Leadership Lessons Of Web 2.0 – Secret #2: Engagement

This is the second in a series of posts looking as how aspiring leaders can learn from Web 2.0 practices and theory.

On The Web: What is it that defines Web 2.0? To me, it’s interactivity.  If Web 1.0 was a one-way ‘speech’ to the crowd or a ‘push’ of information, Web 2.0 is a dialogue, a conversation, and a two-way exchange.  Whether it’s the ability to upload photos to Flickr or videos to YouTube, or to add and edit information to entries on Wikipedia, or even to just comment on a blog, Web 2.0 is ALL about the engagement of the community.
And what happens to a community that is truly engaged?  They create astonishing value.  They come back to your site more and more regularly.  They participate and contribute more and more regularly.  They tell others about the great experience they’re having with you.  They CARE about you and your site!

As A Leader: Much like a web community, a successful team in an organization is an engaged team.  And – shocker! – the methods to increase engagement on your team are the same as they are on the web.

  • Make meetings two-way conversations.
  • Don’t make decisions in a silo – solicit input from the team.
  • One of the best pieces of advice on starting conversations on a blog is to ask questions of your audience – this is also the best way to begin to engage your team.
  • Seek information, don’t tell them the solution.

A leader cannot give a team a one-way step-by-step instruction manual and expect buy-in and passion.  However, if a leader creates an environment where new ideas are welcomed, new ideas are implemented, and successes are championed, teams feel valued and more confident in using their knowledge and expertise. Give them autonomy and empowerment, and the sky is the limit to the value they will create.
The reason you need to focus on engagement is this:
If you have a team that mindlessly repeats tasks exactly the way you prescribe them and clocks in at 9 and clocks out at 5, you’re a manager.

If you have a passionate team that shows up early and stays late (of their own accord), who are constantly suggesting ideas for how to do things better or creating brand new ideas for products and services, and who feel a sense of ownership in their roles, you’re a leader.

So spend your time thinking about how to make your team feel valued and they will solve the problem of making you and your organization successful.

It’s not about you.  It’s about your team.

What are some other areas of Web 2.0 that leaders (and teams) can learn from?  Please share your thoughts in the comments…

Related Posts:

Web 2.0 Leadership Secret #1: Give Up Control

Web 2.0 Leadership Secret #3: Be A Valuable Community Member

Web 2.0 Leadership Secret #4: Permission To Fail

9 Replies to “Leadership Lessons Of Web 2.0 – Secret #2: Engagement”

  1. Funny my last two managers have been opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of what you’re talking about here. Thankfully the one we have now is the type of positive leader you’re talking about. And funny thing, I am way more engaged, productive, and feel valued for my piece of the puzzle.

  2. Funny my last two managers have been opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of what you’re talking about here. Thankfully the one we have now is the type of positive leader you’re talking about. And funny thing, I am way more engaged, productive, and feel valued for my piece of the puzzle.

  3. Right on! Are there any other good practices your leader does that I haven’t touched on? (I’ve got one more ‘Leadership Lesson’ coming soon… 🙂 )

  4. Right on! Are there any other good practices your leader does that I haven’t touched on? (I’ve got one more ‘Leadership Lesson’ coming soon… 🙂 )

  5. Probably the single biggest thing is allowing the team members to make decisions where their expertise lies. And, that they have the leader’s support whether or not the direction they’ve chosen is right or what the leader ultimately would have chosen themself.

    That sense of trust and respect of your input goes a long way into building team members who take calculated risks and that work beyond the ‘ceiling’ of their position.

    It also affords the leader the same trust and respect in return.

  6. Probably the single biggest thing is allowing the team members to make decisions where their expertise lies. And, that they have the leader’s support whether or not the direction they’ve chosen is right or what the leader ultimately would have chosen themself.

    That sense of trust and respect of your input goes a long way into building team members who take calculated risks and that work beyond the ‘ceiling’ of their position.

    It also affords the leader the same trust and respect in return.

  7. Grin. With other words, you have a script and a team of people and they are going to implement the script. For everyone out there it looks nice a very interesting discussion, while in reality there is some manipulation going on

  8. Grin. With other words, you have a script and a team of people and they are going to implement the script. For everyone out there it looks nice a very interesting discussion, while in reality there is some manipulation going on

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