Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Set the Tone

Written by: on November 18, 2013

Charlene Li, in her book “Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead,” discusses the necessity for companies and leaders to begin being more open and transparent by using social technology.  In addition she also gives specific guidelines regarding how to do this while also maintaining control of what is shared.  Basically, she feels it is necessary for companies and leaders to embrace “open leadership” because it is becoming extremely difficult to control information; and it can by highly productive to enact transparency.  She relates that “open leadership” is about inspiring people in the art of sharing.

One tool she discusses in Chapter 5 is the idea of a “Sandbox Covenant.” This covenant determines the rules of the “sandbox,” the ways in which a leader will interact and engage with others.  One of the best practices that she mentions in this regard is that of “tone.”  Each person or organization has a “tone” that they can set in the “sandbox.”

What is your “tone?”  What do those you lead experience by what you write or say or do?

Leaders set a tone any time that they are participating in social technology.  Li suggests embracing curiosity which she says leads to humility.  It gives intellectual integrity which results from one’s realization that he/she doesn’t have all of the answers. This idea leads me to the question: “How open and curious am I willing to be when I post and interact using social technology?  And how do I maintain the tone that defines my personality.  For myself I’ve chosen to strive to be one who inspires.  It is my goal when I teach but also when I post.  I can feel myself veer from this tone when I become too critical or negative about a topic.  And when this happens it is humbling because once it has been shared well, unlike Vegas, what happens on the internet doesn’t stay in one place but immediately floods.  How curious do I want to be when sharing topics in social media?  There are a lot of things I am curious about but do I put it all online so that my questions are available for anyone?  Again, for me to maintain the tone that I desire to express I determine what to share and what to keep private.  It is a type of covenant with myself.

Do you have a covenant with yourself?  Does this affect your “tone?”

What might be some of the best practices in your “Sandbox Covenant?”

As we build relationships there is certain protocol or etiquette that must be followed.  Li shares the following table as an example of this: (Please see this link) https://getsatisfaction.com/corp/customer-pact/

This type of a relationship building covenant can also be used in a variety of interpersonal relationships with the five values in place: 1. Be Human, 2. Be Accessible, 3. Be Authentic, 4. Be Patient, 5. Be Productive.

How might you apply these values to your leadership style?  How might it affect those you lead?

How would you apply these in order to set your “tone” which you communicate in social media?

For my personal “tone” to inspire I must be human but also use wisdom, be accessible but also set priorities, be authentic and draw from my positive thoughts rather than negative ones, be patient and allow lessons in humility as others may not agree with my thoughts, and be productive while also realizing that balance is a necessary component for personal sustainability

About the Author

Sharenda Roam

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