Some Thoughts On Social Media …


Facebook Logo 2016 - Wikipedia Public Domain 

Yes, I have been “wasting time” on social media …

Just visited Facebook as part of my daily social media ritual, which includes wishing a happy birthday to people with whom I have connected over the years.  This simple gesture takes a few seconds for each one and I enjoy a brief reminder of how this person has affected my life.

Today was unusually plentiful in this regard, at least for me – here’s a quick run-down of who I was thinking about a little while ago:

One of my earliest friends from my childhood … and an early adolescent crush …

Three people who share social media work … but whom I have never met, since they live in two other states and one other country …

Two former co-workers from two different companies …

Three ministers or religious workers … one a former student at a college where I worked, another who guides an online call discernment group I participated in once upon a time, and the last who is an active leader around social justice issues through our shared denomination and current town …

So that was today’s larger than usual bu representative roundup, which still does not include every aspect of my life that my varied connections symbolize. Continue reading

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Obvious, But Unclear …


Very Few of Us - morguefile

This quotation resonates quite nicely with me at this time of year … ending 2015 and beginning 2016.

Year-ends are always interesting times … full of reflection, evaluation, and looking both to the past and to the future.  It’s hard to just be mindful of the present during this hectic holiday season.

Of course, we are not what we seem … who could project the sum total of ourselves at any given time?

We are a loosely-sewn collection of experiences, upbring, culture, perceptions, values, beliefs, and a few other things.   Not everything in our lives that we have seen, touched, felt, or thought affects us to the same depth, but very little has no impact at all.

This broad and deep mass of intangible, but very real matter is like a cloud hovering over our heads,  with invisible, but unbreakable strings pulling us to and fro.

My thoughts go to Sam (not his/her real name) …

Sam worked for me some years ago in a large corporation.  Sam was a hard person to deal with, displaying a bristly persona to anyone who dared to approach.  

His work was solitary and he toiled away locked in his cubicle, eyes to the screen, fully engaged with the task.  He was not to be interrupted.

As his manager, I tolerated Sam’s personality because of the quality of his work.  As a fellow human being, I ignored his presence as much as I could … until the day Same died over a long holiday weekend.

At the funeral, an obligatory appearance for me and a few peers, we learned some things about Sam’s life that we did  not know:

Sam had grown up on a farm in challenging economic conditions, who left school early when his strong back was needed at home.  He enjoyed square dancing, working on “hot rods”, and baseball.  Later Sam would return to school and earn his diploma at an older age than his classmates.

We learned that Sam was a decorated military combat veteran who had served in terrible conditions, but in a manner that had earned him high honors from his country and respect from those with whom he served.

We learned that Sam was an accomplished guitar player. Although his public performances were usually to benefit some good cause or bring happiness to those who were ill or dispossessed.   Sam most enjoyed playing Rock and Roll oldies for his grandchildren.

Yep, Sam was married, to a lovely quiet woman who was enamored of the man with whom she had shared her life.  She obviously had met her soulmate in Sam.  She described a long and happy life with Sam, one that produced five relocations across the country, four children and, to date, ten grandchildren.  Family events were full of music, food, laughter, and love, as was the funeral service.

… and there was more, much more, but you get my point.  We did not know Sam and all that Sam was, just the small sliver he chose to share with us at work.

As leaders, we do well to remember that the person in front of us is not all of the person that exists.  It is in our best interests as leaders to learn about the people we meet on our journey.

As human beings, we do well to remember that everyone has a backstory, faces challenges about which we know nothing, and is multi-dimensional, rather than that small sliver we see.

Remembering with some regret, but thankful for lessons learned in the Heartland ….

John

 

Friday The Thirteenth …


LCG One YearEvery so often, I post my thoughts about things around leadership and personal development over on the Lead Change Group blog.

LCG is a jolly group of folks who care about effective and character-based leadership and are willing to work hard toward making positive leadership the rule, rather than the exception.  

Many are noted authors, coaches, consultants, and speakers, while others work quietly from within organizations to make change happen.

The Lead Change Group is a vibrant division of Weaving Influence.

LCG MISSION AND VISION:  

VISION:  The Lead Change Group is a global, virtual community dedicated to instigating a leadership revolution, one leader at a time.

MISSION:  We will encourage, energize and equip one another to apply character-based leadership to leading change – in ourselves, in others, and in our communities. We want to be a resourceful, supportive community sharing and multiplying powerful leadership content.

The Lead Change Group is a powerful and collegial group of professionals who you ought to get to know.

HAPPY TRISKAIDEKOPHOBIA DAY

This time, my post takes advantage of today’s date to share some thoughts about how we do things without conscious consideration.   As leaders and learners, we may not call something we do a superstition, but it fits the definition when we act without thinking carefully:  Here’s an excerpt of one that many follow:

“… Continue to support and use outdated theories about how people think, act, and feel, along with one tool, just because they made sense once upon a time and we like the familiarity.”

If this sparks your interest, click HERE or on the title in red above to read more on the LCG blog website.

While you are on the LCG website, please take some time to sample the delicious diversity of thought and knowledge shared through our daily posts and discussions and learn about the folks who contribute through various levels of engagement.

Shoot, maybe you’ll even join us and share YOUR knowledge and wisdom.  

… I’d like that:).

Feeling thankful for the presence of strong and engaging professional connections throughout my days in the Heartland ….

John

“We Are Who We Hang Out With …”


LeadershipMany groups across the virtual and physical landscapes claim to support solid leadership development … many fail to live up to their promises.

I seek alignment with others who are serious about promoting effective and authentic leadership practices.  

The communities which seem to best do this share some combination of these traits:

1)  Strong leadership is clear at the top …

The Bell Curve concept holds true, even when you collect only the best and brightest into a group.  In any group, a general distribution will occur.  The majority clump into the middle and some folks fall at either end of the continuum.  

This is not an indictment of those who rank lower, but just an observation.  After all, even the lowest ranking graduate from medical school has still earned the title “Doctor“.

Strong leadership is clearly in place, through strong and clearly articulated visions, innovative practices, commitment to inclusion, and consistent focus on doing it better next time.  Continue reading

Happy Social Media Day …


Social MEdia Day 2015Mashable started this event a few years ago to celebrate the positive aspects of social media in people’s lives.  It’s a day to pause and reflect on a medium that did not exist in the recent past and has come to dominate much of our public and professional lives.

A few reasons why I am happy to celebrate Social Media Day: Continue reading