the blog Synergy

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

“Great Leading” in the Blogosphere

After I posted “Great Leading” means what, exactly? I asked the same five questions in another posting on Talking Story [the post called From Wordsmithing the Walking the Talk of Great Leadership in the blog Synergy Great Leading Index.]

Tim Milburn, author of penned a comment in response to question number 5, which read;
5. And I wonder, what must Great Leading begin to look like in the blogosphere? If you are reading this, you are leaps and bounds beyond the majority of the world in terms of your “multi-media literacy.” Whether you blog or “just read ‘em” how can you be leading? What kind of virtual leaders are you hoping will appear on your radar?
I think his comment gives us a lot to think about in regard to whichever virtual community we may be part of, and I’d like to reprint it here for you.
Comment from Tim: [the bold emphasis is mine]


I really like these five questions. They have gotten me thinking about what leadership might look like in our "virtual" community. I would like to take a stab at the fifth question because I think we are just now beginning to see some leaders emerge within the blogosphere. I think "Great Leading" in this arena will entail:

A strong voice.
A person must be able to articulate clearly and concisely many of the practices and principles that contribute to the success of one's readers. You can begin to see various bloggers emerge from the crowd because they have developed a unique voice that is consistent and recognizable (for example, I can tell a post from you, Rosa Say without even seeing your name because I recognize your style).

Connecting people.
The writing of blogs has led to the creation of blogging networks. [Talking Story] has created the Ho'ohana Community. There are numerous other communities that are popping up (ie, 9 rules). A blogger begins to lead when he or she can connect other bloggers together and point them in a distinct and clear direction.

Innovate with the technology.
I love this part of blogging. The internet is growing and so are the various tools that people have access to that can enhance the blogging experience. Look at what Seth Godin and friends have created with Squidoo. Look at how many fun little interactive tools people have on their sidebars. A blogger who leads will be able to manipulate these types of tools to enhance the experience of the reader and add value to the blogging experience.

Produce outside of the blogosphere.
I think that this is a must. Perhaps it even precludes success within the blogosphere. The formula at this point seems to be that one produces a book or some type of resource outside of the internet and then turns to the internet/blog to promote and build momentum. For instance, the authors of Freakonomics write a wonderful book, then create a blog to carry on a relationship with their readers. One thing that we may begin to see more of is a reversal of that trend. A leader may be able to create from within the blogosphere, which in turn, will result in being able to produce more outside of it. The key here is that a person is able to impact a variety of markets and mediums.

Meet a felt need.
This is the case in most situations that demand leadership. There is always something at stake, some cry for help, some need that needs to be met. Someone recognizes that need and rises up with resource, direction, and the ability to rally people together to meet the need (look at all the life hack, organization, GTD type sites that are out there). Those who lead will be the ones who recognize the greatest felt needs within those who are seeking help on the internet...and create resource (or direct others) to meet that need.

Help to create the Web 2.0 experience.
The movement toward Web 2.0 (which is a nebulous concept that seems limited only by the imagination of web users) has potential to bring people to the forefront based on the value of their ideas. The leader will be the one who either puts forth the best ideas or finds ways for people to bring their ideas to light and helps make it happen. The leader is the broker in the new commodity of ideas.

Just some of my own thoughts on the subject. What do you think?
I responded to Tim that I’d like to respect the thought and time he put into this response by taking more time to pen my own answer for the Talking Story community. However what is our answer for the Blog Synergy? I am wondering if our answers will end up to be the same, or different? If different, how are we set apart, and what will be our defining moment?

Do you have an answer you can share with Tim, and for all of us, especially in regard to this community here on the blog Synergy?

By the way, Tim just published a new free E-book called Touching All Four - Living Leadership One Base At A Time, which is getting rave reviews, like this one by Skip Angel.
Download a copy of Tim’s book for yourself.


  • At 3:15 PM, Blogger Steve Sherlock said…

    I was working (i.e. writing) on the train ride home today as I thought about my approach to the five questions... laying out the items to touch on for each point.

    More to come from this but I like Tim's response. More food for thought.

  • At 7:56 PM, Blogger Phil Gerbyshak said…

    Tim's response is certainly a great one, and I, like Steve, now have even more to process before I give my answer to these tough questions.

  • At 3:13 PM, Blogger Trevor Gay said…

    Some great responses from Tim – what an insightful man he is!

    I am busy for the next few weeks and I have to respond now with just some immediate thoughts. Tim’s comments deserve far more reflection on my part. But I worry that unless I do something NOW while I have ten minutes I may not get back to this topic! Never mind, my rambling initial thoughts are often my best ones!

    In my opinion the ‘new leader’ in Blogging will not be that much different than leaders for the last many thousands of years.

    The same qualities will apply. Credibility with followers; simplicity; non-pretentiousness; competence; knowledge; empathy; these are just some of the qualities that are outstanding in all leaders throughout history. They were required then – they are required now and they will be required in the future. All that really changes is the environment and the circumstances – leaders emerged in the industrial revolution and the agricultural revolution and they will emerge again in this technological revolution.

    Frankly I think there is a lot of ‘hot air’ about the new technology requiring a ‘new type’ of leader. Leaders throughout history have had the wonderful quality of being able to take others with them. This is an intangible quality. The internet and the advent of the marvelous technology enable us to communicate effectively across thousands of miles without ever meeting.

    There will always be a requirement for someone to lead and different situations will require different types of leadership but truly great leaders will possess the same qualities in 2006 AD as they did in 2006 BC.

    My favourite leadership quote is this one – and the new leader will have to do all these things – even if only in a virtual sense to become a great leader.

    Go to the people
    Live with them
    Learn from them
    Love them
    Start with what they know
    Build with what they have
    But with the best leaders
    When the work is done
    The task accomplished
    The people will say
    ”We have done this ourselves.”

    Lao Tsu (700 BC)


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