I’ve been in a number of discussions, both “official” and over the proverbial pint, about the things that help groups of people actually do things worthwhile. A very close colleague of mine told me that, in turning over a spreadsheet listing the things that she does everyday to her manager, he said, “It seems you only work about 15 hours a week!” While being completely wrong, his comment points out something that is devilishly difficult to measure and enumerate on paper: the innumerable small-ish things she does that keep her team moving forward and meshing well. I’ll call it “glue”, for lack of a better term.
There is a common wisdom that if you discover a problem, you shouldn’t make anyone aware of it unless you also have a solution at the ready….something like, “I notice the widget sales on our site are way down, so I propose we drop the price.”
I’m not sure that this is the best way to approach problem-solving, at least not in all cases. Here’s why:
I’ve just finished reading Seth Godin’s book Poke the Box and am just finishing Ricardo Semler’s The Seven Day Weekend. One theme that has struck me is the value of diversity in team, thought and innovation.
My final project for my Leadership in the Digital Age course was a video featuring portions of two interviews I conducted with two people that I left qualified as authentic leaders: Dr. Jim AuBuchon, president and CEO of the Puget Sound Blood Center (Seattle, WA) and president of the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), and Dr. Scott Dudley, senior pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Bellevue, WA. One of the reasons these two organizations fascinated me is that, while being non-profits, they are both rather sizable organizations with sizable membership and budgets to match….not the way one might initially view a blood bank or a church.
During the course of these excerpts, these two leaders share some early leadership experiences, how social media and digital media influence their leaderships styles, and their guiding philosophies.
Future installments will return to these two leaders as well as include interviews with several others I have met so far.
In The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Posner, one of the initial calls made to a reader is to first lead yourself. What I have learned so far as I delve into this area of study and experience is how critical it is to discover who you are. No, seriously….
I really do get how “new-agey” or “self-helpy” that sounds. If I had been presented with that exhortation earlier in my life, it would have elicited a derisive snort and that would have been the end of it. However, in the more serious context of the course I’ve been taking and the books we’re been reading (see my earlier post here for background), the skeptic fog has dissipated some. I have spent quite a bit more time writing out my personal story, rereading it and stepping back to see the touchstone experiences/people/movements that brought me to where I am today.
I’m just past the halfway mark in my final class before completing my Master of Communications in Digital Media (MCDM) program from the University of Washington. The class is all about being a leader in the digital age, which, if you just blow past the words, sounds like yet another survey of leadership styles, papers to write, a video project and some other deliverables. Turns out it is providing me yet another viewpoint from which to view myself and those around me. By the way, this has been true for every single endeavor I’ve undertaken in this program, but now back to our show….