I’m sure United Airlines wishes Dave had chosen Exit over Voice. He certainly wasn’t demonstrating Loyalty.
At the beginning of Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead Charlene Li tells the story of Dave Carroll, and the non-response from Untied Airlines after he complained because they manhandled and broke his guitar.  His Voice sounds country-western, and the You Tube clip he posted in protest of being stonewalled by United has nearly sixteen million views.  Talk about voice!
“What’s really going on here [with the story of Dave]? The answer, both simple and far-reaching, is that there has been a fundamental shift in power, one in which individuals have the ability to broadcast their views to the world.” 
United Airlines has changed, a little, and does exercise Open Leadership to an extent. Following my most recent bad experience with them (and there have been many), flying home from London, they solicited response in an e mail survey, through which I happily exercised Voice. If they have a “destroy this guys luggage next time” list, I’m sure I’m now on it. I’m shocked that I have gotten no response from them regarding my survey.
This week’s book, Open Leadership, warrants comparisons to several books we have read this semester. Exit, Voice, and Loyalty by Albert Hirschman,  Good to Great by Jim Collins,  Failure of Nerve by Edwin Friedman,  and The Leadership Mystique by Manfred Kets de Vries  all echo throughout the current volume.
To speak colloquially, Open Leadership is Exit, Voice, and Loyalty on steroids. Voice has gone viral. To a large extent Charlene Li’s book is guiding companies regarding how to provide opportunity for voice and to do so in the most helpful and constructive way possible. She instructs leaders and companies how to be open in communication in the age of social media, and in fact how to leverage social media to the company’s advantage.
Li also reinforces Friedman and Kets de Vries in the area of emotional intelligence. “An open leader has to be someone who has a very high degree of emotional intelligence.”  “As I’ve said, self-awareness is a key attribute of open leaders.”  A leader who does not have emotional intelligence may well be too insecure to release sufficient control of the company to allow input from the voice of social media.
In this same vein Li says, “Humility is also needed, and as Jim Collins pointed out in his book Good to Great, it’s a key characteristic of great leaders…humility plays a special role – it allows open leaders to accept that their views on something may need to shift because of what their curious explorations expose. In a sense, humility gives them the self-awareness and confidence to admit when they are wrong or need help.” 
Li advocates that the realities of social media change how we lead. “In an open organization, the open leader still sets the goals, the strategy, and the agenda – but with greater information sharing and distributed decision making, the leader’s role in the organization changes in subtle but significant ways.” 
As we study Leadership and Global Perspectives, surely this qualifies for consideration. It is not difficult to see that social media contributes immensely to globalization realities, as we can connect instantly with people around the world. For one thing, being a leader does not just mean having integrity and authenticity locally; our character is now subject to examination by anyone in any place. In addition, the skill of the leader to be a catalyst means being able to do that not just with those within reach, but also with people that the leader may not ever have actually met face to face.
As leaders we need to rethink how we relate to people. “A major theme throughout this book has been that leadership is about relationships, and because social technologies are changing relationships, leadership also needs to change.” 
I have long found a helpful definition of leadership to be: “Leadership is a relationship of influence.” I was reminded of this while reading, “The new tools also mean individual contributors can exercise leadership now. they build their own relationships within the organization, offering help to their peers… This means you could be a leader just because people follow you – literally – on your blog, on Twitter, on your Facebook page, or elsewhere.” 
A large advantage to open leadership is that it can afford opportunities for relationships of influence to be broadly disseminated among the rank and file of any organization. This thought leads to my primary application from Open Leadership.
This week I will have another meeting with Dr. Adam Poole, director of Cornerstone School of Ministry; the host of my dissertation artifact. I have asked that our meeting include the administrative assistant in order to discuss how we can leverage social media to “get the word out” about our efforts to offer leadership training to international students. Through the years dozens, if not hundreds of students have taken courses with Cornerstone. Using facebook, as just one example, we can (1) request prayer for our efforts, (2) cast vision for the project, (3) publish brochures and information about our offerings for internationals, and (4) ask alumni to seek out internationals with whom they have relationship, in order to invite them to take classes. If alumni “like” our facebook page or put a “virtual sticker on their social networking profile,”  we can quickly multiply information about what we are doing.
Finally, we have been encouraged to be honest in our assessment of the books we read, so I offer a candid word: Open Leadership is the least substantive of the books we’ve read this year. It’s greatest value is as a reinforcement to the other volumes mentioned above. It may also serve to alert older leaders about the realities and advantages of social media.
 Charlene Li, Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform The Way You Lead, (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2010), 3-5.
 Li, 5.
 Albert O. Hirschman, Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1970).
 Jim Collins, Good to Great, (New York, NY: Harper Business, 2001).
 Edwin H. Friedman, A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix, (New York, NY: Seabury Books, 2007).
 Manfred Kets de Vries, The Leadership Mystique: Leading Behavior in the Human Enterprise, (Harlow, England: Prentice Hall, 2006).
 Li, 167.
 Ibid., 179.
 Ibid., 169.
 Ibid., 197.
 Ibid., 163.
 Ibid., 200.
 Ibid., 11.