20. Nurturing Leadership
in Your Library
21. Exponential Pace of Change
1.5 mill yrs lever, wedge
500,000 yrs control of fire
50,000 yrs bow & arrow
5,000 years wheel and axle; sail
500 years printing press with movable type; rifle
100 years automobiles
50 years satellites
30 years IBM Home Computer
25 years Windows / Mac
20 years World wide web
10 years ago iPod, Netflix, Tivo
5-7 years ago Ubiquitous Broadband, Blogging, Skype
4 years ago iPhone, Android, App Store, Geolocation
< 4 years SMS/Smartphone ubiquity, Twitter, Facebook
< 2 years Tablets, iPads, Cloud
28. Flatten the Organization
WHAT DOES FLAT LOOK LIKE?
• Strong shared Vision
• Less Hierarchy
• Bias for action
• Bias for risk-taking
• Employees empowered to act
29. Nurture Emergent Leaders
2. No formal authority
3. Are passionate and involved
4. Motivate Others
5. Initiate new ideas
6. Seek others’ opinions
31. Emergent Leaders Speak
Say “Yes” and LISTEN
“Say yes to the dreamers. Listen to
the ideas/insights and then
encourage attempts to address the
problems. Sometimes the most
insightful ideas come from people
who are new to a task or duty.”
32. Emergent Leaders Speak
Say “Yes” and ENCOURAGE
Try to find a "yes" answer first to all
requests. When a staff member has
an idea, encourage it with a "yes".
Ideas about service or functions
mean an employee is engaged and
willing to work. Never discourage that.
33. Emergent Leaders Speak
Let People Fail
“Let people fail without freaking out.
Partly because for someone to fail
they have to try something new first,
and partly because I always learn
more from my failures than from
things that go well.”
34. Emergent Leaders Speak
Give Creative Control
“Let everyone have a pet project,
and give them a forum to share
them- newsletter, minute meeting,
bulletin board- so that each staff
person gets an opportunity to use
their talent and that everyone feels
like they have something special
and valuable to contribute. - Jaime
35. Emergent Leaders Speak
Let us Take Charge
“Give us opportunities to take
charge, and let the scope of those
opportunities grow as we prove our
competency. To whatever extent is
possible, be a service-oriented
manager: not just focusing on
serving the patron/customer, but also
serving your employees.” -Beth
36. Emergent Leaders Speak
Get out of the way
“Hire smart people and get the hell
out of their way. Be patient... if you
sit back just a bit longer than you're
used to, the solutions are discovered
by your staff and because they
discovered it, they most likely will
want to own it
37. Emergent Leaders Speak
Give us Feedback
Give people ongoing feedback. They
WANT to know how they are doing
and what the impact of their work is
from your perspective.
38. Emergent Leaders Speak
Model it for us
Be role models. This doesn't mean
they have to have the ideas, but they
need to live out the qualities of a
leader to encourage/nurture new
ones. Taking risks, owning mistakes,
listening to new ideas, encouraging
experimenting, and accepting failure..
59. Most Valuable Leadership Assets
Judgment (intuition, intelligence, experience)
Sense of humor
Compromise (how and when)
Sense of responsibility
Commitment to a cause beyond yourself
Passion and proportion (Detachment)
60. Ways to Nurture Leadership
• Ask people what they need.
• Assume they are creative and resourceful
• Empower them. (no, really. Do it.)
• Promote a culture of risk-taking and action
• Help them develop themselves, especially,
their self-knowledge, EQ, and
• Reframe failure as data, as learning.
• Understand Theories of Motivation
65. Sources of Influence
• Purpose • Choose your reaction
• Knowledge • To follow direction or not
• Personal history • Relationships/Networks
• Faith in self • Communicate
• Speak truth to power • Organize others
• Set/Model Standards • Withdraw Support
Adapted from: Ira Challeff, The Courageous Follower
66. ”I am not so much rejecting the distinction
between leadership and management, but
I am saying that the best leaders and
managers do something that might be
most properly called a mix of leadership
Good Morning Everyone! It’s an honor to be here with you today to help kick off the LMI Summer Conference. Before we properly begin, I’d like to create a little bit of perspective by asking a simple question: Why are we here today
Why are we here today? A seemingly simple question , and one I try to continually ask and answer every day So before we begin this wonderful conference, please take a moment, and reflect on the question. Why are we here today at the LMI Summer Conference in Glenside, PA? Why are YOU here ?
Let’s further define some terms …. What do we mean by “here ”
For a little more perspective… What do we mean by Today
Well, who are WE?
