Leaders Who Notice Make a Difference | Leading From the Library

Leadership | Academic libraries | Innovation | Trends

by Stephen Bell | Feb 21, 2019 from Library Journal

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Leaders can all too easily go through the paces on auto-pilot. Go to this meeting. Deal with that situation. Those leaders who are adept at taking notice of what’s less obvious are more likely to innovate.

The radio station I listen to during my morning routine has an occasional bit in which the program co-host becomes “The Noticer.” It’s a silly segment that features oddball news stories, puzzling consumer products, or otherwise absurd societal observations. While it makes for an entertaining diversion, it occurred to me how much of my own leadership revolves around noticing things. Most of what’s noticed, whether it’s about librarianship, higher education, or something altogether different, leads to nothing in particular. Every so often, however, just taking notice of something can have an impact on what we do and why we do it. It may lead to an innovation or waking up to a needed change. If you lead but fail to take notice of things that could make a difference for your library, perhaps becoming a Noticer would lead to new discoveries.

 

UNDERAPPRECIATED SKILL

When leadership books, seminars, and blogs point to the critical skills leaders need to succeed, noticing is rarely mentioned. It’s hardly surprising, as noticing is rarely recognized as a leadership skill. We should give it more attention. At best, leaders are advised to conduct environmental scans, to stay abreast of trends in their field or hobnob with other leaders to exchange those “what keeps you awake at night” issues. Noticing is somewhat different. Rather than a planned activity, it’s more of a spontaneous reaction to something read, heard, or observed. It might be the start of pattern recognition, but more likely it simply engages the gears of curiosity. Observing that students always sit on the floor in a particular corner of the library could lead to the introduction of soft seating. That’s a fairly straightforward example. Read more…

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Steven Bell, Associate University Librarian, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, is the current vice president/president-elect of ACRL. For more from Steven visit his blogs, Kept-Up Academic Librarian, ACRLog and Designing Better Libraries or visit his website.

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How to Figure Out How Much Influence You Have at Work [HBR]

by Maxim Sytch | February 18, 2019

Informal leadership | Mentoring | Career advice |Success |Relationships |Impact

A banker in Southeast Asia wanted to allow employees of a car rental agency to buy used cars from the employer. But not a single business unit was able to put together that product. Different units were stopped either by the existing product portfolio, the underlying risk, or regulatory guidelines. One of the banker’s colleagues, however, was able to facilitate valuable introductions across the company. That led to the solution being co-designed and jointly offered by two business units.

Credit the success of this new financial product to the banker’s informal power. Informal power — which is unrelated to your formal title — can enable you to mobilize resources, drive change, and create value for the organization as well as yourself. And in the modern workplace, informal power is increasingly pivotal and can secure your place within your organization. Read more…

What Library Leaders Can’t Fake | Leading from the Library

Leadership | Academic Librarians | Mentoring

by Steven Bell | Jan 24, 2019

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One school of thought in leadership suggests those who do it well can role play some area of their work for which they are less than authentically passionate. While that may be a useful leadership skill for unique situations, there are some things leaders should never fake.

From frontline reference librarian to library director, I’ve had the great experience of serving in a wide range of positions in academic libraries of different types. For the most part I avoided suffering extended bouts of impostor syndrome, a fairly regular topic of discussion in our profession. However early in my career, in my first reference librarian position at a top ten business school library, the first year was one of self-doubt. There was little discussion of impostor syndrome back then, though it’s likely that I was experiencing it. For the first six months as a library director, I occasionally gave in to thoughts of being unqualified and unlikely to succeed as that library’s leader. But in these and other positions, as I achieved small successes my confidence grew, and I came to believe more strongly that I was the right person for the job. A recent webinar on impostor syndrome I attended, wanting to better understand how this affects librarians, got me thinking about what it means for library leaders. Leaders need to recognize how impostor syndrome impacts their own progress, but they should also recognize and support staff who may be experiencing it. Read more…

The Most Valuable And Timeless Skills You Need to Thrive in The 21st Century

Career advice | Emotional Intelligence | Workplace |Employment

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The evolution of skills is accelerating, fast.

