Join ACRL on Thursday, February 21, for a free webcast So You Want to be an Academic Librarian: Academic Librarianship and the Hiring Process. The webcast will be held from 12:00 – 1:00 PM (Eastern) | 11:00 AM-12:00 PM (Central) | 10:00 AM-11:00 AM (Mountain) | 9:00 AM-10:00 PM (Pacific). The AC
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…
Leadership | Academic Librarians | Mentoring
by Steven Bell | Jan 24, 2019
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…
mentoring | career advice | professional development |leadership
By Anthony K. Tjan | February 27, 2017
Harvard Business Review
Mentorship comes in many flavors. It doesn’t always work unless leaders bear in mind a few common principles.
Over the past three years, as part of my forthcoming book, I’ve been researching how leaders can better judge and develop their talent in light of a changing, more purpose-driven, more tech-enabled work environment. Having interviewed close to 100 of the most admired leaders across business, culture, arts, and government, one important characteristic stands out: They do everything they can to imprint their “goodness” onto others in ways that make others feel like fuller versions of themselves. Put another way, the best leaders practice a form of leadership that is less about creating followers and more about creating other leaders. How do they do that? I’ve noticed four things the best mentors do:
Put the relationship before the mentorship. All too often, mentorship can evolve into a “check the box” procedure instead of something authentic and relationship-based. For real mentorship to succeed, there needs to be a baseline chemistry between a mentor and a mentee. Studies show that even the best-designed mentoring programs are no substitute for a genuine, intercollegial relationship between mentor and mentee. One piece of research, conducted by Belle Rose Ragins, a mentoring expert and professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, demonstrated that unless mentees have a basic relationship with their mentors, there is no discernable difference between mentees and those not mentored. All this is to say that mentoring requires rapport. At best, it propels people to break from their formal roles and titles (boss versus employee) and find common ground as people. Read more…
Career advice | Emotional Intelligence | Workplace |Employment
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.
Marketing | Advocacy | Career advice
by Joseph Curtis | December 18, 2018
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.
Career Advice | Professional Development | Tenure | Academic Librarians
November 26, 2018
The standards for tenure are high at many colleges and universities. And those standards are only getting higher. For academics seeking tenure or a tenure-track position, that typically means long hours and extra work.
But there are ways to further your quest for tenure without overworking.
In this Two-Minute Tip video, Fernanda Zamudio-Suaréz gives you five tips to be more strategic on the tenure track.
A friend and fellow tenure-track professor was recently describing how busy he’s been in the past four months — giving talks around the country, finalizing a book manuscript, attending workshops, teaching two new courses. Now, he is mulling whether to add to that load by taking on the directorship of a new academic program. Why, I asked, why he was doing so much? “I’m getting ready for tenure,” he replied.
The matter-of-fact way in which he answered drove home the precarious nature of academic employment and the increasingly high bar to earn tenure.
My graduate adviser got tenure in the early 1970s after only three years as an assistant professor and with just two publications. Today, some Research I universities award tenure in the sciences only if you’ve published six to eight articles a year, or in the humanities, two books within six or seven years (one of which must “change the field”). Those tenure standards are very difficult to meet, even with a minimal teaching schedule, a sizable amount of grant dollars, and a troop of graduate students. Even at teaching-oriented institutions, the requirements for promotion are much more formidable than they used to be. But meet them you must, if you want to keep working in academe.
So how do you resist overworking when, in many instances, that is the only path to tenure?
For more, read Manya Whitaker’s article “How to Be Strategic on the Tenure Track.