Of the 108 billion people who have ever lived , we get to meaningfully interact with a few hundred, maybe a few thousand. So look around you at the people in this room, the people who have come to this conference And now think about your colleagues back at the library, and think about the people you serve in the library. Of all of 108 billion people who have ever lived, these (along with your family and friends, of course) are the few people you get to spend time with on your journey. Our time here together is precious.
Really puts things in perspective
So I will ask again: Why are we here today? Because Our time together is precious We want to use our time here to make a difference I want to be awake and fully present and… Use my time to enrich my life and the lives of those around me .
The theme for the conference is “Nurturing Leadership in Your Library. Why is it important that we be nurturing leadership in our libraries? There are a number of reasons. For me the primary reason is: Because the pace of change has fundamentally changed the game. And simply put, I believe that to be successful in this new landscape of rapid change, we need a radically different type of organizational structure – one that develops and empowers staff at all levels. Let’s explore a little bit more about what’s happening with the pace of change.
Here are two charts that demonstrate the pace of change You can see that the amount of time between disruptive technologies and major shifts that they bring about has continually compacted. (quickly review) This means that great grandfather’s life was virtually indistinguishable from his father’s life. They both lived in a make shift house , with a dirt floor, a wood burning oven, and no plumbing. The first 13 years of my grandfather’s life were the same as his fathers In 1921 he left Russia for America and the next 80 years of his life saw: Automobiles, Indoor plumbing, Telephones, Heart surgery, Air travel, Satellites in orbit Space travel a moon landing, Television, Microwaves, Portable radios and tape players In other words, my grandfather saw more significant change in his life than his ancestors saw in the 500 years previous. To contrast, my 15 year old nephew has never known a world without: Internet, 156 HD channels, Invisible braces, DVDs, Cell phones, Text Messaging The pace of change– the introduction of “disruptive technologies” continue to happen at an exponential pace… In October 2008, the comedian Louis CK was on the Conan O’Brien Show and he shared some observations about technological change and how our expectations rapidly shift in light of new technologies. Lets watch. [click]
SHOW VIDEO ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Funny right, but he captures something there, about how customers expectations shift very quickly when they are exposed to new technologies that make their life easier—or at least technologies that they value. Back when we started QandANJ.org in late 2001 and I started going around doing presentations, I would ask, “how many of you have been on the internet in the last 24 hours.” In the beginning I’d see 10-25% of hands go up. Each year, I’d see more and more hands go up. And now when I ask that question (ask it) . I inevitably see 100% How many of you have texted w/I the last 24 hours? Been on a social network? In a few years, how many hands will we see? The fact is, that technology doesn’t just expand what’s possible, it shifts our expectations and the expectations of our customers. Which means we have to be continually evaluating and shifting our role as librarians to respond to the shifting needs and expectation of those that we serve . But we’re getting a little bit ahead of ourselves… Let’s finish this discussion on the pace of change [click]
Up until recently, there was an accepted model of how change happens in society and organizations: The Freeze,Unfreeze,Re-freeze model , This model suggests that: Our structures, our organizations , and therefore our experiences remain fairly stable (or frozen) for long periods of time Some fundamental change occurs, and for a period of time, things unfreeze. We all get used to the change, it’s ramifications play out, and we settle into the new normal. We refreeze. This model makes sense when we apply it historically, but over the last 100 years, the periods between each change have gotten smaller and smaller, to the point where it seems we don’t even get to the refreeze point. With regard to change we are now more in a state of continual fluidity . Peter Vaill, a Professor of Mgmt at Antioch Univ . observed this phenomena and suggested a new model to help us understand change .
We are now in what Peter Vaill and other change mgmt experts call: Permanent whitewater. Whitewater suggests a number of things It suggests a fast-pace ; It suggests that the situation changes by the second It suggests that we need to vigilant, aware and responsive moment by moment It also suggests that we can have a general sense of shape of the river—the direction of current — Maybe know where the really big rocks are . We can’t control the ride, but we can influence it . So, what can we do to be successful in this new reality?
REIMAGINE THE ORGANIZATION Libraries, like many orgs tend to be hierarchical, and slow to act. Hierarchical, slow-moving, organizations were well-positioned to thrive when disruptive change happened one every 10-20 years. No more! We need to rethink and reimagine our organizational structures and cultures in a way that we quickly surface and implement innovative ideas. The ability to move quickly to meet needs and expectations —and beyond that to surprise, and delight— is what we need to survive and thrive in the new reality. That means we need to flatten our organizations and do a better job of empowering everyone to think creatively , work collaboratively , and take action quickly , and without a lot of red tape. In short we need to create cultures of shared leadership . One extreme example of this new type of organization is Valve . It has NO hierarch No managemen No structu Anyone can launch a project. Or hire. Again, I stress, that their structure is extreme —and I’m not advocating that we do that far. But Think of it as runway fashion . What they’re doing is pretty far out there, but some of those far out ideas can be scaled back and used by the rest of us.. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend taking a look at the Valve Handbook for Employees . (http://newcdn.flamehaus.com/Valve_Handbook_LowRes.pdf) Not just for the ideas , but for the wonderful spirit of honesty and playfulness that it embodies.
