Learning Rebel Book Review: The Social Leadership Handbook by Julian Stodd

book review

Recently I was asked to give a book “interview” and I could pick any book I wanted. I didn’t need to think twice, the choice was easy  –

The Social Leadership Handbook, by Julian Stodd.

Anyone who knows me and is a regular reader of this blog knows that Julian Stodd is my hero and if you aren’t reading his work – you are missing out! He has also kindly offered to have Skype coffee with me (eek, what do I say?) an offer that I plan to take him up on very soon.  It is my hope that you will take the time time to find this book, I know once you start reading it – you won’t be able to put it down…I wasn’t…

Below is the interview in full but the original article can also be found on the Solopreneur Marketing Magazine mobile app. 


What book would you like to discuss in this interview?

The Social Leadership Handbook, Julian Stodd. Founder, SeaSalt Learning

The Social Leadership Handbook via Julian Stodd
The Social Leadership Handbook via Julian Stodd

What drew you to this book? 

First, I love anything that comes from Julian Stodd. So when I was afforded the opportunity to read his book, I jumped on it. Secondly, I knew from my experiences of reading Julian’s work, this would be a book that would take leadership to a new level reflecting the social age that we are in today.

If you could give us a few take away messages that you were able to successfully put into practice what would they be?

Everything about how we work and play is changing. The fundamental structure of our society is evolving. How we communicate and, indeed, how we think, is in flux.”

We are not at the dawn of the Social Age: we are already here and we’re kicking down the walls!”

So many options so little time. This is one of my books that looks like a highlighter attacked it. You start out with the intention of highlighting key moments that stand out and really speak to you – only to have whole pages highlighted. (Clearly I need a better method…) A big standout moment for me is his description of the NET Model of Social Leadership. Which are the broad strokes leading to the 9 skills of Social Leadership. In short here is the NET model. My attraction to this model is that it is so clear and meaningful and instantly applicable regardless if you are a business leader, a person who leads a team or a person who is part of networking community.

“Narrative, Engagement and Technology”

The NET Model via Julian Stodd
The NET Model via Julian Stodd

Narrative – is about curation and understanding how we communicate through stories, how we find those stories, interpret them, share them and then interact with people while we are sharing. In essence, it’s the discovery, perception and interpretation. Most interesting is how leadership is enhanced and reinforced through sharing, and how sharing is a skill that will differentiate leaders in this social age.

Engagement – Social leaders need to be more engaged, more agile, more responsive to the social era dialogs that surround them. Community building (as in small project communities or larger personal learning networks) is the reality of today, and leaders will have to learn to come together. Knowing how to participate and how to create communities and networks; then deploy those networks to support and welcome change, flexibility and agility.

Technology – Not to say the technology portion is about hardware or software, it’s about how technology moves a conversation, allows for communities outside our reach to build and be supported. How to use technology to support organizations and collaborate in a more robust manner. Part of this is using technology to further explore the importance of social capital. How one thrives in collaborative online communities and other social environments.

[ctt tweet=”Knowledge has changed. Finding stuff is easy. Making sense of it is what counts. Welcome to the social age.” via @julianstodd” coverup=”tdx1R”]

How do you feel this book has helped you within your business?

At the end of each section of the 9 Skills of Leadership, there is an area which gives suggestions on how to build the skills. It’s about contextualizing the skills, putting them into practice. A great example is with curation, how it encourages you to find your voice. Most of us know this when writing a book, or blog post, or status update…but we don’t give a lot of thought to your curation of information.  This collection should tell a story and the story should be in your authentic voice. Reflective of who you are as a leader. Very powerful and empowering.

Another example is the application of building a community – it’s important to be agile about how you work with your communities (all of them). As a business owner, there are many types of communities I’m a part of, and that I value – it’s important to consider my role in those communities and be fluid. To consider my approach, and adjust accordingly. Intuitively we all understand this, but understanding it in the context of how it affects us as leaders within a community makes me see this concept of community agility through different lenses.

Have you recommended this book to others?

Yes.  Anyone who knows me well knows I’m a huge fan of Julian. His thinking is refreshingly on point. It’s not a regurgitation of business or social community platitudes. I am inspired each time I read his work.

Regarding Social Age

An age when technology isn’t something that sits in a server room and needs air conditioning: it’s something that sits in your pocket and makes you more capable. It’s an age when traditional hierarchies of power and authority are crumbling. It’s here today and we all love in it. Even if we’re not yet ready for it.”

Have you read any other books by this same author?

I would suggest Exploring the World of Social Learning or Julian Stodd’s Learning Methodology and of course, his blog julianstodd.wordpress.com.

If you could send one message to this author what would it be?

Thank you for the inspiration, thank you for making me think and thank you for the important work you do.

When I said I would I would take a job making coffee for SeaSalt Learning, I wasn’t kidding… 😉



Speaking of Books

Final_distruptive Learning Yee-Haw! Disruptive Learning is out and available for download at any one of these fine ebook retailers. I appreciate all the feedback and kind words, I feel motivated to once again put fingers to keyboard and it’s because of you and your support. Thank you – you ROCK! 

Find it on Amazon here

Barnes and Noble here.

iBooks here

Smashwords here

See reviews here and here BAM!

Shannon Tipton

Shannon Tipton

As Owner of Learning Rebels, Shannon Tipton is a skilled learning strategist, content developer and International speaker. Shannon has over 20 years of leadership experience developing successful learning strategies and infrastructures for training departments within organizations in North America, Europe and Korea.

Shannon works with people and organizations to develop learning solutions that brings actual business results. Recognized as bringing real-world expertise into the learning field, Shannon integrates technologies and social learning tools to strengthen workplace alignment, enhance collaboration and increase learning connectivity.

As author of “Disruptive Learning” Shannon frequently speaking at conferences across North America and Europe and ranks as one of the top 100 L&D influencers on Twitter (@stipton).

2 thoughts on “Learning Rebel Book Review: The Social Leadership Handbook by Julian Stodd”

  1. Nice review Shannon. I also find Jullian’s work inspirational and love this book. He, Harold Jarche, and John Stepper have been instrumental in shifting my thinking but so have you.

    Thanks for all you do to inspire and change the world!

    • Kate ~ Wow, thank you so much for the kind words. When I grow up I hope to be like Harold, John and Julian. Not only are they super smart, but they are great people who are generous with their time and knowledge. Can’t get any better than that… 🙂 (and don’t count yourself out – I love the thoughtfulness of your posts!)


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