Scholarly Communication | Career advice | Mentoring |Academic Librarianship
by Charlie Rapple | May 9, 2019
Last week, I was part of a panel at the Society for Scholarly Publishing’s (SSP’s) first regional event in Oxford, UK. Hosted by Oxford University Press, and organized by Isabel Thompson (Holtzbrinck), Vanessa Fairhust (Crossref) and Sara Grimme (Digital Science), the evening’s focus was Building Your Career in Scholarly Communication: Tips, Tricks and Everything You Ever Wanted to Know! Here are some of the highlights (IMHO) from the talks (my own given in a bit more detail, given that I have better notes!).
Highlights from Andy Sandland (Senior Business Development and Strategy Manager at Oxford University Press) (slides):
Career development is not all about vertical ascent. Career breadth gives you knowledge of different departments, helping you be more efficient because you understand colleagues’ needs better. “You have a shortcut to a trusted relationship.”
The actions you take during your first few months in a new job have a major impact on your success or failure. Build positive momentum early on and it will propel you through your tenure. Make some early missteps and you could face an uphill battle for the rest of your time in the job.
The biggest challenge leaders face during these periods is staying focused on the right things. You are drinking from the proverbial fire hose while trying to get settled and figure out how to start to have an impact. It’s easy to take on too much or to waste your precious time. So, it helps to have a set of questions to guide you. Here are the five most important ones to ask…and keep on asking on a regular basis:
How will I create value?
This is the single most important question. Why were you put in this role? What do key stakeholders expect you to accomplish? In what timeframe? How will your progress be assessed? As you seek to answer this question, keep in mind that the real answer may not be what you were told when you were appointed or recruited for the job; it may also evolve as things progress and you learn more. Remember, too, that you will probably have multiple stakeholders to satisfy, not just your boss, and that they may have divergent views of what constitutes “success.” It’s essential to understand the full set of expectations so you can reconcile and satisfy them to the greatest degree possible. Read more…
Leadership | Continuing Education | Professional Development | Influencers
by Steven Bell | Mar 20, 2019 | Filed in Opinion
If leadership is mostly learned rather than an innate ability, then continuous learning is a vital contributor to leadership growth. “Never stop learning” is good advice, but it is one of those tasks that’s easier said than done.
This column is predicated on the idea that no library leader is fully formed, possessing all the skills required for success. Rather, the path to leadership is one of continuous learning. I routinely see library literature and social media posts about low library worker morale and toxic leaders, leading me to question how it is that our profession has so many awful leaders. We have an abundance of leadership development programs. Many academic institutions have internal management and leadership programs. There is no dearth of opportunities to develop and improve as a leader. Possible causes for this failure are many, from library leaders simply not giving a damn to a total absence of self-awareness. For those leaders who do care about staff morale and strive for a workplace where staff want to be, constant learning is a must. So allow me to share some ideas that I’ve recently come across for making a stronger commitment to learning to be a better leader. Read more…
Making a good impression at a job interview involves a lot more than just dressing appropriately, being on time, and researching the company. Here are five key questions to answer for yourself if you want to make it to the next round.
1. How will I strike a balance between selling myself and praising the company?
Everyone knows that pitching yourself is key, but overdo it and you’ll turn the interviewer off. You need to strike the right balance between talking about the company you’re interviewing with and talking about yourself. Suppose you start off with, “Here’s why I’d be great for this job. Here are my accomplishments.” You’ve just dug a hole for yourself, because you’re making the interview all about you.
Instead, start with explaining how you admire the company, its accomplishments, and leadership. If you can, show you know something about the person interviewing you. Express your excitement about that particular position. In short, talk about the opportunity–and then show why your qualifications make you such a good fit. Your interviewers will be impressed. You’ve made the connection between the job and your abilities, and so will they. Read more…
Mentoring | Leadership | Career advice | Professional development | Success
by Ryan Holiday | Feb 16, 2018
After getting a million earnest but confused emails about it, I thought I had the perfect idea for a course or program I could teach. Since I’ve had success with it in my own life, I thought, why not teach teach people how to find mentors, how to successfully apprentice under one to learn a skill or craft and then, ideally, how to return the favor to other people down the line.
Of course, I ran the idea by a friend who is much more successful than me and has an enormous business coaching people about finance, negotiation and stuff like that. He pointed out the obvious flaw in my concept: “Ryan,” he said, “you’re picking a market who by definition can’t really afford to pay for it. You should just give the stuff away for free.”
He’s right. So below are some thoughts on mentorships–why its the future of learning, the surest path to success and skills, how to find the right one, how to keep it and how to make the most of it. Read more…
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 fairlyregular 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…