Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wisdom vs. Knowledge Continued...

I recently played the role of Dean of Symposia for our International Consortium for Coaching in Organization's Symposium in Chicago. The theme was "Growing (Strengthening) Leaders in an Increasingly Virtual Work Environment. What remained in my mind was something I heard a few years ago at another conference which was, “Learning is more than gathering information”. Add to that, how we're now working across borders, and taking into account the dynamics of global organizations, time zones, leadership dispersed in the field and the varying cultures at play, how we gather and share information and, in my mind, integrate it into what we do and  operate is key.

In a world where we look at the difference between knowledge and wisdom and were asked “How many people have you met who have an immense amount of knowledge, are like walking encyclopedias but aren’t very wise? And how many people are very simple and don’t have a wealth of knowledge or information but are very, very wise?” reminds me of the reality check  questions I ask which are: "Why am I reading this?" and "I am doing this (spending my time, energy, attention) for the sake of what exactly?"

In an era where a vast amount of knowledge is immediately available, the world is increasingly becoming an even playing field when it comes to sharing information. Social media creates a platform where everyone can weigh in no matter what their title or position. Everyone now has a voice and an opinion. How we experience and share what we learn brings wisdom.

I quoted Brian Solis' words of wisdom in my book where he says "The socialization of content creation, consumption, and participation is hastening the metamorphosis that transforms everyday people into participants of a powerful and valuable media-literate society.

In social media, influence has taken center stage. With the spotlight perfectly fixed on the ‘me’ in social media, a large shadow is now cast over the ‘we’ that defines the social web. As individuals begin to realize the possibilities and benefits that surface as a result of building connected social graphs, a very public exploration to find the balance between influence and popularity unfolds.

What do you think?

Other's Views of Human-Based Leadership

Recently, Will Lukang wrote about Authentic Leaders and stated "Authentic leaders have integrity and lead with compassion for their people.  Like all other leaders they have the vision, insight, influence and followers.  But the difference between a regular and authentic leader is that the authentic leaders care.  They truly care about their constituents"....."The world is changing and competition is all around us.  The need for authentic leaders is more important than ever.  If you’re in position of authority, ask yourself the question: Is doing the right thing your way of doing things?  Are you there to serve or be served?  Hopefully your answers are doing the right thing and to serve your constituents." Read on...

And Dan Rockwell writes:"How do you want others to feel when they are around you?
  • Like you are smart or like they are smart?
  • Like they have great ideas or like you have great ideas?
  • Like they are stars or like you are a star?"
Be intentional is his overall theme. Read on...

The bottom line is people take jobs because of people and they leave jobs because of people and that applies right across the board.

In Leaders: Their Stories, Their Words, John Spence speaks to just that when he says "When I was hired, my first boss was mean and aggressive and paranoid. I loved my job. I loved the people I worked with. I was absolutely enthralled with the work I was doing. But I would get up every morning, shaking as I put my clothes on, and drive home from work crying every day because my boss, my “leader,” was so tyrannical that it was just painful. 

I learned a huge lesson about the impact leaders have on other people’s lives. Whether you lead two people or 20,000 people, you have a huge obligation, responsibility, and incredible impact on the joy, the balance, the love, and the fun in people’s lives. You can either make their work exciting and fun or make their lives a living hell."

It's all about choice; Human-Based Leader or Power-Based, command and obey leader.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Seth's Blog: That buzzing in my ear didn't mean I was about to die

Today is End Malaria Day

Right this minute, right now, please do three things:

  1. Buy two copies of End Malaria, an astonishing new book by more than sixty of your favorite authors. In a minute, I will explain why this might be the most important book you buy this year (not the best book, of course, just the most important one). You should buy one in paperback too so you can evangelize a copy to a colleague.
  2. Tweet or like this post, or email it to ten friends (It only takes a second.)
  3. And, visit the End Malaria Day website and share it as well.

What would happen if you did that? What would happen if you stepped up and spent a few dollars?

Here's what would happen: someone wouldn't die. Read on...  Seth's Blog: That buzzing in my ear didn't mean I was about to die

To quote Michael Bungay Stanier, "What if a book didn’t just talk about saving lives – but did it?"

This book does just that.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Change Agent

Robert Zitz (Chapter 12 of Leaders: Their Stories, Their Words) is retiring from the public service after more than 32 years of dedicated government service to his country. He held key positions as Deputy Director, Mission Support Directorate, The National Reconnaissance Office,  Deputy Associate Director at the United States Secret Service, and Deputy Under Secretary of Preparedness and National Protection & Programs at Department of Homeland Security to name a few.

In the book, we discussed what's next for him and, as he's retiring from government (but not retiring completely), our conversation will continue. Stay tuned...

In the article that was written about his retirement, (got goeint - Chronicling the future of geospacial intelligence, USGIF President Keith Masback said "With all of that said, there seemed to be universal agreement during the ceremony and in the discussion afterwards, that Rob’s most critical lasting legacy may well be his devotion to developing the next generation of Intelligence Community leaders. He continuously mentored and developed young minds and inspired everyone he has come in contact with. Rob Zitz is truly a leader among leaders in the GEOINT community."

Rob has joined the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in the company's Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Group as Senior Vice President and Chief Systems Architect. In this role, Zitz will help shape the group's solutions in airborne, maritime, national security space, and ground ISR programs, along with associated processing, exploitation, and dissemination  systems.  

He is a change agent in every sense of the word. In our conversation he spoke about what that means... "One of the lessons of a successful change agent is you've got to be good at visioning. You've got to be able to foresee the future and understand what the possibilities are. Visioning involves understanding the strategic changes that will irrevocably change your customers’ operating environment. These changes include threats, geopolitical shifts, economic trends, health issues, climate change, etc."

When I asked him what was next, Rob said "I'm talking now to the leadership of the intelligence community to see how I can continue to contribute. I expect to work on transformation, meaning helping to connect the dots inside the Intelligence community, the military community, the Homeland Security community, and law enforcement community. I expect I will continue to be in a position to help integrate and share information up, down, back and forth, and sideways." 

We look forward to seeing how Rob writes this next chapter in his life.

SAIC is a FORTUNE 500® scientific, engineering, and technology applications company that uses its deep domain knowledge to solve problems of vital importance to the nation and the world, in national security, energy and the environment, critical infrastructure, and health.  The company's approximately 41,000 employees serve customers in the U.S. Department of Defense, the intelligence community, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, other U.S. Government civil agencies and selected commercial markets.  It is headquartered in McLean, Va. (PR Newswire)