i was looking at a book that i am considering picking up entitled ‘tribes’ by seth godin. it talks about the need for leadership, particularly now that digital tools allow people from all corners of the earth to become a tribe. in the conventional sense leadership is much easier when the group is standing face to face, and it requires a particular skill set. this same skill set might not allow the same person to be a leader in a situation when you never see your other tribe members. so what are those leadership skills? how many times have you read over an email to make sure the intent was clear and that it couldn’t be misunderstood? i’m not saying word choice is going to make or break these digital leaders, but i won’t belittle their only means of communication. another question that this situation poses is the necessity of leaders in a digital world. the function of a ‘real’ leader is easy to describe, the necessity of one in a digital tribes seems a bit more fluid. similar to a facilitator, it seems a digital tribe leader would be skilled at setting up conditions where a tribe could thrive. or maybe a commission form of leadership would be best with digital communiities, where a small group functions as the leaders. not sure, but i am sure that just because we no longer see our tribes face to face (webcams not withstanding!) that doesn’t mean we aren’t in need of good leaders. perhaps because of the change in dynamics, we just need different ones.