Sunday, June 24, 2012

“Log Out and Live”™

I live in both real and virtual worlds.  My job involves leading a culturally diverse team spread around the globe.  Multiple time zones, languages and environments make the use of technology a must to be efficient and timely.

We all live the real world where we eat, sleep, exercise, and interact socially.  These can often seem distinctly different from our work world of email, text, web meetings and collaboration centers.  I was preparing to run in the Fairfield Half Marathon this morning and ran into a special group of entrepreneurs.  There product is a cause – Log Out and Live™.  It is hard to argue our kids need to get off their computers and go outside and play!  The message of Log Out and Live is equally directed at adults.  It reminds us of the importance of social interaction with actual people.  Yes – they are using technology to spread their message. As a leader, it caused me to step back and consider the team interaction activities I create daily.  Should some of my emails have been phone calls?  Should some of my phone calls have been personal visits? Should some of my office meetings have been walks on the campus green?

Do you make decisions to avoid technology when appropriate?  How do you balance the speed and time zone advantages of technology with the value of personal social interaction?


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Learning does not wait for you to be ready

I was tired, hungry and not in the mood to explore and learn any more.  We had spent the day discovering new and hidden locations in the Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea areas of New York City.  I had walked past this location many times and never visited.  I did not miss it before and would not feel disappointed missing it this time.

The funny thing about knowledge and learning is that it does not happen when you want it.  We climbed the first stairs of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, often referred to as the main branch of the New York Public Library system.  It is a Beaux-Arts landmark structure on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.  The Astor and Mcgraw rotundas were very interesting, but the Rose Reading room on the third floor was absolutely amazing (See photo).  Every visitor to NYC should find the time to see this structure inside and out.  As leaders, we need to be willing to force ourselves to learn even when we are not in the mood.  We must be the role models and demonstrate the value of an open mind.

How often do you turn off your learning sensors because you are not in the mood?  How do you re-energize to allow yourself to open up at these critical times?


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