Thursday, 25 February 2010

Brain Dead

The last couple of weeks in Australia have educated me on a couple of interesting things. Firstly, the opportunity to have an outdoor life has to be one of life’s great advantages and secondly, how connected the world really is. I have always considered that I am fairly hard wired to work, but the level of sustained effort I was able to maintain on my travels makes me query where the balance comes into play. Do today’s leaders need so much coaching because of the relentless march of the machine connections? Are our lives now entirely ruled by technology that Orwell’s prediction has secretly slipped past us and we are now in this twilight world and nobody has told us? Are we now being morphed into one big machine where the world is one colossal entity being managed by some alien interloper who every so often allows us two weeks off only if we have our blackberry on so that the surveillance and GPS can track us constantly?
Maybe we should take our chips out (not the kind you eat) and say today: now I am going to be me. I am capable of switching off all the phones, TVs, laptops, sat nav etc. and be in touch with no one but myself. Ah, the sense of freedom! But, will my brain be so stressed by the backup of meaningless emails, social network updates, latest x factor voting that it will never be so?

Friday, 12 February 2010

Reading is only One way of Learning about Leadership

I was reading Leadership is a Verb by John Bishop and I happened across the below which is a direct lift from John's site:

“Since so much of what is on the internet about leadership is based on our ability to learn from the written word, I decided to start a search of the websites that specialize in compiling significant videos of thought leaders". Following are a few examples:

TED – Technology, Education and Design - Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world.
MIT World Distributed Intelligence - MIT World is a free and open site that provides on demand video of significant public events at MIT. MIT World's video index contains more than 600 videos.
The Leap - Hosted by David Belasco of USC Marshall School of Business to provide “Inspiration, empowerment and a kick in the ass.”
eCorner – Stanford University’s Entrepreneurship Corner - Entrepreneurial thought leaders lecture series that take place every Wednesday during the academic year.
Manager Tools - a weekly podcast talking about new tools and easy techniques you can use to help achieve your management and career objectives.
YouTube EDU/Leadership - dedicated exclusively to videos from the more than 100 schools--ranging from Grand Rapids Community College to Harvard Business School.
iTunesU/Business/Management - More than 170 schools offer content free to the public on Apple's iTunes U, which originated in 2004 as a way for colleges to distribute content privately to their own students. (downside - requires you register for iTunes)
Academic Earth/Entrepreneurship - Thousands of video lectures from the world's top scholars.

Friday, 5 February 2010

There is no silver bullet in learning Leadership

Is there such a thing as pure Leadership? I was trying to decipher President Obama's Healthcare reforms and listening to the many dissenting voices who were vociferous in their condemnation. If you listen to what Obama says you cannot help but be convinced by the merits of his argument, yet a sizable proportion of Americans are opposed. Now, I understand and appreciate the monetary and commercial realities of the situation, but do we truly believe in the purity of his argument? Or are we shaded by prejudices and experiences to believe that he is a left- wing democrat who will destroy the land of the free by adopting European socialist policies that are good enough for off shore democracy's, but not fit for an economy that is structured on choice, consumerism, a man's right to carry arms and healthcare for those who can afford it.

Call me naive, but I still feel that people generally do things for the right reason. Leaders have to make tough decision. It is a leader's duty and obligation to look to the welfare of all, and that it is a sad indictment of a modern economy that people just cannot afford healthcare. I would also suggest that the American economy needs to reshape, innovate, reset its priorities and adopt a radical programme of change from its current froth of commercialisation, if it is indeed not going to end its reign of one of the world's great economies. That would be a shame, and a dereliction of its responsibilities. The world needs a vibrant America, not the decaying commercial and moral corpse we have today. I hope that the leadership is there to drive the right angle changes. Healthcare is but one step.

what we do