On Memorial Day, Remembering Leaders of Yesterday and Today

My father was a decorated World War II veteran, and Memorial Day is certainly about remembering all of our fallen veterans, but for me, especially my father. He was in Africa, England, all over the European theater during the war – one of the first to ship out, one of the last to return. We have a big scrapbook he kept during the war about where he went and what he did as a quartermaster in the Big Red One. He did not talk about his experiences with us until the end of his life, and even then, not that much. When my sister and I took him to the newly opened World War II memorial in Washington, DC he viewed the friezes along the walls and started to cry. “The war was really like that”, he told me, overcome with emotion. My father was a veteran for peace, and believed in equal rights for all. He lived his beliefs.

As I remember my father, I also remember his quiet brand of leadership. He and my mother were mentors for many people, were active in our community, and were consulted often for their opinion and good sense. Both of my parents were modest people, and helped others see what would work for them, doing so with compassion, good listening skills, and strong advice when needed. They were just my parents, so I did not really realize their leadership qualities or positions when I was growing up. Now I do. Read more

Meetings to Learn and Achieve Results

Eliminate recurring meetings?

Make meetings optional?

Convene leaner and faster meetings?

Convert from face-to-face to virtual meetings?

I discovered recently from bloggers in my PLN (Personal Learning Network) that large companies such as Dropbox, Hewlett-Packard, and Intel are taking the above steps to limit meetings that steal their employees’ time and erode their productivity. Maybe their experience offers lessons for leaders of nonprofits and small businesses to consider and implement, too.

For instance, Rebecca Hinds and Bob Sutton at Inc. magazine reported that Dropbox declared an “Armeetingeddon” two-week moratorium on recurring meetings in 2013. The company-wide email “informed employees that all recurring meetings had been deleted from their calendars. … “Ahhh, doesn’t it feel fantastic?” Managers followed up with guidance to employees to: Read more

How can you avoid the viral vortex of social media?

Have you Googled, Binged, or used another search engine to find out about yourself? It can be an amazing experience! Most people forget that virtually everything you post online is there permanently. You may think you are deleting things, but your digital life does not go away. You might find your search uncovers posts you thought were trashed or private.

Today, anyone’s posts can become viral in a nanosecond, especially on twitter or snapchat. Yes, twitter goes by so fast, and snapchat disappears quickly, but tweets get retweeted increasing their lifespan, and there are now apps that capture snapchats and store them forever.

Most of us have posted a message on email or social media that we regretted after hitting send. They may have been insensitive, derisive, angry, or if taken out of context, offensive. It is hard to tell tone and demeanor in the digital world, so even what you consider a harmless post can be misinterpreted. I certainly have experienced this, both as the sender and the receiver.

You can take preventive measures to ward off these consequences (see my blog on email communication, for example), but doing so takes focus, presence, and persistence. Is it worth the effort?
Read more

Encore Tampa Bay and WLS Launch ECO–Encore Connect Online

Those of us at midlife and beyond are far from the scrap heap.   We are poised to invent an entirely new stage of life—the encore years—between the end of midlife and anything resembling old-fashioned retirement. … and in the process to revamp the nature of all preceding life stages, opening options for younger people who can make life decisions with the expectation of more than one bite of the apple.

Marc Freedman, Founder & CEO of Encore.org

Marc Freedman, Founder & CEO of Encore.org

– Marc Freedman, Founder and CEO, Encore.org, in the Forward to the Encore Career Handbook by Marci Alboher

 The national Encore organization “is spearheading efforts to engage millions of people in later life as a vital source of talent to benefit society. … with the ultimate goal of  creating a better future for young people and future generations.” Encore.org now has over 35 member organizations in its network, including Encore Tampa Bay. Read more