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Social Business – Where Bosses and Managers Become Servant Leaders
Luis Suarez    

Gran Canaria - Roque Nublo in the SpringIn the past we have talked a couple of times about the undeniable impact that social networking (for business) is having in traditional management and thought leadership by helping reshape and redefine some of their various long time existing conceptions . There have been, indeed, a few great articles out there that not only have they assessed the importance and relevance of social technologies to help define the next generation of management, leadership and employee engagement, but they have also ventured to state, and rather accurately, how traditional management would need to keep moving on with its own social transformation, if it would want to survive over the course of time. Long gone are the days of command and control. Long gone are the days of micro-management, of managing by fear, power, bullying or mediocrity, or, just simply, by believing that the mantra “I am the boss; do what I say … or else!” would still work in today’s current business environment.

But if that’s the case I am sure at this point in time you folks would be probably wondering what’s the new role of leadership then in the world of Social Business? Can we define it nowadays in some sort of form or shape? Or will we have to create a new one altogether? Well, we may not. Once again, we may not need to go ahead and reinvent the wheel, since we may have had it all along over the last few hundred years and we never noticed… Welcome to the Era of Servant Leadership! 

Indeed, Servant Leadership is 

“[…] a management philosophy which implies a comprehensive view of the quality of people, work and community spirit. It requires a spiritual understanding of identity, mission, vision and environment. A servant leader is someone who is servant first, who has responsibility to be in the world, and so he contributes to the well-being of people and community. A servant leader looks to the needs of the people and asks himself how he can help them to solve problems and promote personal development. He places his main focus on people, because only content and motivated people are able to reach their targets and to fulfill the set expectations” (Quoted from Wikipedia’s reference article on the topic)

and while catching up last week with my good friend, the always insightful and equally thought provokingStowe Boyd I just couldn’t help thinking about how we may not need to redefine much what was already hinted hundreds of years ago about servant leaders, but perhaps just fine tune a little bit more the work carried out eventually by Robert K. Greenleaf in 1970 on this very same topic, as a way to help define what will be demanded of, a few decades later, Leaders 2.0 in the knowledge economy of the 21st century where social technologies have finally introduced wirearchy in the corporate world for it to stay, moving right along, with traditional hierarchy. 

And in that context I just couldn’t help thinking about this superb article at Inc.com under the suggestive heading “8 Core Beliefs of Extraordinary Bosses” by Geoffrey James that has been making the rounds on various social networks out there and which clearly portraits the kind of shift that traditional management needs to make in order to help prepare the leaders of tomorrow, if not today altogether already. No, I am not going to spoil the fun and try to reproduce Geoffrey’s article with plenty of quotes here and there. On the contrary, I would like to encourage you all to have a look into that truly inspirational dissertation and be prepared to be wowed big time! As a teaser, here you have got the 8 Core Beliefs Geoffrey talks about, just to get you going: 

  1. “Business is an ecosystem, not a battlefield
  2. A company is a community, not a machine
  3. Management is service, not control
  4. My employees are my peers, not my children
  5. Motivation comes from vision, not from fear
  6. Change equals growth, not pain
  7. Technology offers empowerment, not automation
  8. Work should be fun, not mere toil”

Pretty powerful stuff, don’t you think? I am sure you would all agree with that assertion, but there is more, there is always more eventually!, because, just as I was putting together this article I bumped into a rather evoking image on Google Plus that can certainly help folks differentiate between traditional management, the boss, and this new kind of management, the leader

And as I kept reflecting on that transition from bosses to leaders as the one that is going to shape up management as we know it within the business world, and all of that thanks to social networking, amongst several other timely happenings, I just couldn’t help remembering, quite fondly, the absolutely stunning blog post that Kathy Sierra (Gosh, how much do I miss her mind-boggling blog posts!) shared over 6 years ago!! under the title “Manager 2.0” with this brilliant image that would surely resonate quite a bit with that of servant leadership:

I would happily recommend you all to go through Kathy’s article to realise how close Social Business has been all along, even right from the start!, on helping shape up the way we understand and embrace both management and leadership 2.0 nowadays, 6 years later, into something that perhaps we have been having all along, but that we just didn’t know it, or maybe that we have neglected and ignored for far too long. The reality is that if someone would be asking me to define the new role of leadership in today’s interconnected, instrumented, intelligent, engaged, smarter, trustworthy and transparent social business world the one single key concept that would keep coming up, in a recurring way, time and time again, would be what’s been there all along with us throughout history: Servant Leadership. 

And here is probably the toughest question of them all that will keep coming up repeatedly, now more than ever, and that we all need to try and find an answer for: in todays social business world are your / our current leaders servant leaders? And if they aren’t, what can we do to help prepare them?



