On the professional social media arena you can play any of three roles. You either shape the conversations and take an active role as a thought leader. The second alternative is to be active as a communicator in existing conversations. The third role role is more about reading and relaying. Setting a personal ambition to pursue one of these options is a material step forward from being passive and inactive on the professional social media scene.
Which one you choose you is important, but the big step is the move from being absent on the digital arena. Thought leadership, and its creators the thought leaders, are the fuel in the digital economy. If you are a thought leader you are likely to grab the black pen and go first, whenever you collaborate around a white-board. You put your thoughts out to trigger conversations. You get them out early before they are complete. You expect others to engage around your ideas to enhance them.
Though leaders shaping industry conversations
Thought leaders are able to export their analog white-board behaviors into the digital domain. As a thought leader in the digital domain you are among the 1% meritocracy shaping the conversations in social media. You are fortunate and can expand your behavior into the social media to become a valuable player for your company. If you live by the philosophy is harder to write history than to read it, but writing is a lot more fun, then this is for you.
Active contributors to enhancing original ideas
The second big group of contributors is the likers. Likers have natural talent to improve and to judge ideas put out by the thought leaders. You like to step up to the white board with a red pen and start making suggestions for improvements and corrections. You are as engaged as the leaders, and collaborate to make the results as great as possible. On the social media arena this role shapes the directions in a similar way. This is still a small group and 9% to take this role in social media channels. This is a role as active role as the role above.
Actively engaged in Reading and relaying great content
The third group is the majority of the people, 90%. You are like to read and relay good content to your network. You are best friend with the Yellow highlighter, to point out the essentials in what you read. You are picking up on trends and want to stay on top of the new developments in the market.
As Executives we can choose any of these three roles as our home turf for our Networked Leadership ambitions. Since the social media arena is all about authenticity we better pick the one that is closest to our heart and passions.
So let’s move over to a few good questions supporting you in defining your role:
- Which of the three roles is your natural one? – If you struggle here test to see if the pen analogies help you in choosing one
- Is this also the role you have ambitions to play or do you have bigger ambitions? – Many want to become thought leaders but challenge yourself if you think you fit in the percentage brackets for each category.
- How much time are you prepared to invest to develop into your target role? – The higher up in the pyramid the more continuous efforts it takes.
Good reading in this development area:
- Don’t waste your time (line): maximizing your own viral potential for through leadership [BLOG] – by Davia Temin, Forbes (@DaviaTemin)
- The perils and pearls of thought leadership [BLOG] – by Marc Hausman (@StrategicGuy)
- Three steps to becoming a thought leader in your industry [BLOG] – by Louise Julig (@LouiseJulig)
- Build thought leadership through social networking [BLOG] – by Jay Baer (@JayBaer)
I hope this post, has made you excited about the opportunity to develop your networked leadership.