We live in a world of constant change, where skill sets can become obsolete in just a few years, you have consistently upgrade and reinvent yourself.

“Skill is the unified force of experience, intellect and passion in their operation.”

John Ruskin could not have defined skill any better.

When you strive to consistently improve your skills, you enjoy more success in life and at work.

Don’t give up on lifelong learning. Ever.

Research shows that it pays beyond the skills you acquire.

More than ever before, a challenged, stimulated brain may well be the key to a vibrant later life.

“Every skill you acquire doubles your odds of success,” says Scott Adams

Start spending time preparing for the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts.

Begin to plant seeds every day that will yield the best and most fulfilling life now and in the future.

These valuable skills can radically improve your life. They may not seem earth shattering at first glance, but you’ll be surprised at just how much they can affect your life and career now and for the rest of your productive life.

Read more…

The 5 Things All Great Salespeople Do

Marketing | Advocacy | Career advice

by Joseph Curtis | December 18, 2018

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The best salespeople know they’re the best. They take pride in their art form. They separate themselves from the rest of the pack regardless of circumstance. So how do they do it? What’s their secret? Are you one of them?

I’ve spent 16 years in technology sales, with most of that spent in sales leadership at Salesforce and other technology companies. I’ve had the luxury of observing great sales professionals in tech and beyond and have observed that the top performers share some of the same patterns, habits, and characteristics. I’ve distilled them down into five major categories and have begun integrating them into my work life — practicing them, honing them, teaching them. As a result, my teams have finished consistently at or near the top of the leaderboard year in and year out. Here’s what I’ve observed:

The best salespeople own everything. I used to give a speech to new salespeople, earlier in my career, titled the “It’s your fault speech.” It was very raw and full of overconfidence (chalk it up to leadership in your twenties) but the point was simple: Your success depends on you. The sales profession exists within a meritocracy. Statistically, it is not a coincidence that the same people are at the top of the leaderboard year in and year out. Some may think it’s because certain people have it easier, or are given this, or fall into that. We all have our starting points. Regardless, the most significant difference between perennial top performers and everyone else is attitude. Elite salespeople approach their goals with a total ownership mindset. Anything that happens to them, whether or not it was their doing, is controlled by them. It may not be their fault, but it is their responsibility. In the research, psychologists call this the internal locus of control. That’s a fancy way of saying that you think the power lies inside of you instead of externally. And you know what they found? Having an internal locus of control correlates with success at work, higher income, and greater health outcomes.

Read more…

Your Workplace Isn’t Your Family (and That’s O.K.!)

Workplace | Career Advice | Employment |Relationships

It’s fine to have warm, supportive relationships with your co-workers. But remember the context.

Welcome to the Smarter Living newsletter. The editor, Tim Herrera, emails readers with tips and advice for living a better, more fulfilling life. Sign up here to get it in your inbox.

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“We’re like family here.”

It’s a line that seems enshrined in the collective unconsciousness of American workers. We spend more than 2,000 hours per year with our co-workers, so it seems only natural that we should think of them as family. We celebrate birthdays together, honor anniversaries, hang out at happy hours … these people are like a second family. Right?

Not necessarily, says Alison Green, who runs the career advice blog Ask a Manager and whose latest book, which has the same title, published earlier this year. Read more…

12 Things Mentally Strong People Do That Nobody Else Does

Emotional Intelligence | Success | Career Advice

John Rampton
Entrepreneur VIP
Entrepreneur and Connector
August 14, 2018
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

 

You’ve no doubt heard a million times that you should exercise. But how many people have suggested that you become more mentally fit?

I’m not just talking about doing a crossword puzzle to combat dementia — I’m talking about becoming mentally strong. When you do, you’ll be better equipped to regulate your thoughts, manage your emotions and boost your productivity.

Here are 12 things mentally strong people do.

1. They practice gratitude.

Instead of focusing on their burdens or what they don’t have, mentally strong people take stock of all the great things they do have. There are several ways to practice gratitude, but the simplest way to start is just by thinking of three things you’re grateful for each day. You can also start a gratitude journal to jot down all the good things you experienced throughout the day or adopt gratitude rituals, such as saying grace before a meal. Read more…

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