One of the most important qualities in good business leaders is organizational and social skills, that is, the ability to rally a diverse set of people to attack and solve the complex problems that all institutions face. Wikipedia emphasizes this point in its definition of leadership “ . . . as the process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task . . .”
Social leadership qualities are particularly important in today’s increasingly distributed organizations, where many, if not most of the people that leaders have to bring together do not work for them. For example, a matrix organization led by a small team is often the most practical way to launch a new company-wide venture, especially one based on a disruptive innovation that doesn’t yet have a natural home within the existing organization.
Moreover, as enterprises increasingly rely on business partners for many functions once done in-house, one of the major organizational challenges is how best to manage the evolving virtual enterprise in such a distributed model. Good business leaders thus have to be effective at managing their distributed operations across a network of interconnected companies - a veritable business ecosystem. They must be able to have good working relationships with the people in these companies - some of whom might be competitors as well as partners - and be able to collaborate and compromise with them as appropriate.