Charlene Li’s ‘Open Leadership’ -Book Review

Charlene Li ‘s new book, Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead, opens with a memorable story about musician, Dave Carroll, and his unfortunate incident when United Airlines damaged his guitar…With this story, Charlene lays the groundwork for her new work about the ways in which social technology has changed the shift in power, where “individuals have the ability to broadcast their views to the world.”

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Charlene Li ‘s new book, Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead, opens with a memorable story about musician, Dave Carroll, and his unfortunate incident when United Airlines damaged his guitar. Nine months later, when Carroll hadn’t made any progress being compensated for his guitar, he did something a little different to vent his feelings. He made a music video called “United Breaks Guitars” and posted it on YouTube. Charlene writes, “Within three days, the video had over one million views, and Carroll’s anthem became a viral sensation. By the end of 2009, there had been over seven million views and hundreds of news stories about Carroll’s experience.”

With this story, Charlene lays the groundwork for her new work about the ways in which social technology has changed the shift in power, where “individuals have the ability to broadcast their views to the world.”

Throughout the book, we learn from one example after another, how leaders need to find a way to communicate as openly as they can, and how this comes more easily for some than others. Charlene includes Open Leadership Self-Assessment tools so leaders can determine where they fall in the spectrum. She offers hope too for those who may not naturally be inclined towards openness by suggesting they start small. As she says, “It’s hard to suspend a mind-set that’s driven you throughout your professional career-it may feel completely unnatural to you and go against every fiber in your body.”

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