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Digital Era Leadership: Defining Characteristics?

What does it mean to be a leader in the Digital Era? Have the requirements for success drastically changed, or are they fundamentally the same? This post invites people to share their thoughts, as well as related resources, on the defining characteristics of leadership as the Digital Era progresses and evolves.


In honor of President’s Day in the United States, I’d like to solicit people's views on what leadership means in the Digital Era. Specifically:

  • Do leaders need to exhibit new values, traits or behaviors to be effective? If so, what are they? And on the flip side, are there values, traits and behaviors leaders need to stop exhibiting?
  • Should leaders be directly involved with social technologies. If so, where, how and to what degree?
  • What kinds of fiduciary responsibilities do new social and digital technologies present for leaders?

We’re currently working with Silverman Research to develop answers to these questions by analyzing various "conversations" in cyberspace that try to tackle them. We've created a database with over 70 sources 400 data points (e.g., a blog post and its comments), and we'd love to add more perspectives to the mix. In addition to telling us your own point of view, we appreciate your sharing links to articles, blog posts, and research studies that address one or more of the questions above. And of course we invite you to share the post with your own networks so that we can expand the conversation even further.

- Courtney Shelton Hunt, PhD

Note: This project is an extension of research we started in August 2011. The preliminary results of our efforts were summarized in a blog post entitled “What Does it Take to be a Leader in the Digital Era?” Jerry Carducci and Karin Wills have also developed a forthcoming publication tentatively titled “Leading in the Digital Era: Communications, Relationships, and Decision Making.” If you’d like to be notified as soon as it’s available, please send a message to Thanks!

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Tags: Human Resources, leadership, technology


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