Monday, February 4, 2008

The Journey Toward Learning About Leadership

As I am coming to end of this course, I look over the blogs that I have written. I can see my own growth and as I step back, I'm amazed at the distance I have covered in only a few weeks. Thanks go to our instructor, Jeffrey Shepard, for his gentle guidance. His enthusiasm is contagious. I am still struggling with the paper I am writing about Virtual Leadership. Sometimes it is hard to put some things into words - pretty much all the time it is hard for me to put my ideas on paper. I struggle to filter through all the angles and topics I want to write about. And other times, there isn't much there to start with so I search the web for others' ideas and discussions. This helps me to clarify my thoughts and refocus. I am somewhere in between these 2 places right now. There are so many pieces of leadership, so many angles. I want my paper to be organized and have some substance and not just a bunch of short topics or ideas. I'm half way through the paper and I'm not satisfied with parts of it but I will plug away and write, revise, and write some more. Well, back to writing this paper. I am the master at diversion when I should be writing, so this blog right now is one of those diversions. Back to writing!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Government Decisions - How Do You Like Them?

When government makes a new law, are they trying to protect us or are they limiting our freedoms? I tend to lean toward believing they are looking out for my best interests, at least in their own minds. There usually is a group somewhere that feels no matter what the government does, they are infringing on our freedoms. They protest, write to newspapers, talk to reports, anything to get their feeling and issues aired. I like to listen to these arguments, because it helps me to understand the issues and opens my mind to thinking more deeply about the problem. Sometimes, I change my mind after hearing what they say. Other times, I do more listening and researching so I can reach my own conclusion. The more I know, the better decisions I can make and I grow as I expand my knowledge and understanding. Sometimes, the decision is made for the greater good for the greater number of people. Any decision that is made probably won’t please everyone but it doesn’t mean that it was wrong. With listening and discussing with others, I can reach my own conclusions.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Loans to Individuals in Need

I have been browsing the websites of and These both seem to be worthy sites that allow you to contribute an amount of money that you determine toward somone that has asked for a loan. Prosper operates in the US and the loan can be for any reason, from paying off student loans, buying a house or even consolidating loans. Nice idea if you want to help someone here in the states. Kiva is specifically directed toward people in developing countries that are trying to better their lives by developing a business in their own country (not ours). I find this a more altruistic endeavor although I would like to see something like this here in the United States. Perhaps there is a more entrepreneurial spirit in other countries and realize they don't need a lot of money to make a difference in their lives. Either way, this is a way to make an impact on someone's life in a large way by making a small monetary contribution in conjunction with others.

Where does leadership fit into these web sites? This had me stumped for a little while. But if I think about the purpose of leadership-to achieve a goal, to help someone be a better person, then doesn't this fit that purpose? These websites provide an opportunity to help someone achieve a goal. Maybe it even helps you achieve a goal of donating to help others. You can make a big impact on someone's life by a loan of only $25. Leadership is so much more than leading people. It is enabling people to achieve more than they thought possible. It isn't telling them to do something - it is helping them to do something.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Virtual Classroom

Well-what an exciting class this was on Wednesday, Jan. 9th. Aside from initial technical issues, I think it came off pretty good. It started off a bit slow, just going over what we had read in a textbook, but it picked up when Jeff's visitors took center stage. We had a bit of fun with Jeff, some telling him to speed up at the same time others were telling him to slow down. He's a good sport to just go along with us. Very interesting way to have a group of people in different areas communicate. At first I thought it was cumbersome writing our responses/comments but if we had all tried to speak at once, no one would have been heard. And almost every time we gave our experiences or info from work, each of us was responded to in some manner. It's nice to be acknowledged.

Since this whole curriculum is about leadership, I've been thinking about some of the presentations that we heard on Wednesday. I think this whole piece of getting familiar with the "e-world" is to make us more comfortable with these changes happening around us. All of these various sites and the knowledge we are gaining, fall right in line with Transformational Leadership. There is so much out there, from blogging and personal meeting spaces, to all kinds of technical information, educational info, history, art; you name it, you can find it. All ways to communicate. It's very exciting to find all of this information, sometime a little overwhelming with all the info. It can be helpful, scary (sometime too much medical info), may even make decision-making harder when there are too many choices. But it is my choice if I look, believe, use the info.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


I've been looking at websites for examples of "Leadership". One of the important aspects of leadership is communication. I think this is exactly where the web excels. Someone/anyone can post their thoughts in a blog. If others choose to make comments, we have some communication going on. Because of the ease of access to other's blogs, it is easy to have multiple people contributing their thoughts and comments on a topic. This is an important give and take of ideas that can help you develop your own thoughts and ideas. There is always 2 sides to a decision, the action that will be taken and the action that was not taken. Sometime we need to have a little help in considering all sides of an issue.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Interesting Read

I've been reading a book by John Maxwell called "Developing the Leaders Around You". This is helping me understand what to be on the look-out for when browsing web sites. This book is about how you become a better leader by building leaders around yourself. It walks you through how and what to look for in a new leader, how to identify strengths and weaknesses, and the importance of a plan for growth. I think if a web site is to show "leadership", it will provide some information, in whatever format, that a person can use to grow and learn. It may be just a new idea or way to look at a problem that starts a person thinking in a new way. If it challenges our current thinking, it allows us to grow and mature our ideas. By blogging, we can share these ideas and hopefully start a conversation. So, my next step is to look for websites that can do this for me. There are lots of places to look so it is a journey that I am looking forward to starting.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

What do I know about leadership in regards to web pages?

I'm struggling with this question. I feel like I don't know very much-don't know what I'm looking for. Will I know it if I see it? I know leadership takes many forms. While reading a gardening magazine, they referred to a web site that gives feedback on websites/catalogs where plants can be purchased. It occurred to me that this was a form of leadership. It certainly provides guidance and performs a needed task (as I see it). But maybe leadership has a greater responsibility in guiding and providing incite into what is happening around us. I feel like I am on a treadmill that is gaining speed and I don't have time to do anything but hang on for the ride. I manage to read a few articles when I log into (dare I say it) Yahoo. They provide some info on current affairs. Is this a form of leadership-helping me keep informed and giving me info to help me form my opinions? I'm going to read other blogs and keep looking and watching for examples.