Who are the real ‘digital leaders’?

I see a number of groups these days called ‘digital leaders’ which made me reflect on:

who/what is a digital leader?

how many are there; is there a finite number?

what elements constitute this kind of leadership?

Some common features of leadership are:

leading from the front and setting an example

taking a calculated risk

being willing to make mistakes, learn and move on

be different from the crowd

If there are a large group of people now called digital leaders can/do all these attributes apply to them? Are some people now digital leaders due to being in a post called digital leader?

Are we looking in the wrong place for our digital leaders?

What about the first people who blogged about what they do in the public sector without explicit permission that they could do?

Or the pioneers who set up the social media channels at their own risk; channels that are now taken a core communication tools?

How about the people who give up their weekends or evenings to attend Meetups to talk about digital issues; or go to events such as the various unconferences or camps.

What about the people who take the initiative to set up and run such events which eats deeply into their personal lives?

Or the person who championed the users or open data long before it became fashionable?

Surely these are the people showing true digital leadership? They live these values every day and show/ed their commitment by doing what they say and making significant personal sacrifices.

What do you think?

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