Leadership Heartbeats …

heart-of-L-4b-preorderMark Miller has done it again …

In his fourth book, Mark continues to chip away at my aversion to narrative leadership development by using realistic scenarios, dialogue that sounds like people actually talking, and by communicating a clear message that resonates with me.

Anyone who cares about their personal leadership ability or who is responsible for the leadership development of others, will find much of value in this little fable.

The Heart of Leadership is a slender book, but one packed with thoughtful and research-based observations about the characteristics and attitudes that make someone a superlative leader. As the subtitle suggests, the best leaders have followers who are with them voluntarily and enthusiastically.

I won’t spoil the message by listing either the five core attributes or any of the many highly quotable points made by Mark as he spins a tale of a young leader who has lost his way. You can find those gems for yourself

Somewhat channeling Mitch Albom, Miller’s hero seeks guidance from an older and wiser person, who directs him to five people who each share part of what he needs to learn about being an effective leader … a leader with heart.

“Heart” may sound rather squishy, but Mark’s concept of effective leadership is anything but … this is solid and useful leadership thinking.

Perhaps the most intriguing person in the book is the hero’s father, who we never meet directly, since he dies before the start of the book. Regardless, his influence is everywhere,in every key character, and in the message of this little gem of a leadership development tool.

Buy it, read it, reflect on it, share it, discuss it … Once you crack the cover and start reading, you cannot fail to learn and grow as a leader  … promise.

Leadership development is a crowded field and many ideas and perceptions compete for our attention … Mark Miller is one of the few who should not have to.

Enjoying the book, the author, and the attitude in the Heartland ….



Mark Miller, well known business leader, best-selling author, and communicator, is excited about sharing The Heart of Leadership: Becoming a Leader People Want to Follow with those who are ready to take the next step. You can find it on Amazon and in bookstores everywhere.

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Communication R Us … Or Is It?

“The more we elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.”

… so says Joseph Priestley

Priestley was enough of a liberal to have his house burned to the ground by an angry mob in 1791 because he dared to publicly admire the French Revolution.  King George III was apparently not amused.

More importantly for us, Priestley foretold our modern digital age.

We used to have letters, telephones, and talking to someone face-to-face.  Now we have more.

We have multiple channels of communication, including email, texting, blogging, microblogging, podcasts, videos, slide programs, and probably many others that I am just not aware of.   We can choose to communicate in one, several, or all of these methods.

We can tweet, we can blog, we can comment, we can broadcast, we can publish.

We can talk to one, we can talk to many, we can talk to our friends, our tribes, our groups, or our circles.

At the flick of a virtual finger, we can send our message to millions.

We can organize and automate all of these, so we are actually kicking back and swigging margueritas while we communicate.

We can communicate at whatever hour of the day or night we desire, from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world, pretty much.

We can aggregate, curate, and collaborate, all while creating a virtual junk pile of our communication that cannot be touched, but apparently will exist forever.

I am worn out just typing all this …

So, what do you think?  

Are we communicating better … or just more?

Tempest in a “Tweetpot” Under the Arch . . .

Those of us who live in the metro area are familiar with an ongoing theme of “We’re Not Worthy” played by various folks in the city and the county.  My personal perception of the basic scenario for our urban  inferiority complex is to bemoan not being bigger, more prosperous, or attractive to outsiders, while defending staunchly our right to be parochial, narrow-minded, and small-town.

Here’s our latest entry in this ongoing scenario:

THE TITLE:  St. Louis gets a Twitter scandal to call its own Continue reading

Top Ten Learning Tools . . . According to Me:)

Jane Hart is the founder of the Center For Learning Performance Technology (C4LPT), an author, blogger, and recognized expert in the field of adult learning.  She is also one of the best known thought leaders, especially when it comes to such cutting edge topics as social learning, online learning, and so on.

Every year since 2006, Jane has asked those who use learning tools to name our top ten, which she compiles into the 100 Top Learning Tools List.  This annual global survey of the state of learning tool usage is both a fascinating history and a fairly accurate predictions of things to come.   Most importantly, Jane’s Top 100 list provides a snapshot of the variety of learning tools that are available now to enhance and speed up learning in a great many ways.

Many learning tools launch and disappear without making much of a real difference.  The ones that float to the top of Jane’s list tend to be those which are “sticky”. So, without a lot more fanfare, . . .

John E. Smith’s Top Ten Learning Tools List (annotated): Continue reading

Much Ado About Who’s Tweeting to Who . . .

When I see the same topic popping up in many places, I pay attention.

The online world is much “aTwitter” about a recent research study that analyzed the communication flow of Twitter.   

Mashable has arguably the best spin and I recommend their take – click the link to read it and to get access to a link to the real study.   Mashableis one of the most respected and best known voices in the online world, so when they talk, I listen.  

While much of the 10 page report contain details that only an academician and/or an anal-retentive type (both of which I am) could love, some very interesting salient points are being made.  Continue reading