Like every Sunday in the fall there are NFL games being played. The St. Louis Rams played the New England Patriots today…in London. I’m not much of a sports fan really. My best ability related to sports is spectating—and even then, I’m only into the less popular (in the US anyway) rugby and professional cycling events. What interests me in this particular football game today is that it is yet another example of our world getting flatter (a la Thomas Friedman), worlds and cultures colliding. It is an unusual sight to see a professional football team standing in the middle of adoring fans in Trafalgar Square (as this official NFL photo shows from the St. Louis Register). Football is known as an American tradition after all. Whether anyone thinks this is a good thing or a bad thing, it is a thing to notice. Where different things are brought together in new concepts and experiences, it is always fascinating for me.
I just started taking Tina Seelig’s Crash Course on Creativity via Stanford’s Venture Lab. It’s a free online class that I am taking with a few other tens of thousands around the world who have signed up for this. Here’s a link to one of the assignments for our first week, Tina’s Ted Talk. I was pleased to hear her reinforce some of the concepts I learned through David Cooperrider’s Appreciative Inquiry. His favorite quote of mine is “Our worlds are formed by the questions we ask.” Tina says something similar “…the way you ask the question determines the type of answers you get.” Check out her Innovation Engine Model, too. Gets the juices flowing for sure.
Friends, please read Nicole Briamonte Malato’s new book. She is a longtime, dear friend who has been an inspiration to me. I’ve had my share of bad days…but her battle with cancer gives me both perspective and inspiration. Nicole’s positivity and spirit are unmatched. Kick cancer’s butt, girlfriend!
Book cover design by my husband (http://adelaidegallery.com). It was an honor for him.
Why is it that we humans tend to narrow ourselves down to restrictive definitions of some really good concepts? ”Leadership” is one of them. In the “traditional view” (a common one), it is conceived as describing and belonging to a few individuals, privileged enough to make all the decisions in our hierarchy-driven organizations. I hear it all the time at work, “leadership needs to understand…, leadership needs to do something or another…” Indeed, “leadership meetings” are typically limited to those few people, by those few people. It is a self-perpetuating cycle between those leaders and non-leaders alike. The worst part about it is that it promotes separation, not collaboration, parts and not wholeness, us vs. them mentality. Then there is THE leader, the one on top who is the one to blame. No wonder “it’s lonely at the top.”
Leadership as a concept is a pretty positive one. Attaching leadership to actual people are not always as positive. Those few exceptions have been elevated to sainthood status. Funny how it plays out as a zero-sum game, all or nothing.
So what if we took leadership as a concept and we shared it among people?
I love this quote from Peter Senge, “Leadership is the capacity of a human community to shape or influence its future.” Think about what could be achieved if people acted according to this belief.
A place to share interesting concepts that will inspire, spread, and/or apply new ideas. This page is dedicated to sharing my twitter feed, announcements, and blog posts.