it's a relationship


The Networked Leader

November 18, 2014

Our increasingly networked world requires a new style of leadership. Networked leadership.

A networked leader facilitates the relationships needed to achieve a goal. They are not the hero, nor are they simply steering the ship from behind. Instead, networked leaders view themselves as facilitators who understand the nuanced structures required to organize, motivate and reward a group toward a long-term vision.

For the past 15 years I’ve worked with social entrepreneurs around the globe, from the jungle floors of India to New York City high-rises. The constant factor across their varied areas of impact is their seemingly-unconscious knack for instinctively constructing networks, not hierarchies, not matrixes, as the center of their organizational strategy.

To further describe how a networked leader differs from a traditional leader, dig into the table below.



  • Leads from within / behind
  • Leads from top and front
  • Communicates transparently
  • Info on request/ need-to-know basis
  • Trusts those closest to the issue
  • Trusts few at top
  • References expertise
  • References hierarchy
  • Relationship focus
  • Transactional focus
  • Aligns to shared purpose
  • Aligns to personal priorities/vision
  • Facilitates & delegates
  • Commands and controls
  • Clarifies norms
  • Sets rules
  • Focus on talent
  • Focus on skills


The Networked Leader

Charlie Brown

CEO & Founder


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