Monday, January 19, 2009

Mentor the Masses

Twelve of the brightest college hires (Gen Y’s) are gathering for a round table discussion of which they do not yet know the topic. Some of the country’s best universities are represented and they include majors in engineering, computer science, business and the lone sociology major। The executive comes into the room and presents the question for debate and it is like a deer in the headlights। After sharing a couple of YouTube videos to gain perspective the conversation starts. The executive shares ideas that seem common sense to him, but they had never been presented in such a matter-of-fact way to these future leaders.

Then it happened. The group started to talk about how these stories need to be shared with more people. How can this be done? By email? A website? Maybe a blog? Did you read Brian’s blog last night? Did you see what he said last week about…? How about what Lisa said on her blog the night before?

Sometimes you’re good and sometimes you’re lucky. Whichever it is, I sat back and listened and became truly aware of the value of web 2.0 technologies to leaders. It’s a tool that must be explored by all leaders. I agreed to start a leadership blog if they would set it up. I figured that I would make a couple posts and it would end. That’s where web 2.0 kicks in again. The Gen X and Y’s get it and the boomers are enjoying learning. As soon as I learned to forget all the fears of past executive communications, write in the first person, share real life examples and have an opinion – this technology created a method to “Mentor the Masses.”

As a leader, how have you used change to exploit the power of web 2.0 technologies? How have you seen it used effectively?

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