Andrea Learned

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Build Social Capital. Anticipate Opportunity.

Anticipating the wave. Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Many an organization is just not prepared to leverage real-time leadership opportunities.  While brands may have a social media presence, their leaders have not made the time. Yet, it is such a mistake to underestimate social media (and Twitter, specifically) as a leadership development tool. Even worse, is waiting until an opportunity arises only to wish you had built more engagement in advance.

You cannot ride the influence wave unless you anticipate the opportunity.

Steadily building intentional social capital is what it is all about, not frantically sharing or “liking” things with no plan. Learning about and building connections with a very defined list of “dream influencers” – be they key journalists, academics, or other established sector leaders – is actually the work. By spending upfront time, you can set the stage to maximize future leadership and influence-building moments. There is no need to overly map every possible option or follow thousands of people. I’m serious.

Just build a strategic platform that can be ready when the opportunity arises.

I could go on, and I have, but I’m mainly writing this post to put a stick of dynamite under the many sustainability and climate action focused business leaders – in clean technology, electric mobility, renewable energy and the like – who are clearly not investing any time developing that “trust” capital. With the URGENCY of our global climate change challenges, substantive, sharing, and community-building leadership is at a high premium.

But, you have no hope of being seen among your key influencers if you don’t intentionally (that word, again!) put yourself there, and become a known curator or resource for your sector.

In other words: Be the way you’d like to be seen.

To emphasize: Today’s smartest leaders are prepped, anticipating and read to jump on opportunity. Very few of your competitors or peers have given this any thought.

It’s your move.


Articles that demonstrate what I’m talking about:

The power in CEOs for helping eliminate traffic jams (which would also serve as climate action, employee attraction/retention and so on etc..) – great Quartz piece by Paul Mackie. Imagine if more CEOs did this AND had socially engaged platforms to talk about it and cheer on their peers?

The power of CEOs as activists more broadly, with a focus on Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce, who is a Twitter thought leadership model, very wisely using his social capital – great Harvard Business Review piece by Aaron K. Chatterji and Michael W. Toffel.



…guiding organizations and companies in this way is my passion and expertise.