Crowdsourcing As a Leadership Tool

I’m sometimes asked the question , “What is your leadership style?” My usual response has been along the lines of, I believe in a collaborative process and being transparent. I don’t believe that consensus is essential in every instance but the best leaders employ a balance between consensus and participation and knowing the difference of which method is best suited to the situation.

As more and more of our lives become digital, I wonder if Internet crowdsourcing can be considered a leadership tool or part of one, at least. Could leaders reach out to the Internet and their social networks to gain perspective and inform the decision-making? For what decisions would this work best? For which, would it not? Realizing that many decisions are particular to institutions and people and would require either confidentiality or sensitivity to a person or place’s privacy, how limited would this tool become?

I know that many have used Twitter for specially this reason. Are there other networks besides Twitter that afford more privacy or more speciality? I also know that many independent school leaders are skeptical of using Twitter because of its highly visible and public nature.

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