Leadership is more than a retweet

In my mind I see the old way of receiving information.

We sat and we listened.  Much like eating a meal, our mental nourishment was brought to us as if we were at a large social event.  We sat at the table and we all got a plate that looked the same and tasted the same.  If we kept showing up to the table over and over again, the ones who were able to repeat the cycle long enough and could re-create what they had been fed eventually got a Doctorate.  Our culture promoted these people and then asked them to serve the same meals to the next generation.  The leadership of this generation, of this meal, are having a hard time fitting into this new world of available information we live in.

The new world looks far less formal.  I'm not even sure there is a seating chart, it seems like it's "come whenever" type of meal.  The biggest change is that instead of sitting and being fed a repeated lesson, now everyone is bringing their own creative dish.  The internet has shifted our learning process from a formal meal into a potluck dinner.  Everyone now has the right to share and contribute in some way and we are delighted by the various options.

The leader who learned to sit the longest and take good notes is uncomfortable with the chaotic feel of the potluck event.  These leaders disapprove of people not seeking their opinion, gaining their approval, and then receiving their permission to share.  To keep control they occasionally lash out at early adapters, these leaders are quick to scrutinize how someone else made a dish or how they placed it on the table, which is ironic because they haven't contributed a creative dish of their own.  In reality, neither title nor position today makes one an authority on the internet tomorrow.  

Leadership is not found in a retweet, that just makes you well fed from the old banquet style of learning (ie. eat, regurgitate, eat again, regurgitate, and so on).  The new form of leadership is taking the risk to put your own thoughts and ideas out there for us to see and to collaborate around how the idea can be better.  Those are the leaders we want and that's how one earn's the right to lead the next generation of leadership through the fantastic medium of the internet.

As a leader are you contributing or do you just want to tell others the correct way to participate?

Photo by Alan Light