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Leadership: Now More than Ever

The BrainYard - Where collaborative minds congregate.
In her post below, Paige Finkelman talks about the fact that the recent SocialMedia BarCamp conference was a somewhat disorganized mess. I'm not surprised to hear about her experience, though. Although organizations (and business gurus) are talking a lot these days about bottom-up management/the democracy of ideas/the wisdom of the crowd, the fact remains that groups need leaders. This has been true for as long as people have been forming groups, and certainly technology isn't going to change it.All you need to do is watch groups in action to see why this is true. With a strong leader, teams can settle on key ideas, focus on tasks, divide labor appropriately, and stay on point. Without one, although many interesting thoughts will be expressed, none will be acted upon, and nothing will get done. Need proof? Look no further than any episode of Survivor to see how quickly teams gravitate to a leader--or what happens to them when they don't.To take advantage of the crowd, groups shouldn't get rid of leaders--the leaders should change to better reflect the group. Indeed, while social networking sites work as free-for-alls if the goal is simply networking, they require good management if the goal is to get something done.

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