Curiosity

By: Jim Bruce
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The important thing is not to stop questioning… Never lose a holy curiosity. – Albert Einstein

During World War II when I was a young boy, we lived with my mother’s parents while my father worked about 100 miles away in an oil refinery and commuted back to our small town on weekends. I think that I must have been a real question box back then, asking my grandmother more questions than she wanted to answer. I don’t remember what I asked, or her answers. What I do remember is that when she tired of my questions she always responded with the old parable “Curiosity killed the cat.”

I Dropped the Ball

By: Jim Bruce
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Every one of us has, at one time or another, disappointed a colleague or friend.  No matter how hard you try, sometimes a deadline will be missed or a commitment not met.  Many of these misses don’t carry huge consequences – almost always some disappointment, sometimes inconvenience, and perhaps some loss of credibility.  And, some have huge consequences – real deep disappointment, loss of trust and credibility.  Liann Davey says that it is inevitable that you won’t be able to live up to everyone’s expectations, neither small ones or large significant ones.  There are simply too many priori

First Impressions

By: Jim Bruce
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Overcoming a Bad One

The very first exercise we do in the MOR Leaders Programs is one on first impressions.  Sit or stand in a circle, take notes on the first impression you have of the individuals in your circle, add some notes about the first impression that you think you create, and share.  For most individuals, this can be a scary moment since most people have never considered what impression they make on others or the impact it has on building a future relationship with that individual.
 

You Gotta Have Grit

By: Jim Bruce
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Not the grit you think of in “gritty from hard work in a grimy, greasy environment.”  But rather, it’s the grit that Angela Duckworth defines, in her 2013 TED Talk, “as the passion and perseverance for very long-term goals.”  In this view, grit is having stamina, it is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality.  Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint. 
 

Use the 4Is, or expect our history to repeat itself

By: Jim Bruce
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Today’s Tuesday Reading – Use the 4Is, or expect our history to repeat itself – is an essay by Richard Knepper, Manager, Campus Bridging and Research Infrastructure, Research Technologies, University Information Technology, Indiana University. His original essay first appeared as a program reflection last year.

At the beginning of this year I was coming off of an inter-group hangover. My team of sysadmins supports a team of application developers for multiple groups of researchers. Sysadmins and developers get along as well as might be expected, but there were times in the past year that "getting along like a house on fire" seemed more like a literal description of the situation than a figurative one.

Michigan State - Building Leadership Community

By: Sean McDonald
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The attached is part of a series of case studies supporting our clients as they recognize leading change is a campaign and engaging others in that process is critical as they move ideas forward in their environment.  

Enjoy!  And thanks to Jim Willson from MSU for partnering with us on this write up.

Asking Questions

By: Jim Bruce
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"Without a good question a good answer has no place to go.”
– Clayton Christensen

In today’s Tuesday Reading, I’ll focus on asking questions. Dan Pink, in his book Drive, tells us that the factors of mastery, autonomy, and purpose, spark motivation. And, that’s what you’d like to do as a leader, spark motivation. Stanier tells us that asking questions is a simple, powerful, yet difficult way of doing this. Good, well asked questions, he believes, can increase autonomy and mastery, and possibly purpose.

Leadership Competencies

By: Jim Bruce
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You can find many lists of leadership competencies.  Some result from a careful examination of the work in a particular job family or from role descriptions.  Some come from discussions about what it takes to be a really good leader in a mid-level position at, say, an education institution.  Other lists are developed based on a particular leadership model.  Still other lists are represented by 360 feedback instruments such as the MOR Associates instrument used in the Leaders Program or the Zenger Folkman model described in their Harvard Business Review article, Making Yourself Indispensible

Watch Your Language

By: Jim Bruce
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Professor Bernard Roth is academic director and cofounder of Stanford’s d.school, the campus hub for innovators.  Students and faculty from engineering, medicine, business, law, humanities, sciences, and education come there to work together on some of the world’s most messy problems. 

Giving Credit

By: Jim Bruce
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Today’s Tuesday Reading, Giving Credit, is an essay by Anna Lynch, Manager, Online Instructional Design, eLearning Design & Services, and Julie Parmenter, Manager, Enterprise Decision Support Services, at Indiana University’s University Information Technology Services.
 

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