If you examine, again, the blended leader, the one who capitalizes on affordances made by control of “time, path, place, and/or pace,” you will see a leader perfectly situated to thrive in a world where the spoils go to the questioners. Blended leaders are the opposite of the leaders who, in only having a hammer, treat every problem like a nail (surely, we have all been on the receiving end of such leaders’ problem-solving approach). Blended leaders, on the contrary, keep lots of tools — whether online or offline — in their toolkits because they are never quite sure which one they will need. What is more, they leave room in their toolkits in case they have to learn how to use a brand new tool when faced with a problem they have not seen — or solved well — before.
Should you stay online or go offline? Should you take advantage of connected devices or disconnect? When leading others, what’s the best way to mobilize them? Should they all be led in the same way? And what kind of moral responsibility do you have to a group of people — faculty and students alike — for whom you have provided technology and Internet access and encouraged robust use of both. If you’re feeling as if there are many choices to make, congratulations . . . blended leadership is a growing awareness of the choices available to you.
Leaders set the conditions for work, monitor them, adjust them as needed, and promote change in them when needed. Blended leaders, always on the lookout for the point of highest impact and greatest leverage, realize that you have to cast your line where the fish are. They don’t stubbornly fish in the same nook because that’s where they have always fished. And they don’t try to force the fish to return to the old nook in order to be caught.
This week, in an effort to achieve the three outcomes for participants below, several of my colleagues stepped up to design and lead a variety of internal learning experiences.
I asked someone to give me up to five 'irons in the fire' - projects - that are part of his responsibilities at his main job. I also asked him to give me up to five side projects that are also in progress. Then I asked him to assess the progress of each on a scale of 0-4. I then generated the above sketch and sent it to him (a digital version and a physical poster for his office). The text is legible (blurred for privacy). Finally, I promised to check in with him each quarter on these things and update them and provide an updated graphic and poster.
Here is a pre-recurring meeting email format that I have found helpful for groups that meet once every 1 or 2 months, and with a group size of 10-15.
I'm finding myself more and more using the "schedule send" feature in Gmail to get things off my to do list when it is best for me, but to send the message on a date and/or at a time that might be better for the intended recipient. For example, I knew I was going to be off-site one day last week teaching a course at Columbia, but I wanted to send an email in advance of some other work happening that week. I could have sent it immediately after writing it (at like 5 am on a Monday), but instead scheduled for it to send at 9 am on a Tuesday.
I attended a terrific webinar facilitated by Jen Cort that explored some very practical and well organized ideas for more inclusive hiring. The point that resonated the most for me was about how to leverage internal communities when hiring (i.e. most schools post on traditional boards but don't necessarily ask parents, former colleagues, alumni to actively help/share in the recruiting process).
Today I wanted to share 5 different Google Docs with a team of colleagues. I did not accept the default where 'Notify people' is checked because this meant that team members would each receive 5 notifications. Sure, it might be helpful to have the notification emails to refer to in the future, but I decided to instead copy the URL of the shared document, uncheck the notify box, and then create a descriptive list containing all 5 documents in a single email. The intent here was to create a single point of reference for the things we ended up discussing in the meeting.