Summary of The Engaged Leader

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In the digital age, the traditional business hierarchy no longer makes sense. The CEO was once a remote figure who depended on layers of managers for reports on customers and employees. But in the digital age, leaders must be engaged to be effective, says consultant Charlene Li. Contemporary leaders can use social media to monitor the pulse of the market; to cultivate relationships with customers, employees and stakeholders; and to empower employees by sharing information. In this beginner’s guide to digital strategy, Li shows how to listen to thousands of people at once, how to create online content that attracts followers and how to engage every level of your workforce. She offers advice on preventing social networking from becoming a time sink and explains how top executives can manage digital relationships to be just enough, but not too much. Though her manual isn’t heavy on details, getAbstract recommends it as a perfect pep talk for leaders, especially for those who are still resisting establishing a social media presence.

About the Author

Strategy expert Charlene Li is founder and CEO of Altimeter Group Digital. She is a frequent public speaker and consults with a variety of Fortune 500 companies.



Getting in Touch

The digitally networked world makes traditional command-and-control leadership obsolete. Today’s successful leader is “engaged” in an unprecedented level of contact with employees, customers and other organizational stakeholders. By leveraging the power of social media, mobile connectivity and digital data, leaders can build relationships, take the pulse of the market and empower members of a far-flung, distributed workforce to strive independently toward common goals.

Breaking the Chain

In the traditional business hierarchy, leaders erected a wall of middle managers between themselves and their customers and employees. They “accumulated power by hoarding information and then releasing it in a highly controlled way, thereby creating scarcity.” The middle managers were gatekeepers who regulated and filtered the leader’s flow of information. Gatekeepers relayed the leader’s commands to the workforce and informed the leader about customer or staff concerns.

This chain-of-command model isn’t tenable today. You can access your customers’ concerns any time you want by going to your company’s Facebook page and reading the comments. You can obtain...

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