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Bridging the Divide: A Social Media Reading List for Senior Leaders


Today, there is a large generational divide in the military. While our younger Soldiers and leaders were raised on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms, our senior leadership was not. Many senior military leaders struggle with understanding this medium of communication that comes with its own language, culture, and norms. When they were company commanders, they did not have to worry about a misstep at the company level being posted on Army WTF Moments. They did not have to worry about maintaining a unit level Facebook page. They did not have to worry about someone “tweeting” away their position in war. The digital age has brought with it, it’s own set of leadership challenges.

I hope to help bridge this gap, by providing leaders with a professional reading list of books, articles/blogs, and podcasts. While there are several dangers lurking on the social media landscape, there are also benefits with huge payouts in the domains of professional development and warfare. The list below is not all-inclusive, however it’s a start. If I’ve left something off this list, please include it in the comments section below. Also, if you have any questions please feel free to email me (my contact info can be found on the About Me page).


Wiki at War by James Carafano

Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better by Clive Thompson

Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide by Henry Jenkins

Cognitive Surplus: How Technology Makes Consumers into Collaborators by Clay Shirky

Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business by Erik Qualman

The Rise of iWar: Identity, Information, and the Individualization of Modern Warfare by Glenn J. Voelz (Free)

The Menace of Unreality: How the Kremlin Weaponizes Information, Culture and Money by Peter Pomerantsev and Michael Weiss (Free) 

Articles and Blogs:

Hashtag Leader Development: Using Twitter to Develop a Professional Network for Leaders by Jonathan Silk

Leaders, Your Facebook Phobia is Holding You Back by The Military Leader

Harnessing Social Media for Military Power by Joe Byerly

Social Media and the Military Leader by Gary Klein

The Power of our Connections by Joe Byerly

The Birds of War: Twitter as a Professional Development Tool by Angry Staff Officer

“Get off Your Phone Sir”: Leadership in the Digital Age by Angry Staff Officer

On Senior Leaders and Social Media: An Interview with Brigadier Mick Ryan

How to Deal with Social Media Trolls by Rachael Wisuri

Twitter Kills: How Online Networks Became a National Security Threat by James Carafano

What CEOs Have Learned About Social Media (HBR) by Leslie Gaines-Ross

The 7 Attributes of CEOs Who Get Social Media (HBR) by Ted Coine and Mark Babbitt


Mom this is how Twitter Works


Leadership on Tap: Interview with Colonel Ross Coffman

Social Media Marketing with Michael Stelzner

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