21st Century Leadership: How Collaboration is Transforming Business Leadership (Webinar)

May 27, 2013

Chinook learning LogoI’m gearing up for a brand new webinar this week that will be offered through Chinook Learning Services.

Although the core principles of leadership are timeless, the skills needed in today’s fast-paced world are different than in decades past. This webinar looks at what it means to be a leader in the 21st century. Reconsider traditional paradigms of leadership and learn why they don’t work today. Find out why collaboration is the hot new trend in leadership and how to use collaboration to mobilize others to take responsibility and take action.

Participant Outcomes

  • Understand emerging trends in 21st century leadership.
  • Understand how collaboration is an effective motivator.
  • Learn key strategies for integrating collaboration into your leadership practice.

Course Content

  1. Trends in 21st century leadership.
  2. Why traditional models of leadership are becoming ineffective.
  3. The role of collaboration in leadership.
  4. Key strategies for collaborative leadership practice.

Find out more about the webinar here.

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


What Happened to the “Public” in Public Education?

March 12, 2013

Today I received an e-mail about this event. Since it is a public event and they have asked folks to help them get the word out, I am sharing it with you:

Invitation to Participate

Public Education Focus Groups – What Happened to the “Public” in Public Education?

The Sheldon Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership invites you to contribute to our research on the state of public education in Alberta.

The Foundation is conducting focus groups in Alberta cities and towns to gather information about the opinions, experiences and values of Albertans regarding public education as a public institution in the province. Discussion topics will include the purpose of public education and the type of community and democracy public education should encourage.

The Foundation is holding a focus group in Calgary on March 19, 2013 from 5:00-7:00 pm. Participants will receive a $20 honorarium and dinner will be served.

They welcome input from all Albertans, with and without connections to the public education system.

Please pass this invitation along to any friends or family you think may be interested in participating in a focus group about public education.

To attend this focus group, please RSVP to Jasmine Ing at

jing @ chumir.ca or 403-244-6666 by March 15, 2013.

When you RSVP, please include your name, phone number, and city or town.

The Sheldon Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership is a non-profit organization based in Calgary which conducts activities across Canada.

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I am not personally involved in this event or the Foundation, but I do think it sounds like a pretty interesting conversation to be part of.

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If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or leave a comment. Thanks!

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


5 Great resources on asset-based community development (ABCD)

December 17, 2012

Creating space for strength in Calgary - Eaton International Consulting Inc.I have been working with two other consultants on a project called “Creating Space for Strength: An Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) and Research Project Focussed on Calgary’s North Central Communities”. Our approach to the work is strength-based, using the ABCD model. We are working with some amazing people and organizations who are deeply committed to making to the lives of the people who live in their communities better.

As part of our work, we are helping them to build their understanding and capacity around the ABCD approach. Here are 5 of our favorite resources on asset-based community development:

  1. Coady Institute. (n.d.). An asset-based approach to community development: A manual for village organizers Available from http://coady.stfx.ca/tinroom/assets/file/resources/abcd/SEWA%20ABCD%20Manual.pdf
  2. Kretzmann, J. P., & McKnight, J. L. (1993). Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community’s Assets. Skokie, IL: ACTA Publications.
  3. Kretzmann, J. P., McKnight, J. L., Dobrowolski, S., & Puntenney, D. (2005). Discovering Community Power: A Guide to Mobilizing Local Assets and Your Organization’s Capacity. from the Asset-Based Community Development Institute, School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University: http://www.abcdinstitute.org/docs/kelloggabcd.pdf
  4. Nelson, B., Campbell, J., & Emanuel, J. (2011). Development of a method for asset based working Available from http://www.nwph.net/phnw/writedir/da0dNW%20JSAA.pdf
  5. Miller, S. (n.d.). Asset-based community development.   Retrieved October 15, 2012, from http://www.slideshare.net/sadierynmiller/asset-based-community-development

We gratefully acknowledge the organizations who have made this project possible:

  • Project Origins – NorthernHills Constituency
  • Project Funders – Government of Alberta (CFEP Grant); United Way of Calgary and Area; Aspen Family and Community Network Society; NorthernHills Community Association
  • Project Supporters – NorthernHills Constituency; City of Calgary; Aspen Family and Community Network Society; NorthernHills Community Association; United Way of Calgary and Area

Related post: Webinar recording: Creating Space for Strength http://wp.me/pNAh3-1wI

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.



How checking things off your “to do” list is different than solving problems

December 7, 2012

I am in the middle of a small war with the management company of our condo complex. As the board president, I constantly liaise with our property manager about problems that need to be solved on the property. A recent issue is an excellent example of the difference between management and leadership.

