Wednesday, February 15, 2012

SUMMARY: ALCTS Virtual Midwinter Symposium Launching Your Star Potential: Leadership for Today’s Libraries

January 9–13, 2012, I attend the virtual ALCTS Virtual Midwinter Symposium Launching Your Star Potential: Leadership for Today’s Libraries, along with some other library folks thanks to the Libraries for paying for this wonderful symposium. here are my long notes from the sessions. If you also attend feel free to tweak or add to it, or comment.

Day one: I'm Your Leader: the Fundamentals of Effective Leadership (Adam Goodman)

Effective leaders:

· ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS. Not about just providing an answer, but how to ask questions to dive deeper, under the surface to the real issue.

· PLAY UP THEIR STRENGTHS. They rely on others to close the gaps. Cant stamp out a model leader or train someone on their weaknesses – a good leader will balance themselves with others who have the content and strengths in their weak areas, and build trust in those relationships.

· DON’T AVOID CONFLICT: Holding environment concept– in order to avoid conflict, people in groups go along with an idea. Leaders need to bring out the conflict to the table even if its uncomfortable - or problems/issues will just reoccur again and again.

· THINK – SAY – DO: alignment of all 3 of these is critical for a leader. People believe your ACTIONS not your WORDS. Decision must be clear to all. Work and resources = results. Time and money are transparent. *REMEMBER* people will write their own story in absence of information!

Challenges usually fall into:

· 43% technical (can usually be tweaked or fixed)

· 37% Adaptive (problems that have no real right answer and might involve conflict)

· 10% Critical (may need to be leaders decision; might not be time for group consensus)

Five Types of Power by leaders/which are you? Even if you aren’t in a leadership position.

· Expert - believe that the leader has “expert” knowledge. Don’t have to be in leadership position.

· Legitimate - leader has right to instruct them/usually a title that means they are in charge.

· Referent - people believe leader has desirable qualities/go to you by choice, even if you aren’t in leadership position.

· Reward - people believe leader will reward them/positive reinforcement. don’t overuse or use for normal task and duties.

· Coercive - people believe leader will punish them/negative reinforcement.

LEADERS ASK: What are the biggest problems facing our organization today? You will get various answers though the same ingredients. Need to align everyone, understanding we all have same basic ideas. Analogy to baking – same ingredients produce very different results. First what is the vision and what action should we take? Start with getting on same page as to “where we are now.” Then leaders need to bring forth and clarify underlying values with all followers (are we clear with issues? How can we all connect on some level?) *IMPT: Indifference not disagreement causes failure! *

Day 2: Leadership by Disruption (Pamela Sandlian Smith)

Suggested Reads:

· The Corner Office book by Adam Bryant

· Adam Bryant’s “Distilling the Lessons of CEOs”

· also column the Corner Office in NYT

Key Traits:

· Passionate Curiosity – learn from everyone, listen to everyone, be open minded to ideas, let others speak before the leader

· Battled Hardened Confidence – overcome adversity, own your mistakes, persevere, try it! “you can break a rule if it’s in favor of your customer”

· Team Smarts – understand how teams work, discuss team strengths and weaknesses, TRUST, support each other, collaborate, manage teams like team sports analogy (you have to have various skills that balance each other). Make library more human – ex : experience zone – place for customers to experience and create.

· A Simple Mind Set – break down complex to simple, concise, gathering ideas and connecting dots so all people understand.

· Fearless – courage to take risks, ok with discomfort. Ambiguity? Live there! And don’t jump in too early with solution, spend way more time coming up with ideas from everyone first. Great Examples: 2 groups - group 1 has a map and micro managing style directions & details but doesn’t know destination – no one got there! Group 2 has a map and only knows the destination and told “find the quickest way there” – everyone got there even if each took different routes. So form a Road Map with your team for collaboration and be ok with trying something new!

Day 3: Leadership: What It Means for the Library Middle Managers (Mary Page)

Managers – TELL. direct, organize, run, manage

Leader – ASK. doesn’t always have to master content but inspirers and empowers. They understand other depts., across organization and develop strong peer relationships, build trust.

· Anyone can become a “Resident Expert” in one area in your library and be a leader!

· Be consistent on principals but flexible in practice.

· Leaders must: Listen – trust- respect (but don’t be intimidated by it)

· Challenging people: Inspire – empower – model

· Say often and early “What do you think?” and “Thank you!”

· *Remember:* when things go right, it’s your staff who gets credit; when things goes wrong, own it, it’s yours to own as the leader.

· Problems: don’t AVOID and adapt to it – WIMPY – there is always a solution or compromise.

· Leader traits: Authenticity –self-knowledge – commitment- communication

Day 4: Leadership: From Proto-Star to Supernova (Erica Findley and Maureen Sullivan)

· Leaders vs Managers – difference btw enabling vs dictation

· Leaders: purpose, direction, meaning, trust, optimism, action and results

· Kouzes & Posner “The Leadership Challenge”

o Challenge the process

o Inspire a shared vision

o Enable others to act

o Model the way

o Encourage the heart

· 10 truths about leaders

o YOU make the difference

o CREDABILITY is foundation

o VALUES drive commitment

o Focus on the FUTURE

o You cant do it alone – COOPERATE

o TRUST rules

o CHALLENGE is crucial for greatness and the hardest things are the best

o Lead by example/MODEL

o The best leaders are LEAERNER

o Leadership comes from HEARTH

· Ask yourself:

o What are your strengths as a leader?

o Who are your role models?

o Where are opportunities to lead?

o In what areas do you want to strengthen your leadership capacity

o What will you go to get started?

o Do a 360 review - Feedback by subordinates, peers, and supervisors.

Day 5: Leading Change (James Hilton)

Forces at work in libraries that might be leading to change:

· Cloud

· Unbundling

· Publishing life Cycles

Leadership Principals:

· Leading in the face of constant, emergent change

· Recognizing the primacy of relationships – most impt is creating relationships

· Areas of strategic collaboration – learn how and with whom- to share a strategic vision or goal; might be a temporary thing or long term.

· Leadership is distributed across organizations

· Remain brave at heart

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