Archive for the 'General' Category

Leading in the Online Chaord

The concept of chaordic leadership goes back to Dee Hock, the founder of Visa International and a leading management thinker. In The Art of Chaordic Leadership he defines chaord as “any self-organizing, self governing, adaptive, nonlinear, complex organism, organization, community or system, whether physical, biological or social, the behavior of which harmoniously blends characteristics of both chaos and order”. Continue reading ‘Leading in the Online Chaord’

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Vision, Passion, and Trust – the Leadership of Banker to the Poor

Muhammad Yunus

Muhammad Yunus

Muhammad Yunus is a great leader. He has created an organization which challenged the status quo that sentenced millions of Bangladeshi people to famine and helped them to manage themselves out of poverty. He has inspired thousands of people to follow his model of microcredit to decrease poverty in many developing nations. He has engaged a multinational corporation to invest in social business and sacrifice part of its profit to increase the well being of poor children.

After reading Muhammad Yunus’ book – Creating the World Without Poverty – I believe that there are three traits that have made him such a fantastic leader. His leadership comes from vision, passion, and trust. Continue reading ‘Vision, Passion, and Trust – the Leadership of Banker to the Poor’

Blog Action Day: Today, Think of Your Poor (Grand-) Grandfather

Today is Blog Action Day and thousands of bloggers write about poverty. I would like to ask you to stop for a moment and think of your poor (grand-) grandfather. If none of your grandparents suffered from poverty, think of another poor relative (and for sure you will find one if you track down the history of your family).

My grandfather suffered extreme poverty during the time of World War II. He was five years old when the war started in Poland in 1939. Together with his parents, four brothers, and a sister, they lived on a small farm in Dulcza Wielka. The house was burnt to ashes by the German troops as they marched through the village, and the family had to separate in order to survive. My grandfather, his sister, and their mother went on to another village, where they begged for shelter and food. They were extremely hungry, and my grandfather was close to death from malnutrition. He was saved by a Russian soldier who saw the dying child and took him to a mobile army hospital, where he was treated.

After the war ended, the family of my grandfather reunited and came back to the farm. They had to rebuild the house, and replant the land, which was another period of poverty and hunger. Slowly, the land started to yield crop and the family managed themselves out of poverty. Continue reading ‘Blog Action Day: Today, Think of Your Poor (Grand-) Grandfather’

Blogging and the Popularity Trap

Do your blog posts – their content, style and format – reflect the purpose of your blog? I’ve recently finished writing my About page, and while I changed the perspective to look at my blog from distance, I observed it was not the case for me.

I had started this blog as a journal to document my personal research, hold me accountable and share my research findings. I wanted to be professional about it, so I looked for professional blogging advice, such as from Problogger or Chris Brogan. I started the habit of checking my stats, and following diverse advice on increasing traffic.

Recently, traffic has become so important to me, that my focus shifted from following my purpose to writing posts that could become popular and increase the readership of my blog. You could say that our objectives may change, but when I deeply thought about it, it still does not matter to me as much as my core objective of pursuing and documenting research.

My plan to get out of this popularity trap is to define principles that should be the foundation for this blog. My blog posts should be clear, concise, and serve the purpose of documenting, sharing and facilitating discussion on my research.

Are you falling in the popularity trap as well? What are your ways to get out of it?

Why I Don’t Use Twitter (Yet)

This blog is about leadership and social networking. However, I’m personally not very good at the online social networking, at least when it comes to being available online. For example, I don’t use Twitter, and here is why:

  1. Productivity. Researching and blogging about leadership in online communities is not my main job (which currently is managing IT service support), so I can’t spend a lot of time doing it. I have discovered that I’m most productive when I limit my online activity to minimum. I scan through my favourite blogs to look for new topics and research Google when I already found a topic to cover. I then print out the most interesting posts or articles (small font and two-sided printing to limit the impact on the forests), and read them over a cup of coffee rather than on screen. I make paper notes first and only approach my PC when I’ve already created a good draft of a post. This is my way to reach the flow state by decreasing the number of interruptions.
  2. Quality. Since I don’t have much time to spend online, I prefer to focus on quality information. And the quality of blog posts is normally much better than quality of tweets. This goes also the other way round, I choose to write one thoughtful post rather than 10 short messages.
  3. Respect. I don’t think I’m able to spend enough time on Twitter to use it thoughtfully. I could start using it without much hassle, writing anything off the top of my head, but that would not show respect for the potential followers. And respect is important.

Yet, I also see reasons why I might start using Twitter:
Continue reading ‘Why I Don’t Use Twitter (Yet)’

Ubuntu Success Story Proves Value of Community Driven Projects

A report from LinuxWorld provides evidence of the growing value we already get from community driven projects:

At the LinuxWorld expo in San Francisco, analyst Jay Lyman of the 451 Group spoke about the potential for enterprise adoption of Ubuntu and the impact that community-driven Linux distributions will have on the market.

Companies are increasingly choosing free community-driven Linux distributions instead of commercial offerings with conventional support options.

By the way, the term ubuntu comes from the same South African tribe headed by Chief Jongintaba, which also shaped the character of Nelson Mandela. It stands for a quality of mutual responsibility and compassion.

5 Steps to Start an Online Community

Whether you’re a leader of a non-profit, a blog writer, or a marketing or product or PR guy in any company, you can benefit from building an online community around your cause. How to do that? I have followed several posts about community management from Chris Brogan, Connie Bensen and Jeremiah Owang to come up with the following five steps. Continue reading ‘5 Steps to Start an Online Community’