Amidst the pandemic, we’re constantly learning new things. Whether that’s new methods, procedures, containment processes, or utilising new equipment; keeping up with the threat of COVID-19 has seen us adapt our working practices swiftly, as we adjust to social distancing needs.


Within the flood of necessary change though, one of the key things we’ve learnt about is social leadership. Three months ago, we wouldn’t even know what this meant! Now, however, we see it as a core requirement for any team.

According to the textbook definition, it’s the practice of using digital tools to influence people. This has been initiated via our new instant messaging service, Yapster, which enables everyone across the business to communicate with each other instantaneously. It’s helped flatten the hierarchy, creating an open-door policy for management, enabling support 24/7, but most importantly it’s helped create social leadership.

For us at Askham, social leadership is about figuring how to be there, without being there in person; something that, given social distancing, isolation and working from home, is hugely important.

Showing empathy, providing support, enabling input; all these things, prior to the Coronavirus crisis, were achieved merely by being present and talking to each other. Now though, we’ve had to rethink how this is done. Managing remotely is one thing (an emailed to-do list can be sent by anyone), but leading from afar is the hard part. We’re rapidly learning about social leadership to do this.

Using Yapster, as a team, we’ve been posting, sharing, reacting to and with each other and it’s formed a brilliant bond. Some people have really stood out, embodying social leadership.

We’ve discovered the value of social leadership in lockdown, now we just need to embed it!