As a new assistant director in the Human Resources Branch at Canada Revenue Agency, I would like to share my thoughts on two topics that I am extremely passionate about: social leadership and a public servant’s pride.
One of the fundamental challenges a new manager faces is determining what type of leader they want to be. We are all influenced by the various management styles that we have experienced through our careers. You cannot determine your leadership style without first defining what leadership means to you.
Leadership can be defined as a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, toward the achievement of a goal. To me, this is a clear definition of social leadership because there is nothing in the phrase that indicates a position of authority over others; it speaks to a common goal and it is inclusive of the expertise of others.
I recently read an interesting article in Forbes that details the “10 Principles of the Future Manager”. Without specifically mentioning social leadership, this article details the key attributes of a social leader as someone who: leads by example; is technologically savvy; is conscientious of personal boundaries; believes in sharing and collective intelligence; gives real-time recognition and feedback; and adapts to the needs of the future employee.
The qualities listed above are what I would term social fluency – a key attribute for any leader. Social fluency is the concept of demonstrating proficiency in social situations and/or interpersonal relationships. Social fluency will provide a wealth of information and networks and facilitate collaboration. Today’s workplace is constantly evolving and leaders must evolve too in order to remain effective.
Social leaders must:
• Embrace the use of technology and encourage their employees to do the same;
• Identify issues that employees are passionate about and let them run with them;
• Find their own passions and pursue them and employees and colleagues will follow;
• Be vulnerable. It’s only through open, honest dialogue that a leader can establish the trust and buy-in of employees and provide meaningful feedback; and,
• Provide real-time recognition as a source of inspiration that keeps momentum going.
Social leadership is my passion and I encourage you to research and embrace it too!
Not only is adaptability a key attribute for social leaders; in a constantly changing environment, it is also an essential skill for all public servants as evidenced by the diagram below.
As a past chair of the Federal Youth Network, I am extremely proud to share with you the Public Servant’s Pride. This document was developed by members of the Federal Youth Network to engage public servants. It is comprised of six elements designed to recognize individuality yet create a concrete identity for each public servant that enables us to respond to the needs of Canadians.
Stay tuned! The Federal Youth Network will be introducing new engagement activities on this topic. For additional information on the Public Servant’s Pride, please visit the GCpedia page or contact the current chair of the Federal Youth Network, Lisa Sullivan, via Twitter @LisaLjsullivan.