While we may not need to go as far as Valve in empowering people to use their good judgment, think creatively and take action as needed, we do need move in that direction and away from THIS … [watch video] Of course, the problem with highly structured organizations , where there are strict divisions of labor , and clearly defined (and often fiercely protected) areas of responsibility—or TURF —is that even if you have competent people in place, it doesn’t protect you from THIS…. [watch part 2 of video]
We can’t afford to have these types of employees any more.
WE NEED TO FLATTEN THE ORGANIZATION How does that look? Flatten the organization Strong shared Vision Less Hierarchy Bias for action Bias for risk-taking Employee empowerment to act Encourage Emergent Leadership
We need to encourage and nurture what Peter Northhouse calls “ Emergent Leaders ”: Northouse defines Emergent Leaders as those who : Have No formal authority Motivate others Initiate new ideas Seek others’ opinions Are passionate and involved So what do these “Emergent Leaders” need from us by way of nurturing ? I asked them.
I posed the question in the “ALA Think Tank” Facebook group. [emerging leaders, movers/shakers, MIH] I’ve identified some main themes and used a quote to illustrate each theme.
Segue to: M odel it for us A number of Think Tankers mentioned the need for managers to model Leadership Skills , so let’s talk about that: BTW [click] No baby ducks were hurt in the making of this slide.
So… What are those skills that we need to be modeling ?
Example: Library Sleevefacing Bowling Green State University – Way to welcome new students and orient them to the library Take pictures in different parts of the library, then post them.
Makes Good Decisions
It’s about creating meaning…
Optimistic leadership is not about seeing the world through rose colored glasses . We need to make decisions based on in reality. But once you have your plan, optimism will inspire the hopefulness and confidence that is required to take action and inspire others to align their energy with the goal Optimism or pessimism is not ultimately about any specific situation -- it is conscious choice in how to frame the reality of a situation that puts us in a greater state of resourcefulness and helps therefore helps us succeed. And the cherry on top is that there is a lot of recent research that suggests that an optimism outlook correlates with longevity, health, and happiness. I highly recommend Sara Kelley-Mudie’s post on Relentless Optimism: http://kmthelibrarian.blogspot.com/2012/05/relentless-optimism.html OK, so what other leadership skills do we need to be modeling?
Nannerl Keohane former pres of Wellesley and Duke, and author of “Thinking About Leadership” suggests these core attributes of leadership : (interview: http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S29/92/73G64/) Judgment (intuition, intelligence, experience) Information Mastery Courage Self-awareness Stamina Sense of humor Decision making Compromise (how and when) Sense of responsibility Commitment to a cause beyond yourself Passion and proportion (Detachment) Easy! Right? So there’s our challenge : We nurture leadership by walking the talk. [click] (And the Think Tankers were quite clear about what else they needed)
Nurturing Leadership Ask people what they need. Assume they are creative and resourceful Empower them . (no, really. Do it.) Promote a culture of risk-taking and action Help them develop themselves , especially, their self-knowledge, EQ, and communication skills. Reframe failure as data, as learning. Understand Theories of Motivation (Dan Pink- Drive. Creative Control and ability to solve problems) In closing, I’d like to leave you with a challenge
And it is: To take a moment every day and remember that in addition to all of the tasks , all the job duties , all of the meetings and budget spreadsheets , all of the desk schedules , all of the data management , collections , and facilities issues , all of the emails and phone calls … Remember that at the end of the day, the most important part of your job is this :
Think about that . And give thought to what YOU want to happen in your life , in your community , in your library , in your profession . Take time to get clear on what you want to see happen and then start making some choices and taking actions -- and encouraging your staff to do the same. Take Actions that move you in the direction of your preferred future.
The world needs libraries , now more than ever, and your library needs YOU . So I challenge you to be 100% present and not look to someone else to take the reins, lay out the vision, push for change, or challenge the process. It falls to you . It falls to each of us . We may or may not have positional authority , but in any moment, in any situation , we can all make choices and take actions that exert influence . And we must. Thank you for the great work you do , and for your passion and commitment to libraries. And thank you, for having me.