Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Government & Leadership

Yep - so I def got so distracted with other things last week that I forgot to post on my blog! oops! Our class Leadering in the E-World wraps up this week, which means tonight will be a late night of writing final papers. But I do feel like I have learned a lot. I feel like I am slightly more technical than when I started, and that I now have some tools I can use already, and just really a basic knowledge of "what's out there" should I need to use it.

So back to the topic at hand: Government & Leadership. Government and politics are not areas that I am particularly knowledgeable or interested in. I am a law-abiding citizen, well except today when I ended up getting a speeding ticket! But I do think that leadership and government have obvious connections, and affect each other. We look toward the government and those employed by the government in positions of power, as leaders. This can become confusing/frustrating when ethics come into question. Government puts into effect and enforces policies that affect everyone, which includes businesses and business leaders. SOX is a big one, that comes to mind, but not something that I am experienced with. But basically, at a leadership level, it involves some executives in the organization to take some responsibility to the financial side to the organization. Also, I think polictical parties play a role in what values extend downward through levels of leadership: national, state, community, business levels. In terms of technology, through tv and internet, the media also has a large impact on the public, as well as government and leadership, and vice versa. - Kinda just makes me want to draw a causal loop!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Leadership & Networking

I view networking as a leadership tool in a couple of different ways. First, I think it is part of the leader's role to network. Through networking the leader promotes the organization he or she represents, in addition to developing relationships that can be of benefit to organization and the leader. The larger the network, the larger a pool of resources or potential resources the leader has access to. If a position becomes open the leader might know who could best bring onto to the team to fill it. Or if the leader runs into some type of problem, they might know someone to turn to for advice. For these reasons I think it is the leader's responsibility to network. My thought is that people we consider leaders naturally do this, hence one of the reasons others know them and follow their lead.

An interesting point was brought up in class about social networks on the internet. Those who choose to participate in social networking via the internet are either directly or indirectly representing the organization. This can become an issue if the participant is behaving questionably in a public online domain. This seems like a tricky situation as it is borderline business/personal life - and how far do you take it? But, for myself, I have to think of it in terms of if I owned the company, and this person was behaving in a way that I feel was impacting the business negatively; I would have do something about it. However, the point was also made that before hiring someone it is a good idea to check these networks for these individuals. And I would have to agree with this completely. If a potential hiree posts something for the world to see; it's fair game. And I think you should look to see if it exists or not.

Lastly, I think personally for the leader it is a good idea to network. You want to keep your options open, and never close any doors on yourself (thanks for that one Mom!). Should the company be downsized, the leader would have a healthy network of people to help him or her find another job. Also, there's a chance that you could find a wonderful opportunity through someone in your network - something you might not have heard about otherwise.

So I think, network socially, network for your business -- just network!

LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/ gives you a place to start building your business contacts online. I just started mine last week. My dad sent me a link to do this a couple years ago, and I kind of ignored it. After taking a second look, it seems like a good tool and a good idea (Sorry Dad!).

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


While this class is very interesting, the text is a bit dry. It's even putting Milo to sleep!

Virtual Classroom Experiement

Last week for our class in our Organizational Leadership program, our instructor conducted class virtually, since he was out of town. This was very relevant, considering the topic of this course is Leadership in an E-World. At the beginning of class we had some technical problems, but things got smoother, and class went really well. We were able to experience a virtual classroom/meeting, which was definitely different. We also benefited from having various and interesting speakers that our instructor was able to line up for us, that were travelling with him. There was a slight delay in the process that sometimes was a challenge. Our instructor would speak, and sometimes the delay would make it a bit choppy. Since we did not have microphones, we typed in our questions and reactions. It was fun reading others comments in the class, listening to our instructor and guest speakers, and also having our own conversations in the class. Since my own technical ability is somewhat limited, I am glad we had the opportunity to test out the technology.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Windy Weather

Shortly after my last post, I attempted to go to bed, but woke up an hour later to violent wind and rain beating against my bedroom window. At this point I jumped out of bed because I remembered I left the kitchen window open (it was 70 degrees yesterday, so I thought I would take advantage of a nice January Roch day!). Water was rushing through the window. I cleaned up that mess and tried to go back to bed. Between the cats running around the room, and the portrait window directly behind my bed rattling loudly, I didn't get a lot of rest. My dad called at 8 AM to wake me up - not sure if I was even asleep. I looked outside to find huge fallen trees down all over the yard of my apt building. Luckily none hit the building, but it was too close for comfort.

And then a very scary thought... fallen trees & my new car parked out back! I went running out of the apt, and to the parking lot. My car was fine! Whew! Part of the fence around the dumpster had fallen, luckily where no one was parked. Some trees in the back fell, but in the other direction. All I can say is - very lucky!

Milo & Emma are still freaked out a little. Today they followed my boyfriend from room to room, but stayed close to the windows, keeping track of what is going on.

Leadership in the E-World

Ok... it's 2 AM - let me try to talk about this subject. Had to play with my new car today (a Chevy Colbalt w/Onstar, XM radio, & phone) & bake this damn Amish Friendship bread!

In taking this class, which just so happens to be titled the same as this posting, I realize technology plays a bigger role than I noticed before. In working towards a degree in Organizational Leadership, is so easy to get caught up in the "soft" topics such as team building, mentoring, systems thinking, change, and many others, that technology didn't really cross my mind. Or perhaps I didn't want to think about it, being that I am not very technology-savy. But a leader does need to know about technology, or surround him or herself with others that do. It would be helpful for a leader to know about types of technology that is available, and use that information to help themselves and others be more successful.

Even with the new car that I just bought - the technology is amazing, and I had no idea it was even available. All I need to do is press the Onstar button, and they already know my name, that I just purchased the vehicle, and they will continue to monitor the vehicle sending me monthly diagnostic readings from my car to my email. Not to mention should the airbag deploy, Onstar will be contacted immediately, or if I lock my keys in my car, I can call a 800 number, and they will unlock the car for me. Another option I have is pressing the phone button, and then through voice-activation dial a phone number (of course this convenience is $17 for 100 minutes). But I figure this will potentially save me from a ticket for talking on my phone while driving or if I need to make a phone call and my cell is dead, I have this option. Since my job sometimes requires trips to Buffalo, these options could be very useful.

Ultimately, I think a leader needs to be aware of technology that is available, as well as always looking for ways to improve on this. Think about problems in terms of technological solutions, which will often save time and money. A leader needs to be open to change and new ideas, as technology is driven by thinking out of the box, as well as constantly changing and improving. Lastly, a leader needs to be skilled at integrating "soft" ideas with technology. Technology can't always be a replacement for face-to-face, it needs to be a tool used to connect people. There are so many neat things going on with technology right now, I can't wait to keep learning more about it!

Saturday, January 5, 2008


I have just recently started to change my opinion about blogging. I set this blog up as part of a class project & it is my first time blogging. I used to think blogging was just about the person who set up the blog - talking about him/herself, and so I thought, "why do I care." I realized that an individual's blog can be whatever he or she wants it to be, and then I started to see that this could be kinda fun. A blogger can put as much or as little into their blog as they want, and they can talk about whatever topics they want - there are just so many ways to take this! I love telling stories - ie: taking something that really happened to me or someone I know, and embellishing it to make the story better! I also love sharing information when I discover a new product/company/store. When I realized that I could share this stuff, and really anything else I want, I decided I could really get into this. For me, I think blogging will be a collage of my thoughts and some of my favorite things.