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May 07, 2012
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Recent Blog Posts
89


The Humanity of the Web: Reflections of a Social Computing Evangelist
Wed, Mar 26th 2014 10:09a   Luis Suarez
A little while ago Courtney Hunt, from the talented Denovati Group, reached out to me through Twitter, and then LinkedIn, to ask me whether I would like to contribute to a book project they are working on to go and celebrate the World Wide Web’s Coming of Age, since this year, 2014, we all, collectively, celebrate its 25th anniversary. Yes, I know, I couldn’t just reject such kind, generous and overall wonderful opportunity, as I am sure you would all agree with me on how much we owe Sir T [read] Keywords: collaboration connections ibm community email google linkedin network networking profile twitter web 2.0 wiki
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The Therapy of Blogging While Showing Off Your Ideas Out in the Open
Tue, Mar 25th 2014 12:28p   Luis Suarez
You may have noticed how over the course of the last few days I haven’t had much of a chance to blog over here. And it is not because things may well be so incredibly hectic that I wouldn’t have enough time for it. Quite the opposite, actually. I am continually looking at the prospect of writing away, as, you know, there is always time for blogging, right? In my 11 years of blogging itself I don’t think I have ever experienced the good well known writer’s block when putting together t [read] Keywords: admin collaboration blogger blogging email google linkedin networking profile twitter wiki
104


Gran Canaria – Celebrating the Mini-Continent
Mon, Mar 17th 2014 2:43p   Luis Suarez
Today is a special day for yours truly. A very special day, actually. And I am not saying that because I know how perhaps half of the world (if not the whole world already!) may well be enjoying the various different celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day. So, if you are celebrating it, Happy St. Patrick’s Day nonetheless! Hope you are all having a good time with your loved ones, family and friends. The reason why I am very joyous and rather happy today though is because it’s exactly 10 years a [read] Keywords: ibm networking profile twitter
136


The Future of Collaboration Lies in Human Resources AND Management’s Hands
Tue, Mar 11th 2014 12:43p   Luis Suarez
A few weeks ago I put together the attached article for CMSWire where I tried to reflect on what I feel is the number #1 challenge for today’s corporations in terms of embracing a much more open, transparent, knowledge sharing culture through the emergence of social technologies behind the firewall. Indeed, Human Resources is right in the eye of the hurricane in terms of trying to figure out whether it stands, that is, whether it would want to continue sustaining a rather sick, corrupted and [read] Keywords: collaboration enterprise network networking twitter
468


The Trials and Tribulations of an Independent Freelancer – Your Online Bio Profile and Digital Footprint
Mon, Mar 10th 2014 7:02p   Luis Suarez
It’s been a month since I last posted a blog entry over here and I am sure plenty of you folks out there may be wondering what I have been up to and everything, right? After all, leaving IBM after 17 years of dedicated work on topics I am very passionate about can definitely have a certain emotional toll that perhaps would need for some time to go by before moving into greener pastures. Well, that’s exactly what I have been doing in the last few weeks: learn, unlearn, relearn, and continue [read] Keywords: collaboration ibm blogging email enterprise facebook google javascript linkedin network networking profile twitter widgets
247


Let The Next Adventure Begin – The With Whom (#CAWW)
Sat, Feb 8th 2014 2:05p   Luis Suarez
And, finally, the last blog post of the series of entries where I’ve been detailing what I would be doing from here onwards, as I begin my next adventure as an independent chief emergineer. Earlier on in the week I blogged about the why, then the what and now I guess it’s a good time to talk about the with whom, as part of that mantra of “use systems too boost your odds, passion to get energy and luck to change the game“. In short, the system of we! That’s why it& [read] Keywords: collaboration consulting enterprise javascript network networking twitter widgets




250


Let The Next Adventure Begin – The What Next (The System of Me)
Fri, Feb 7th 2014 11:02a   Luis Suarez
After yesterday’s blog post, I guess today’s the one everyone has been waiting for. Myself included. For a good number of weeks, I have been having lots of conversations on the side with plenty of people, where I have been hinting what I will be doing next and while, all along, I have been trying to disguise my excitement about the next adventure(s), and what the future may hold from here onwards, it’s now the time for me to unleash what I will be working on from here onwards. [read] Keywords: agent collaboration connections ibm community email network networking twitter
249


Let The Next Adventure Begin – The Origins
Thu, Feb 6th 2014 11:22a   Luis Suarez
Life works in mysterious ways, doesn’t it? It comes and goes, never leaving you indifferent. It has got its own way of telling you when to stop, do plenty of thinking about why you were brought here in the first place and hop back into the train we all call the world to move on. I guess this time around though it also had something else in stock for me. Something that has made the writing of this blog post kind of tough and a bit too edgy at the same time, not necessarily for putting it [read] Keywords: ibm notes blogging integration twitter widgets
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Take a Seat – Make a Friend?
Wed, Dec 18th 2013 1:06p   Luis Suarez
If you have been reading this blog for a while now you would remember how every year that goes by I always try to incorporate a new theme or topic that I would want to explore further along during the course of the year and see where it would take me, specially, if it aligns with the core subjects I get to cover over here from all along like Social Business, Social Computing, Enterprise 2.0, Online Communities, Collaboration, Knowledge Sharing (a.k.a. KM), Learning and, since last year, Open Bus [read] Keywords: collaboration connections enterprise networking
117


Nurturing Your Social Networks To Help You Find Your Purpose
Tue, Dec 17th 2013 10:26a   Luis Suarez
I guess it’s now a good time to resume my regular blogging activities, once again, don’t you think? After all, it’s been over three months since I last created a blog entry over here and I suppose I am very much overdue on it. Perhaps even more so to share across an explanation of where have I been in the last three months and venture into sharing some additional details on why I have gone through the longest blogging hiatus that I can remember over the last 10 years that I ha [read] Keywords: blogging networking




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