Saturday, January 17, 2015

Working out loud.....opportunities for an introvert in social media?

My present activities include doing the Harold Jarche course on personal knowledge management, PKM in 40 days , and testing the concept of working out loud.

This is challenging, as the introvert in me pushes for this process to be internalised, and screams for a completing of the work before it is shared.  Small talk stresses me out, so the thought of working out load is scary.  It's easier for me to talk about the complete picture, not the work in progress.  Working with people and in groups drains the energy from me.  I sense a loss of control over my thoughts...I am just not good at thinking out load.

So, working out loud in the social media might offer some great opportunities...I can put my ideas out in the hope that others can help improve them without...well, without having to be social.  Really? Well, it is really a different way to been social than the team meeting, or face-to-face, or the social gathering.

With social media, I can control the level of interaction and the pace of engagement.  I can create the space I need to recharge the batteries.

I guess I can still be out load...and not raise my anxiety too much.

This will be (fun) (interesting) (scary) .....

See  more on working out loud here.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

What a leader actually does is the important consideration

Here is a little story from one of my favourite leadership practitioners, Max De Pree, that reminds us that what a leader does is important.  I often find the CEO job a rather lonely life where every move is under someone’s observation.  But rather than letting this develop into a sense of strain or tension, it is important to remember that if your actions reflect your word (or intentions) then you are being authentic and effective.

Esther, my wife, and I have a grand-daughter named Zoe, the Greek word for “life”.  She was born prematurely and weighed one pound, seven ounces, so small that my wedding ring could slide up her arm to her shoulders.  The neonatologist who first examined her told us that she had a 5 to 10 percent chance of living three days.  When Esther and I scrubbed up for our first visit and saw Zoe in her isolette in the neonatal intensive care unit, she had two IVs in her navel, one in her foot, a monitor on each side of her chest, and a respirator tube and a feeding tube in her mouth.

To complicate matters, Zoe’s biological father had jumped ship the month before Zoe was born.  Realising this, a wise and caring nurse named Ruth gave me my instructions.  “For the next several months, at least, you’re the surrogate father.  I want you to come to the hospital every day to visit Zoe, and when you come, I would like you to rub her body and her legs and arms with the tip of your finger.  While you’re caressing her, you should tell her over and over how much you love her, because she has to be able to connect your voice to your touch.”

Ruth was doing exactly the right thing on Zoe’s behalf (and, of course, on my behalf as well), and without realising it she was giving me one of the best possible descriptions of the work of a leader.  At the core of becoming a leader is the need always to connect one’s voice with one’s touch. (my emphasis)

De Pree M O (1991)  Leadership Jazz.  Melbourne: Australian Business Library, Information Australia. pp.1-3

A leader must break free of the wisdom of the herd, and strike out in bold new directions.

In 2002 Steve Sample, Tenth President of the University of Southern California penned the book, “The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadershi...