by Josh Druck
on January 4, 2012

General Patton 2.0 – Online Leadership


“Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.”

– General George S. Patton

General George Smith Patton Jr. is arguably one of the greatest American military leaders of our time. No one would question his leadership or influence.

Which of course makes me think: what would his Klout score

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be? How influential would he be as a blogger?

Considering he never had access to either of these mediums the obvious answers are: ZERO and NOT VERY. But if he did – how would he have faired? I don’t think the answer is actually very straight forward.

As online leadership converges with real-world leadership, three trends emerge:

1. Traditional or conventional “leaders” (those who were considered leaders BEFORE social media) who are struggling to transition their real-world leadership skills online. This seems to be especially true for leaders who thrived by controlling the supply chain of information.

2. Newer leaders, but not necessarily “young” leaders, who have developed their leadership roles in parallel with the rapid proliferation of social media (i.e. the last 4-5 years) and do not experience the same transition problem. I would also note that our society’s “new” leaders also tend to leverage transparency of information to their favor.

3. Lastly, there are the people who are not leaders at all and are using social media to promote themselves as such. These individuals neglect traditional, real-world leadership skills and “game” the system

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by attempting to persuade and motivate others via Tweets and blog posts. Many “bloginaires” seem to fall into this category – though some have broken the mold and developed into true leaders within their industry.

So what does it mean to be a leader

today, in 2012? To me, it means you need to exhibit leadership qualities across ALL your communication outlets (digital and real), not just one or two.

Unfortunately I know and see a lot of people who claim to be “leaders” online and are real-world ZEROS.

Your thoughts?

Mike Best

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