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Charlene Li’s ‘Open Leadership’ -Book Review

Charlene Li ‘s new book, Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead, opens with a memorable story about musician, Dave Carroll, and his unfortunate incident when United Airlines damaged his guitar…With this story, Charlene lays the groundwork for her new work about the ways in which social technology has changed the shift in power, where “individuals have the ability to broadcast their views to the world.”

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Charlene Li ‘s new book, Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead, opens with a memorable story about musician, Dave Carroll, and his unfortunate incident when United Airlines damaged his guitar. Nine months later, when Carroll hadn’t made any progress being compensated for his guitar, he did something a little different to vent his feelings. He made a music video called “United Breaks Guitars” and posted it on YouTube. Charlene writes, “Within three days, the video had over one million views, and Carroll’s anthem became a viral sensation. By the end of 2009, there had been over seven million views and hundreds of news stories about Carroll’s experience.”

With this story, Charlene lays the groundwork for her new work about the ways in which social technology has changed the shift in power, where “individuals have the ability to broadcast their views to the world.”

Throughout the book, we learn from one example after another, how leaders need to find a way to communicate as openly as they can, and how this comes more easily for some than others. Charlene includes Open Leadership Self-Assessment tools so leaders can determine where they fall in the spectrum. She offers hope too for those who may not naturally be inclined towards openness by suggesting they start small. As she says, “It’s hard to suspend a mind-set that’s driven you throughout your professional career-it may feel completely unnatural to you and go against every fiber in your body.”

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Google: Bringing News Back to Life

In a recent post on The Huffington Post, blogger Kety Esquivel discusses what she describes as the converging worlds of new media/social media/journalism/communications/marketing. As I read her post I was reminded how in the past week on every check-out line I was on I saw the covers of two high-profile magazines which epitomized convergence. The Atlantic Monthly’s cover had the word “Google” in a large font while Time magazine was sporting the word, “FaceBook”.

In a recent post on The Huffington Post, blogger Kety Esquivel discusses what she describes as the converging worlds of new media/social media/journalism/communications/marketing. As I read her post I was reminded how in the past week on every check-out line I was on I saw the covers of two high-profile magazines which epitomized convergence. The Atlantic Monthly’s cover had the word “Google” in a large font while Time magazine was sporting the word, “FaceBook”.

The Atlantic Monthly’s story “How to Save the News” by James Fallows, describes the ways in which Google is trying to “bring the news business back to life.” Fallows writes that Google now considers journalism’s survival crucial to its own prospects. Two important developments for Google were Google News, “a kind of air-traffic-control center for the movement of stories across the world’s media, in real time and Google Alerts, a way to stay on top of the topics important to you.

Fallows says, “But all of their [Google’s] plans for reinventing a business model for journalism involve attracting money to the Web-based news sites now available on computers, and to the portable information streams that will flow to whatever devices evolve from today’s smart phones, iPods and iPads, Nooks and Kindles, and mobile devices of any other sort.”

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Writing as a Form of Play

Can writing be play? According to writer, Sue Miller, it can. Ms. Miller was talking about her most recent novel, The Lake Shore Limited, at a reading at Newtonville Books yesterday. Miller says that there is fun in inventing the people and story, and using writing as “speculation on life.” When asked about her writing process, the author described making long lists about the character in advance, knowing for example what the character believes in. She also says that she makes a lot of notes about the book before writing it, knowing where she wants to take the story.

Writing is not only play, it is a great adventure whether you’re writing fiction, non-fiction or even blog posts.

Turns, Detours & New Directions

The day I bought a Global Positioning System or commonly known as a GPS, I felt liberated in a way I’d never known before. The fear of getting lost, figuratively and literally, has plagued me for a good part of my adult life. With the small black box which could slip into the palm of my hand and my glove compartment, I was instantly offered a new freedom. I would no longer be forced to navigate the sudden turns and detours of life on my own. Instead, I was invited to embrace new directions with a trust-worthy guide, my Garmin Nuvi 255.

Writing has been one of those new directions I’ve embarked upon for the past several years. As a non-fiction short essay writer and a social media blogger, I’ve been in a love affair with words, research, and reading,  and have been traveling middle-age with a new lust for life.

I’ve been writing for the blog, Impressions through Media, since October 2007 and through blogging I’ve found a voice and a short form which crosses the boundaries between personal and professional.

I hope you will join me as a passenger, co-pilot, sightseer or just a plain, good old-fashioned reader on my new blog.