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RISMEDIA, November 13, 2010—In a social business world, embracing collaborative leadership skills and competencies can make a big difference in how organizations stay ahead of the competition. Now, more than ever, effective communication—both online and offline—can make or break a company. Leaders are expected to turn their businesses into social organizations, which requires shifts in culture, mindset, and leadership models in order to be successful.

“Knowing what social skills you have is vital to understanding your own particular brand of leadership and can improve your ability to make friends, fans, and followers in business,” says Barry Libert, author of the new book Social Nation: How to Harness the Power of Social Media to Attract Customers, Motivate Employees, and Grow Your Business..

Libert offers the following social competencies that can help you be more effective in driving business results:

Be flexible. The ability to adjust expectations and behavior on the fly to fit any type of situation is crucial in the fast-paced world of business. Adaptors are comfortable with dealing with shifted plans and the unpredictable world of social networks and online communities. Likewise, they can help to implement a change in strategy wherever it might be needed.

See the big picture. Having a clearly defined mission for how to get to where you’re going is a skill that is often overlooked. However, architects are capable of understanding how an organization’s strategic path will help them reach their goals. They also have a knack for visualizing the overall direction in which their organization needs to be heading. In sustaining a social presence, architects keep conversations going by infusing them with this vision.

Work together. Being a team player is absolutely necessary in any business. Collaborators prefer to be a part of a support system and promote a common purpose. Furthermore, they often measure their own success as a function of the team’s success, and they help an organization act as one in a social community. Collaborators are also great at revving up team participation. And as they are typically more socially inclined, they aren’t afraid to approach people and build relationships outside an organization’s normal sphere of communication.

Control the chaos. Knowing how to organize the various aspects of day-to-day business and how to configure complex pieces to get better results is key within a company. Connectors integrate a variety of viewpoints and perspectives into a complete composition and enable social interactions and conversations to run smoothly.

Think innovatively. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, but proposing new ideas can rejuvenate a team. Creative thinkers come up with inventive ways to tackle familiar challenges and enjoy being enlightened while collecting new information. Additionally, they are skilled at finding unusual connections among people and content within a Social Nation.

Break down the façade. Wearing few social masks and being an open book can gain both trust and respect from others. With transparent individuals, open, authentic communication is the name of their game—and they encourage their organization to increase its level of transparency by sharing through social media.

Don’t be afraid of taking risks. Venturing into unknown territory may be scary, but it can also be very rewarding. Risk takers know that there is much to be gained through trial-and-error learning and are motivated by progress. Unlike risk-averse naysayers, they’ll gladly take on the social movement challenge.

Imagine the possibilities. Instead of focusing on obstacles, thinking about alternative outcomes and solutions can help energize and inspire others. Visionaries tend to have intuitive foresight, and they challenge the status quo to reach for a better future.

“Remember that the key is to try to achieve a balance between all eight traits,” concludes Libert. “You’re probably not going to master all of them on your own. Tackle them as a team, and your organization can make progress in building a successful social strategy and, ultimately, a true Social Nation.”