Women Networking to Lead

Our online Lean In circle led by Lisa has made me think about the power of networks and how women become leaders, especially in corporations. We had a rich resource list of videos and articles to fuel our discussion last week.

Background: Lisa started our circle online almost two years ago when the Lean In Foundation launched its discussion infrastructure to encourage women in face-to-face learning circles to take more risks and lean-in to their work challenges. Our distributed group needed to work online to connect with each other and has been online ever since.

The Foundation has provided the circles with interesting, timely, stimulating resources. As Lean In seemed to focus this year more on young women entering the workforce post-college graduation, our  experienced-women-in-the-workforce circle became more self-organizing and self-propelled, meaning that each of us brings in articles, videos, studies, etc. about leadership, women in the workplace, communication styles, and stereotypes to discuss.  We always leave our 60-90 minute discussions enriched with new ideas and perspectives, and valuing each other, too. Read more

Smile – You’re on Candid Camera (and could go viral!)

I remember watching Alan Funt’s Candid Camera on TV when I was growing up, and then again as an adult. Some of the situations created and  reactions of people caught on camera were amazing, and we always marveled at “who thought this up?”. Alan Funt’s son Peter has recreated the show on TV Land, and wrote an interesting Op-Ed piece in the New York Times on 9/27/14. In it he states his amazement that: “…after a 10 year hiatus …. people are more easily fooled than ever“. He attributes this to multi-tasking. Alan Funt had the problem of distracting people. Peter Funt does not have that problem – people are on their cellphones or other devices, and have less than full focus for his pranks. He fears this also makes them more vulnerable to real trouble and potential scams. Read more

Terms and Tools a la Internet and Web

ICYMI (abbrev.): in case you missed it

The Oxford Dictionary added a lot of new words, including ICYMI, to its online database this summer. Other new words–clickbait, live-tweet, hyper-connected, and tech-savvy–fascinated me, too, because of their connection to information technology. Katy Steinmetz shared their definitions and many more words in the online Time magazine in August. In case you’re wondering:

clickbait (n.): (on the Internet) content whose main purpose is to attract attention and draw visitors to a particular web page.

live-tweet (v.): post comments about (an event) on Twitter while the event is taking place.

hyper-connected (adj.): characterized by the widespread or habitual use of devices that have Internet connectivity.

tech-savvy (n.): well informed about or proficient in the use of modern technology.

These words are part of the onrush of new-everything related to the internet and web. And it’s more than a torrent of words that we are trying to keep up with. In the foreword to Jim Boulton’s 100 Ideas that Changed the Web, he recognizes the enormity of the changes that we are struggling to comprehend and grow with in order to “work, play, shop, socialize, and otherwise participate in society” as enabled by the internet and web. Read more

My top 10 online tools of the year – what’s in your toolbox?

Every year since 2007 Jane Hart has created a poll to determine the top 100 tools that people are using for work, learning, life. This year’s poll, which was completed by over 900 people so far who subscribe to and/or read her blog, will be revealed on Monday, September 22, 2014. Those who complete the poll cross a wide range of professions from teachers, course designers, trainers, managers, business executives. I can’t wait to see which tools are on the list this year. You can revisit the blog Doris wrote on the 2013 list while you are waiting.

Jane always reveals her top 10 tools when she opens the poll, usually in July.This year was no exception. I am always intrigued by what she is using. Her top 10: Twitter and Tweetdeck (tweet aggregator program) for learning and connecting; Powerpoint, Keynote, Slideshare, Poll Everywhere for presentations; WordPress and Buddypress for her blog and her discussion groups (same as what we use at WLS); Feedly for RSS feeds and following others’ blogs; IFTT (if this than that), a new tool for her, that connects social media sites. Read more

Soft Landings in a Hard Economy

Last week something emerged from my past. Don’t worry. You are not about to receive TMI. But it was meaningful for me.

It was a go-to personal resource book that helped me as I moved from my first to second job out of graduate school. The book has since assisted generations of job hunters and career changers.

What Color is Your Parachute? written by Richard Bolles, has been updated 40 times, has sold 10 million copies, and has been translated into 20 languages. The book and its 87 year old author were recently featured in a Workstation column written by Phyllis Korkki in the New York Times.

What the article reminded me of is how technology has both expanded and closed job opportunities for much of the United States workforce. Korkki points out that “many aspects of the most recent edition would sorely perplex” early readers. “’What is this Google he speaks of?’ they would ask, after reading Mr. Bolles’s admonition that ‘Google is your new resume.’”
Read more

Contextual Intelligence, the Culture of Generosity, and Us

I have put myself on a news diet of sorts. I read news online to control what I read a bit more. Even so I have decided that I must reduce my exposure to the mass killings, violence, racial tensions, and ethnic hatred that dominate the news lately. It upsets me too much that so much hatred and cruelty have overshadowed the basic goodness in most people’s hearts.

How did we get to this world state? More importantly, how can we promote more understanding of different experiences, values, and moral/religious beliefs? How does the web, which already is a powerful connector (think Arab spring) play into this?

Read more

Paying It Forward Online: 5 Ways to Help

“She wants to learn. She wants to get an education.

She goes to school five days a week. She does her homework.”

Malala Yousafzai, the young girl shot by Taliban extremists in 2012, is now 17 and a well-known advocate for girls’ education, made the above comments about her mother—Tor Pekai Yousafzai—in a recent interview with Jodi Kantor at the New York Times.  Malala’s mother is learning to read and write and her life is changing for the better as a result. Read more

Project JAR–back in Manhattan

Learning to fly

Learning to fly

The Studio’s guest bloggers this week–Maddy Cohen and Kate Burrows–are back in Manhattan. They have finished their driving journey around the United States to not only collect stories of, but share and raise awareness of, clean water issues in this country. Things did not always go as planned…but finished well. Here is their post introducing Project JAR (Just a Ride) to WLS readers a few weeks ago.  Keep reading to see what happened.    


Project JAR made it back to the east coast in one piece, with a collection of stories that we are truly excited to be able to share. That being said, it was not always easy (and sometimes downright frustrating). Below we detail some of our proudest accomplished goals as well as our tougher obstacles. Read more

Take the Lead in Learn, Lead, Connect Online

I’ve been thinking a lot about leadership lately because it feels like we are at a crossroads in leadership development. On the one hand, programs and leadership professional development often focus, importantly, on self awareness, emotional intelligence, interpersonal relations, communication, and consensus-building skills. On the other hand, more and more organizational work is done online, yet online leadership skills that capitalize on the connectivity to ideas and people that the internet affords us are not being taught in concert with leadership skills that work well in face-to-face organizational settings.

A few recent reports as part of the Global Leadership Forecast 2014/2015 emphasize the need for changing the leadership development opportunities to better fit the changing world of today and the soon to come world of tomorrow. Working across cultural, generational, and gender divides, especially online, requires new ways of defining and being a leader. Indeed, the title of the report is: Leadership Outlook: Going No Where Fast. Read more