Published November 14, 2008
Tags: leadership, taxonomy
I’d like to propose some vocabulary to talk about prominent people in the online world – the influencers, the leaders, and the managers.
Influencers – People that change mindsets of their followers. They can be bloggers reviewing the latest gadget, lifehackers proposing the new approach to time management, or connectors suggesting you link up with some of their online friends.
Leaders – Influencers that also make a call for action. Leaders aren’t satisfied when you change your opinion about a product, they want you to buy it. They’re not satisfied with your interest in the lifehack, they want you to implement it. They want you to get in touch with their other friends and start a business together. And if they are true leaders, you do what they want, as it’s the best thing for you to do.
Managers – People that organize online collaboration. They may not be as visible and popular as leaders or influencers, but without them no complex effort can be undertaken online. Some of them are famous – take for example Linus Torvalds who has designed the Linux operating system in a way that allows thousands of contributors to extend and improve it. Implicitly, he has created a management framework to organize the collaboration of software developers around his product.
Where do you fit on this taxonomy – are you an influencer, a leader, or a manager? Or maybe all of them at the same time?
Published October 5, 2008
Tags: open source, research, science
Thanks to Matt Rhodes I became aware of the recent hype around social media’s impact on science. The numerous discussions cover topics like scientific blogging, copyright issues, and open source science, often referred to altogether as Science 2.0.
As this subject is very close to my heart – I’m pursuing research via this blog, even though I don’t have a formal affiliation with any of the scientific institutions – I’d like to delve deeper into what I consider as open source science. Continue reading ‘Open Source Science’
Published October 3, 2008
Aspiring leaders very often search for instructions or advice on how to master leadership. The article Discovering Your Authentic Leadership in Harvard Business Review claims that the place to discover leadership lies in our own biography. The authors have conducted a massive study to identify ways of developing leadership skills, and they have come up with the concept of authentic leadership.
Authentic leaders behave naturally, in ways that fit their personality. They nurture long-lasting relationships; they have mastered self-discipline and self-awareness. Striving to achieve desired goals, they stick to their values and principles.
According to the study, becoming an authentic leader requires that we first interpret our life story. It is important to consider the people and experiences that shaped our character in the early life stages. By practicing self-awareness, we should understand the real values and principles that guide our decisions, and the factors – both internal and external – that motivate us. An authentic leader can count on a diverse support group, which may consist of a partner, family, and friends. Authentic leaders prove their integrity when facing difficult choices, even if the correct decision may negatively affect their career.
I would risk the statement that in online communities, it is even more important for a leader to be authentic. Such authenticity is a source of referent power, the biggest influencing force that allows a leader to drive the community effort in desired direction. In each place where you show up online, whether it’s in a blog, a social network, or an online forum, you can build trust via integrity or lose trust via acting against community values. And as always, it’s much easier to lose trust than it is to build it.
What do you do to stay authentic on the web? I’d love to see your point of view in the comments!
Source: William W. George, Peter Sims, Andrew N. McLean, David Mayer, and Diana Mayer: Discovering Your Authentic Leadership; Harvard Business Review; February 2007.
Published September 16, 2008
Tags: community, psychology, tips
Let’s take a scientific approach to managing online communities. The following tips are based on the science that describes the nature of human interactions – social psychology.
1. Beware the Fundamental Attribution Error
Don’t take for granted that a community would understand the motivation of your actions, especially if they don’t like them. The fundamental attribution error describes the fact that most people will assign you bad will and turn away from you, rather than look for external conditions that shaped your decisions. In order to minimize the effect of this error, you need to put a lot of effort into explaining the situation and your motivation. Continue reading ’10 Social Psychology Tips for Managing Online Communities’