights on key trends in that particular industry or niche; listening in social is like putting your finger on the pulse of your industry.

(3) Social transparency in product or service ratings has completely transformed every industry – think Amazon Reviews, think Angie’s List, think Yelp; people today are able to openly rate and comment on every product or service there is, sharing every positive or negative experience; success for the business hinges on how well your organization pays attention to these ratings and how you adapt to what the market openly shares.

SocialLeader Tip: Stay focused in social by being intentional. Start with purpose and focus on getting the important things done first. Focus on listening for customer service issues, listening for new developments in your industry, listening to customer reviews. Another focus is to concentrate your time on engaging with your most important relationships, with your best customers, with your best industry influencers, with your best employees.


@Gonztweets — Saying “I don’t have time for social media” is like saying “I’m ready to retire early.” This isn’t business as usual. Catch up or fall off.

This was the wake up call in the community discussion. There is indeed truth to this statement, which is why I include it here. Putting my accountability coaching hat on, I feel compelled to hold this up to my clients to be open and honest about the shifts in what emerging organizations are looking for in leadership, what recruiters are now evaluating, what employees are rating in 360 reviews, what forward thinking organizations are now measuring as part of their performance.

Don’t believe me… I’m personally consulted with increasing frequency in evaluating the social and digital skills for potential leader candidates, from mid to senior level. Still don’t believe me, it happens that in my work at IBM, around Smarter Workforce Solutions, HR analytics is one of the hottest and fastest growing business segments across the board – this is all about identifying talent, attracting the right candidates, retaining your best talent.

We are on the leading edge of a Darwinian inflection point, and I can only encourage you to lean into the changes and choose to build the skills that will land you on the right side of this curve.

SocialLeader Tip: “Fortune favors the brave.” Embrace the changes in today’s workforce and marketplace, and choose to adapt. Learn and implement in small steps that will compound over time into big outcomes.


@Dwalkbels — Too many managers lead by shame, intimidation and control; not taking [the] time to think of their employees as people 1st.

I have to agree with Debra here and share that I too observe these behaviors in today’s workplace. In sharing my personal experience, I can say that 100% of the instances I observe, are with people I think of as ‘industrial age’ leaders… the opposite of ‘social leaders.’

In a workforce that is rapidly shifting from Boomer to Millennial, there are no less effective approaches than shame, intimidation and control. In a me-as-a-service, team-as-a-service, socially engaged, hyper-connected workforce, everyone can see this style a mile away, and, openly and publicly share with their networks and with employee apps like Glassdoor  – ‘do not work there.’

Employees are people, people are humans and humans want to connect, to engage, to feel trust, to feel heard, to feel like they matter and are part of the bigger picture. Social Leadership is all about orienting around these needs.

SocialLeader Tip: To attract and retain today’s talent, you have to lead in a way that’s aligned to the expectations and style of today’s talent. Shift to a mindset of enabling decentralized, self-directed, agile teams and provide the vision, guidance, prioritization and desired outcomes through your social sharing and posting. Then…. use social to listen to feedback; provide updated guidance; repeat.


I hope you found these insights helpful. 


If you want to learn more about how to lead in a digital age, join in on the #SocialLeader Chat, each Monday 8p ET – ask questions, learn from peers, network.

To get the Social Leadership Kit and get more insights delivered to you by subscribing over on the right.

If your leadership teams need to learn practical social leadership skills, contact us about consulting services. We help management and leadership teams engage in social with confidence to achieve real business outcomes. 


Here are highlights of great shares and insights from the community

For a full replay, use your twitter dashboard of choice and search on #SocialLeader