6 Ways I Use Facebook To Connect

Are we really friends if we’re not Facebook friends?

If you aren’t using Facebook, then I would like to invite you to join us here in the year 2010. Facebook is so much more than simply posting what you ate for lunch (or what you’re hoping to eat for lunch). While status updates are a prominent part of the Facebook architecture, there are some great ways to use Facebook to make connections with people. Both people you know and people you don’t know…yet. You can connect with me on Facebook here.

Different Strategies

One person decides on a certain outcome that’s needed. Plans and strategies are put into place that guide the person toward and to the desired result.

Another person decides what the right thing to do is and does it everyday. There isn’t a set point of arrival or completion. Only a steady effort and discipline to work at daily priorities.

Both people are working toward a better future. They just go about it in different ways.

The first person sets goals. The second person focuses on growth. The goal-setter will grow along the way. The growth-gainer will accomplish goals, even if un-stated.

Both are needed and necessary. Different situations call for different strategies. The trick is to decide which one is right in each area of your life.

Screenspective

I am going to make up a new word. At least I think it’s a new word.

Screenspective.

Screenspective is perspective shaped through screens. It’s a view of the world formed by the various screens one looks at.

Let’s take a quick poll. How many of you are reading this on some type of screen? Unanimous!

I use a screen to get information.
I use a screen to market to others.
I use a screen to communicate with others.
I use a screen to watch life in my community.
I use a screen to watch life in everyone else’s community.
I use a screen to tell time.
I use a screen to entertain.
I use a screen to teach.
I use a screen to learn.
I use a screen to engage others.
I use a screen to disengage from others.

I use a screen every…single…day.

It’s tempting to say “well that’s just the way it is.” We love technology (I love technology). But if we always keep our eyes on the screen we run the risk of missing the out on the life that’s playing out right in front of us. Leashed to the technology of our cell phone screen or our laptop screen or our iPod/iPad screen – we may find our attention diverted. Concepts like proximity and community slowly lose their meaning. Our connection to the screen community can lead to a disconnect with the community that lives next door (or is standing right beside us in line).

If our eye’s are always on a screen, then our view of the world is shaped by our screenspective. Screenspective influences our overall perspective. Did I mention how much I love screens (and the technology behind them)? Most of the ways we use screens are incredibly beneficial. Screens are changing our world. They’re making the world smaller. But is there a dark side we should be aware of?

I guess it comes down to what we do with our eyes. If our eyes are always looking for the next screen, we’ll miss out on some pretty good things – like looking into the eyes of others.

What do you think? What do you see as the benefits/consequences of a screen-filled world?

What’s On The Test?

Had a conversation with my son last night about studying for a test. He was a bit discouraged because it appeared that the test he took didn’t have anything to do with the material covered in class. His question to me…

How can you study for a test when you don’t know what’s going to be on the test?

Great question. I love it when my kids ask these types of questions.

At this point, the antagonist in this story would be the teacher. I realize there are two sides to this story so I’m not going to use this post to throw the teacher under the bus. Instead, I want to focus on the question.

Imagine a race where the runners show up at the starting line, put their feet in the blocks, and wait for the starter to fire the gun. But just before that happens, one of the runners stands back up, raises his hand, and asks, “Where’s the finish line?”

Or think for a moment about a new employee who sits down with his boss. The boss informs him there will be a performance review on how he’s doing in his job three months from now. The employee nods his head in agreement and gets up to leave. Right before he walks out the door he turns his head and asks, “And what is my job exactly?”

This isn’t necessarily a student issue or a runner issue or an employee issue – it’s a leadership issue.

We might assume that a student should know what’s on the test, that a runner wouldn’t enter a race without knowing where the finish line is, and that a new employee had better know the job he or she was hired to do.

But if the leader (teacher, starter, employer, etc) hasn’t done a good job of clarifying these things – where does the responsibility lie? Which makes me want to start asking some good questions of my own:

Am I clear as a leader?
Am I crystal clear as a leader?
Do the people I lead know where they’re going?
Do they have a good idea (a GREAT idea) of what is required/expected/depended upon of them?

How clear have you been as a leader to make sure your people know…

…what’s on the test?
…where the finish line is?
…what their job description really is?

Clarity fuels momentum and a sense of purpose. A lack of clarity leads to distrust and low morale.

Just ask my son.

Four Leadership Lessons From Bruce Bochy

Photo by Max Morse/Getty Images North America

What? You don’t know who Bruce Bochy is?

He’s the manager of the San Francisco Giants. You know, that team from the National League that’s headed to the World Series this year.

What you also may not know is that there weren’t very many people who thought the Giants would make it this far into the postseason. It was pretty obvious there were a lot better teams out there (at least that’s what the analysts kept saying). On paper, the Phillies were supposed to dominate the National League Championship Series. On paper…

But the San Francisco Giants are a team that scratched, clawed, and won a lot of close (CLOSE!) games with grit and determination. This was a group of good players who had been overlooked and looked over from other teams. The Giants organization brought this rag tag group together and turned them into…a Pennant-winning team.

Way To Go Giants!

I have been a fan of the San Francisco Giants for many, many years. The last time I celebrated like this was 2002. The SF Giants have never won a World Series. Of course, neither have the Texas Rangers.

I’m pulling for the ragtag group from the Bay area to kick and claw their way to victory in this one.

A Better Kind Of Character

I want to come back to the leadership image I shared with you a couple of weeks ago. I firmly believe the best student leaders (or most any leader) will lead from the inside out. They will take the time to develop who they are on the inside more than the type of person they hope to portray on the outside.

One of the most important areas of a person’s core is his or her character. Character can be defined as the will to do what’s right even when it’s hard. Great definition. Often hard to do.

Based on the definition above, I think you can identify two different types of leaders. Both will do what’s right even when it’s hard. But the reasons why are different.

Who Are You…Really?

This week I’m preparing for the monthly LeadershipLab I host on our campus. The focus of this month’s training is the discipline to lead yourself first.

Leading yourself is a lot harder than leading others. I think it’s easier for us to look at someone else and identify what that person needs to do or be in order to grow and develop (at least it appears to be easier). But when we begin to point the finger back at ourselves, there’s all kinds of games we play to often avoid the painful realities of who we are…really.

The best leaders are themselves. They don’t try to be somebody else – someone who they are not. They know who they are.

The less a leader knows about him or herself, the more that leader will simply role play.