Monday, October 15, 2012

Twitter is over capacity.

There is a limit, even to how many tweets can fly at one time.  And, tonight, Twitter is what is known in the computer world as "down," despite the cute little orange birds holding up the whale.  "Over capacity" may sound more friendly, but the end result it is the same.

It's still about the magic of technology.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Practice what you teach

Later this month, the project team I've been 'leading' will face the music.  The product we've designed, developed, and tested (okay, still testing...) will be delivered.  To the entire campus.  Faculty. Staff. Students.  No pressure there, let me tell you.

I'm pleased with the product...and the feedback gathered (when it's rolled out) will help determine how, when, and where we use technology to facilitate learning.  My role as titular leader of our happy little band coexists this semester with teaching an MBA course on managing and leading organizations, so there are many opportunities for observing my own successes and challenges.

There are few things quite as humbling as having to practice what we teach.

I have no direct reports on the project team, no direct responsibility for the budget (I did get to spend money, though, which is always nice), and total responsibility for meeting deadlines and delivering what we envisioned.  Welcome to the world of leading by influence, where a clear vision, enthusiasm, and sharing the anticipated good fortune of success is the currency of the realm.  

We'll see how this goes...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Sometimes frustration is just frustration

It doesn't happen often and it just frustrates us all.  In my most recent post on student frustration (which, now that I've written those words, makes me wonder just how much I write about frustration...), there was a broken link.  So anyone actually interested in the MIT articles on leadership would just be going in circles.

Found it.  Fixed it.  If I do that again, someone really ought to tell me....

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Life lessons in unexpected places

First night of Comedy College and it was awesome.  Awesome not to be the instructor, awesome not to have homework to grade, and awesome just to be there.  Did I mention it was awesome?

There are seven of us who considered a class in improvisational comedy a good idea.  It turns out we were right, though maybe not for the reasons we thought.

I already knew that being funny was not required for improv; otherwise, I wouldn't have considered the course. What I didn't fully appreciate is that improv is a skill, one that involves listening, being in the moment, focusing on one's partner(s), and viewing ourselves and others without judgment.  The most important element of improvisational comedy is genuineness.

Who knew?

Earlier today, I was talking with a student about the 88 keys on a piano...and how a magnificent piano can sound very different when played by a student at her first recital than it sounds when played by a virtuoso.  In music, in management, in improvisational comedy, who we are makes all the difference.  
I suspect that many of my students, my colleagues, and my friends struggle with whether to be successful as defined by society (or family, in many cases) or to be true to who they are.  It's a decision we face many places in life, even in a class on improvisational comedy.

Related Ramblings:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

It's why I teach

Grading the collaborative project assigned to an MBA class today, I had one of those moments for which teachers of those perfect moments when you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you have connected with your students.  It's why we teach.  And I am grateful for those moments.