Charlene Li is undoubtedly one of the world’s foremost experts on social media. Li founded Altimeter Group, co-authored Groundswell and now released Open Leadership. I had high expectations for this book as I’ve often felt the opportunities for transparency and openness created by social media were necessary for modern servant leaders. While I was happy to find the book did address these matters, it took a while to get to the heart of the matter. In total, I recommend this book for anyone working in the social media sector or in leadership, just beginning their social media journey.
Leadership New to Social Media
If you’re in a leadership role or seeking to improve your ability to influence and are relatively new to social media, you will definitely want to get a copy of this book. In fact, I believe this book is best suited for these purposes and was likely Li’s intended target market. You will want to read the entire book as you will find the early chapters particularly good at introducing some of the best examples of social media implementation in today’s business. The later chapters will address applications of openness and social media solutions to your leadership and influence abilities. Throughout the book, the applications and principles suggested by Li are sound and appropriate.
Social Media Professionals
If you work in social media, eCommerce or other online channels, you’ll find most of the references and examples familiar from other references, such as Groundswell or Godin’s books. However, this text will undoubtedly be one of the most frequently referenced books in the sector, so you’ll want to be familiar with its contents. You’ll also find some new examples, like the State Bank of India and even the U.S. State Department example, which were both pleasantly new to me. That said, if you’re anxious to get to the new material, you can skip the first several chapters which are primarily targeted at the reader new to Social Media.
In summary, I definitely recommend this book. Li should be proud of her continuing thought leadership in social media. Balancing the benefits for social media professionals and leaders new to Social Media, I rate this 4 out 5.