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Find a way that works for you

How to focus on what’s important, not just what’s urgent. I have to admit, I struggle with this. I’m of the personality type that works on projects in short bursts. I put in the minimum amount of effort planning things, preferring instead to work with loose notes and outlines. To do the ‘ready, fire, aim’ thing. And so what ends up happening is, I put off important things until they become urgent. I kind of get off on the buzz of urgency, especially for big deadlines. The whole ‘flying by the seat of my pants’ thing is practically a mantra for me. It’s natural to want to get deadline-driven tasks squared away and off your mental to-do list. A paradox many people face is that our most meaningful tasks are less likely to have deadlines than tasks that are relati...

A reflection on learning

As learning professionals, I believe our role is to act in the interest of learning. Sometimes that’s fun. Sometimes that’s difficult. Oftentimes is a blend of both.  If you think about what we do as learning professionals i.e. physically change the neurological connections in people’s brains – that’s a difficult task, but that’s how real learning happens. Your learners are likely to want you to make learning easy. You know to read a few handouts, look at some slides, play a few games, half listen to you talk, then fill out a quick smiley sheet and go. But sometimes we need to make their brains work hard and sweat. Get them to engage in deep discussions where they have to articulate their understanding, challenge other’s views and be willing to have their views challenged. I know it’...

Shared information is power

General Ann Dunwoody served 37 years in the U.S. Army. She was the first woman in U.S. Military history to achieve a four-star officer rank. She’s now joined the board of Automattic. In an interview with Matt Mullenweg, she shared some insights on global leadership. I loved what she had to say on leadership: Matt: We’re excited to have you onboard, General Dunwoody. It’s interesting — at Automattic we like to point out that we’re all over the globe (over 740 employees in more than 60 countries) but you oversaw 69,000 military and civilians across 140 countries! Were there any big leadership lessons from managing operations across such a wide range of distances, timezones, and cultures? Gen. Dunwoody: That’s a great question. When I started out as a young officer in the Army, the leadership...

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