Monday, February 27, 2012

Another reason…

So I'm watching the news right now and it's pretty intense. As a follow story on a shooting in Ohio at Chardon High School the reporters are trying to find out what is going on. It is interesting to me that every few minutes they are mentioning looking for information from students and parents in the area via Twitter. I mean, these are professionals with the news on a daily basis and they are looking for information from the specific social media outlet, which some people like to criticize. These thoughts come on the heels of a conversation that I had this weekend with one of my friends who is in ministry. He sees little value in social media sites, as the doctor. I guess I can understand that a lot of peeps really don't understand twitter at this point; maybe that's even worse. My point is that just like anything else, social media stuff can be used for good or used for bad. I think it an instance like this, we see yet another reason for social media. Think about it, if one of your loved ones was involved with this incident you would want to know what was going on as well. I'm not saying this is the only way that we should get our information, but I think it does even a little justice to the good stuff that is offered through Twitter and other social media. Which leads me to the question that I have in my head, which is: do you have an account? I think you should especially if you are some kind of leader figure in a community or circle of the people. The more access people have to you and your organization, church, company or whatever, the better opportunity you have to distribute information. To be continued…

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Moss Factor

I was watching ESPN this morning, and I really enjoyed the segment that they had on sports relationships between players and teams. Antonio Pierce, one of the analysts, made a really good point about a specific situation in the NFL. Randy Moss, who is probably one of the greatest receivers ever come through the league, has been out of the game, but now wants to get back in. He pretty much said that he wants to play for any team, as long as he gets to play football. Pierce made a comment that Moss should just let his breakup with the NFL stay where it is and not worry about coming back. Now, Moss can do whatever he wants. But the part I really liked about what Pierce had to say was that no team would really want to give Moss a chance. I mean, really, why would they want to give a guy like that another chance. Pierce mentioned that when Moss plays you never know when he's going to “show up.” What he meant by that statement was that Moss is so fickle in the way that he lives his life, that his unpredictable nature is not good for the team. I totally agree with this.

If you're going to be a team player, your teammates need to know what they can expect from you. Would you ever expect Michael Jordan not to show up for a game mentally? What about Joe Montana? How about if you went to go see a Rolling Stones concert - do you really think Mick Jagger would ever not give his hundred percent? Well, that's the kind of person that you need to be. And for those of you who want to take it a step further and be a leader, it can be that much more difficult. We as leaders don't have the luxury of having a bad day. I mean, you can, but even when you do your team needs to know that you're going to give your very best. So pretty much what I'm saying is that we have to suck it up and get things done, no matter what. What kind of teammate are you? And what about leadership, can you handle it?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Twitter me…

I just got done archiving about 100 e-mail messages from my inbox. The funny part about it is none of them are spam. All of these e-mails are within the last couple of days and carry “important” information for me to get stuff done. This got me to thinking, what the heck was I doing before e-mail and other social media outlets were around? I mean really, do I really need all of this stuff coming my way? And like I said, every message seemed so important when I was going through it. The leadership lesson for me here is that I need to get better at filtering my life. Imagine if there wasn't any e-mail, or cell phones, or Facebook, or anything like that.

For the younger generation, you can't even imagine this. You've grown up around all this madness. And then there's the older generation that grew up before computers and all that good stuff. And then there's my generation, which grew up in our mid-20s with this huge shift in media. Isn't that totally crazy?! I'm thinking of myself, even 10 years ago stuff was so different. But, to be a leader you are going to have to adapt. It's not cool to say that you don't know how to use e-mail, or any other kind of social media. So for all of you out there that are trying to make this transition, or trying to avoid it, here's a hint to start with: when you're on your Twitter account, you don't “twitter” somebody… You tweet them. Good luck.

Technology and Two Heads

So, I was sitting in a meeting the other day and decided I needed to take some notes. I proceeded to take my laptop from my bag and set it up on the table. I opened it up and started typing. Now, if you have ever been in a classroom lately you are probably accustomed to a bunch of people typing on computers, and the clicking sound that each of them makes. But, when you're the only one in the room with the computer open and typing, maybe it's a little distracting. The only reason I say this is that everyone in the room was staring at me like I had two heads. You know the feeling, the one where everyone tries not to act like they're looking at you but it's pretty obvious.

I guess I say this because I figured we are living in a pretty technological world; but I guess not. My thing is, why would I take notes on a yellow pad when I could just do it straight onto my computer for easy filing? Peeps need to wake up and get into the 18th century! I'm not saying you have to use a computer (yes I am), but when I set mine up… don't look at me like I'm crazy. I am amazed that more people are not taking notes this way. I'm always looking for ways to cut down on extra work. It seems to me that this would be one of the simplest ways to cut down on that work. I don’t know… just a thought.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Sweet Spot

So, my favorite part of the year is coming up real soon. While the rest of the world has their sights set on the Super Bowl, I can almost smell the blades of fresh cut grass of major league baseball spring training. There's something about that sport that is always made me feel a little bit different about life in general. And just the other day I was talking to Cobb about leadership stuff, when he used one of the simplest metaphors that I've ever heard. He likened leadership to the “sweet spot” in baseball. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the sweet spot is the part on the bat that every player longs to find. When the pitcher throws the ball and the batter connects the sweet spot of the bat to the ball, the feeling is incredible. Not only that, but everyone in the stadium, or in whatever venue they are at, can feel that connection. That is what effective leadership should feel like.

Sometimes I get frustrated because I feel like I am out of my gift zone; you know, like I'm swinging in the air but there's nothing to hit. When I talk to my mentor, and those who are closest to me, they help me find the sweet spot regarding my leadership ability. It's that place where you connect with people in a way that they know they can trust you because you are in that zone. I guess my question is, how do you know when you have hit the sweet spot in your leadership endeavors? If you can't really put your finger on it, ask someone who knows you pretty well. I can almost guarantee that those closest to you will be able to tell you when you are in that zone. As leaders, it is our responsibility and obligation to those we lead to find that sweet spot. And just like a batter must do, we have to keep taking more cuts in practice until we can do it over and over again the right way.