There are 110 town homes in our condo complex that are approaching 40 years old. Structural wear and tear is starting to be a problem. This year, one unit had a major ant infestation. We got an exterminator to deal with the problem immediately. He said that the ants were entering through small holes under the kitchen window and in addition to his extermination services, he recommended that we fix the exterior by plugging up the holes that the ants use as entry points to the house.

Since the beginning of August I have been sending in requests to get the holes around the exterior of the windows fixed. I am not an expert in windows or building envelopes or exterior structures, but it was pretty clear where the holes were. I sent in a request to have the caulking around the outside of the window

The property manager has a construction company that they send out on a regular basis to do jobs on the property. I have met them and they are actually great guys. They know what they are doing. They arrive on time, they do a good job, they clean up after themselves, and they are pleasant to all the residents who live here. It doesn’t really get much better than that.

But this ant issue has recently turned into an all out war.

Last month I said, “I have been asking for this to be done for 3 months. Please have the work done.”

His reply, “I have talked to the contractor. He says the work has been done.”

Yesterday I looked at the unit. The entry points for the ants are still visible.

I wrote again, saying “Four months have now passed since I sent in this work request. This work has not yet been completed. Please have the work done.”

The reply came back, “The contractor assures me that he has caulked around the window. Can I give the contractor your phone number and you can deal with him directly?”

I went outside and looked. Indeed, the area around the metal frame had been caulked, but the entry points for the ants were still wide open. I took some pictures. I highlighted the areas where ants were entering:

Ant photos.001

Here is the second photo:

Ant photos.002

I sent the photos together with this letter:

Dear John:

I’ve been thinking about this. If you say to a guy, “Go caulk around the window.” He’s going to come over and caulk around the window. The job is done because the job was “to caulk around the window”.

 If you say to the guy, “This place has an ant problem. The kitchen wall is covered with thousands of ants. The exterminator says they are coming in from outside, specifically from around the kitchen window. Go over there and have a look at the outside of the kitchen window. Figure out every possible entry point for the ants to get in around that window. Plug each and every last one of those holes up, so the little buggers can’t get in.”

The job is done when the window is turned into an ant version of Fort Knox. No one — not one little ant — gets in.

That is an entirely different job than, “Go caulk around this window.”

The job we need to have done is the second one — plug up every possible entry point for ants from around that kitchen window.

If you need to give the contractor my number to explain that, then go ahead, but I’m pretty sure you get the idea about what we are after here, which is a solution to the problem of blocking how the ants get into the unit.

Every time you send a guy — or a couple of guys — to our property to do a job, they are not just checking off items from a “to do” list. They are solving problems for the people who live here. In doing that, they are making their life better.

I’m not trying to be melodramatic here, but every time one of your guys comes to our property to fix a problem for a resident, they get a chance to be somebody’s hero. They do that by solving a problem that the owner can not solve by themselves, because they either do not know how or they do not have the skills, expertise, materials, or maybe just the time. That’s one reason people live in condos.

I guarantee you that the single lady who lives in that unit does not have the skills or materials to fix this problem herself — or she would have already.

Your guys have all that — skills, talent, expertise and materials. We rely on you to hire smart guys and you do that. We see it time and time again. They’re smart, they’re capable and they can solve problems. In a small way, they can be somebody’s hero.

So tell your guy that this is his chance to be a hero for Marilyn, the lady who lives there.

Thanks,

Sarah

When it comes to leadership, it is important to give people all the information they need to solve a problem. If you hire smart people, then do not simply give them items to check off their “to do” list. Engage people’s skills, expertise and problem-solving abilities to make them part of the solution. In doing so, you are likely to make their work more meaningful… and both they — and their work — will have a greater impact on those they are helping.

I believe deeply in people’s capacity to solve problems, help others and do meaningful work.

Checking items off a “to do” list does very little to connect the work to the people who may benefit from it. Besides, work that only involves checking items off a “to do” list often lacks meaning, especially when that list is assigned to you by someone else.

Engaging smart people to develop sustainable solutions helps everyone over the long term.

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


We have power

November 1, 2012

Sarah Eaton, blog, leadershipI don’t normally share things I find on Facebook on my blog, but this one touched me in a deep way. This photo was posted today. with the caption “Recently seen in Hoboken, New Jersey.”  That area is among those devastated by “Frankenstorm”. If you can’t read the sign attached to the fence in the photo, it says, “We have power. Feel free to charge your phone.”

You can see the power bar and extension cord coming from the residence. You can also see people gathered around, with mobile phones plugged into the power bar, so they can charge their devices. Once charged, the phones can be used to communicate family and loved ones who are far away, or even those who are close by.

This is an excellent example of people in communities coming together to help one another. It is a simple, small gesture of generosity can can ripple across continents, as loved ones far away can receive a message that says, “We are safe.”

The line on the sign “We have power” means so much more than “We have electricity”.

When we help others, we always have power.

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


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