What Is an Open Leader?

Gayle Bennet is the deputy editor of CURRENTS magazine. She’s always on the lookout for writers, speakers and educational gadflies for the Outlook column. Know someone? Email Gayle at bennett@case.org.

Over the past few years, Charlene Li’s name has become synonymous with leadership and social media. It was the publication of her most recent book, Open Leadership, that spurred me to ask her to write an Outlook column for CURRENTS on the topic. She graciously said yes.

The column—in the April issue—is a synopsis of Open Leadership, which discusses how leaders can shift their mindset from control to openness in the new business and organizational landscape that social media has helped create. Of course, this shift is not simply a matter of leaders letting employees post, tweet, and otherwise do whatever they want. Leadership is still vital, but the command-and-control style is a relic.

In the column Li makes the following points:

  • Effective open leaders develop mechanisms to ensure that the people to whom they pass power act responsibly.
  • Leaders have never been so exposed to their outside constituencies: Don’t be afraid, embrace it.
  • Authenticity and transparency in leadership has never been more important.

If after you read the column, you are still itching for more, check out the book. Have you already read the book? What did you think?

2 responses to “What Is an Open Leader?

  1. Open Leadership was one of my favorite reads of 2010, and kudos to you and CASE for having Charline Li write a column directly for higher ed advancement leadership. I hope many CURRENTS readers forward that column on to their campus leadership.
    For what it’s worth, here’s a review I wrote about the book on my blog, and a follow-up post after I realized I’d failed to mention Charline’s points about the value of failure.

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