Leadership in the Social Age

Leadership in the Social Age may well be a subject that you are already familiar with, then again, maybe not…

Julian Stodd has been undertaking a raft of research, experiments, social safaris and generally, as he so aptly puts it, ‘working out loud’ on the subject of Leadership in the Social Age, all of which are things I wholeheartedly recommend you explore. Before meeting him three years ago, I, for my sins, was not aware of the subject or of his valuable research regarding leadership, therefore I thought it might be helpful to use this as an opportunity to introduce some of you to his excellent work.

I first met Julian having seen him initially present at a Learning Conference in London back in May 2014 where he eloquently outlined diverse subjects such as:

I don’t know whether it is my age, my experience or my perceived position in society’s fabric, but I personally feel very much aligned to his thoughts through my own experiences.  This appreciation of Julian’s sense making of leadership may well be why the team at Prosperity 24.7 encourage him to visit Jersey as often as we can to ‘sanity check’ our own approach to leadership both within our organisation but also with regards to our responsibility to enhance and enrich our wider community to ensure we are all prosperous.

A day with Julian is like a Social Leadership ‘Health check’ for the modern leader.

Going back to Julian’s work, his most recent book – The Social Leadership Handbook, 2nd Edition – discusses the fourth leadership age (that is my interpretation anyway).

Having successfully navigated businesses through the Manufacturing Age, the Knowledge Age and the Digital Age, we find ourselves squarely within the Social Age where historical leadership ideals can be disrupted at the ‘tip of a Social Media based hat’, with messages (positive or negative) being amplified further and faster than ever before.

Other critical elements which he covers, for which I am grateful to say we believe we are strong on at Prosperity 24.7, is backing up Social Leadership with genuine Social responsibility. Ensuring that we live our virtues publically to ensure that when we look after our community, our clients and our colleagues, we will prosper as an organisation in the Social Age.

“When we look after our community, our clients and our colleagues, we will prosper as an organisation in the Social Age”

Many established or traditional businesses may well see that statement as the stuff of ‘fluff or nonsense’ but by ensuring our moral and social compass is truly pointing in the right direction, this makes our organisation magnetic to talent – reputation counts for everything in the Social Age, not only personally, but at a Corporate level. When did you last see an organisation state the following regarding how they measure success?

“For us, success is not measured by financial return but by delivering successful outcomes”

By focussing on successful outcomes for our clients, they in turn provide reputational benefit enabling our continued, sustainable growth.

This is just one of our key aspirations in life and one of the outcomes of some research that I have been personally undertaking in relation to Prosperity 24.7’s brand and positioning. I personally feel that at times we may be disconnected when it comes to the stories we tell on our website – www.prosperity247.com – to say, our very public and playful persona on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/prosperity247

Obviously the two channels are designed to engage two very different audience types and fulfil two very different purposes of course but it would be great to be a little less diverse in our brand representation so watch this space to see how we evolve this element. As Julian puts it:

“Brand is no longer owned by the organisation but by the community in which we operate”

So, by all means please don’t hesitate to contact me directly with your thoughts regarding how we could evolve our messaging to ensure alignment regarding what we do, what we say and what you experience when you work with our colleagues.

Coming on to community, we are fortunate to have Julian visit us in Jersey once more later in April. Over the course of two days, Julian will be sharing his thoughts on his latest work relating to Socially Dynamic Organisations.

More information about the public event is available here: https://prosperity247.com/2017/03/14/socially-dynamic-organisation/

We see much of Julian’s work as essential and impactful to not only our own business but the wide range of Organisations which we are fortunate enough to work with across the Channel Islands and further afield. His work is relevant to any leader who is challenged by modern ways of working, subversion, change, agility and of course, leadership in the social age.

To ensure that we are able to distribute his knowledge across our community in the most effective way, we are running a public event with Julian this year on Friday 21st April 12:00 – 14:00. We will be providing free tickets to both Education and the Charity sector to ensure that they can learn how to lead effectively and leverage social amplification for the benefit of the essential communities in which we all live and work. Together we can prosper.

For tickets to attend the event, please check out Eventbrite for more details:


In addition to this public event, there is also a private Executive Level session running all day Thursday 20th April, if this is of interest, please contact me for more details.

In closing, I would like to thank you for reading my musings, if they are helpful, please feel free to share, if they are not then please let me know and I will tailor my next post in the hope that it is more apt for you personally.

All references to Julian Stodd’s work, his drawings, his thoughts and his inspiration are with kind permission – because the guy is just a legend! If you want to learn more from Julian his books are available here: https://seasaltlearning.com/social-leadership-handbook-second-edition/ or by all means join us at our events in April. Thank you.