ENGAGE!

Captain Piccard on the Starship Enterprise gives the order “Engage!” and once again they are all moving into another adventure.

In the classroom Engage is also the beginning of an adventure. Sure, it doesn’t involve the Borg, nor does it come down to life and death, BUT, it is the starting point for change that could very well spell the difference between success and failure.

Engaging in the classroom is an action that students choose. When the choice is to engage you can see it in their willingness to ask questions, to respond to questions when called upon and to actively volunteer to demonstrate their grasp of the material. These are the students who actually read the assignments and ask questions about what they don’t understand . . . and keep asking until the Instructor can make it clear. Those who engage always demonstrate a better grasp of the course material and are better able to make the leap to higher orders of creative thinking.

Contrast this with those who just show up for class, sit quietly, and wait to be “filled-up” by the Instructor. Sadly, they are usually disappointed in the class and the Instructor, leaving the class having checked off a box, but gained very little in actual knowledge or the ability to use the information to better themselves or their situation.

You get to choose – sit in the back or the front, sit quietly or speak up, doodle or take notes, skim the material or actually read the assignments, fluff your writing or actually strive to answer the questions at depth.

So, I’m going to encourage you to engage!  To apply yourself in the classroom and see what a difference it makes.

Leaders make decisions

In fact, that is one of the defining characteristics of a Leader: they make decisions. Leaders pull together information from a variety of sources and, based on their experience and education, they make a decision.  Sometimes the decisions made are good ones and other times not-so-good.  Typically if your good decisions outweigh your not-so-good decisions you are going the right direction.

For more on this check out this short video:

6 Tools to Clip, Annotate, and Save Online Content

The ability to clip and save online content is a necessity for our day. The article below appeared originally in Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. I personally use Evernote as my preferred web clipper and hardly a day goes by that I don’t clip an article or several from different web sites to add to my files, all easily searchable. Check it out, and then try it out.

Below is a collection of some good Chrome extensions that can help you maximize your productivity and make the best of your online browsing experience. These are web clippers you can use to save important materials you come across online such as webpages, PDFs, images, videos, etc and have them handy when you have time or when needs be. More importantly, using these extensions will enable you to annotate your clipped content and read it in a clutter-free space. Also, you will be able to access all of your saved content across various devices ( laptop. tablet, and phone).   READ MORE

Everything rises and falls on Leadership

EVERYTHING!!  It is easy to see this wherever you go.  If something in your life is not going well, assume you have the ability to improve the situation. Ask yourself, “what can I do to lead myself, and or others to a different and better solution or practice.”  If good things are happening, it is because someone is exercising leadership (it might be you!).  If mediocrity prevails, it is because someone isn’t leading very effectively (it might be you!).

For more on this check out this short video:

How to Help Inexperience Employees be Successful

I ran across the article below from a twitter feed that I follow.  Excellent article with good advice for mentors or others working with new employees. What I like about the information is that if you ARE a new hire, or relatively inexperienced in a leadership role, you can learn a lot about how to make yourself more successful.  Here is the first part of the article:

Seasoned workers often complain about the unrealistic expectations and mistaken judgments of young, inexperienced employees. Yet organizations need junior people, beginners who aren’t aware of, or even interested in, everything their predecessors have done for the last 10 years.

But you can ease junior employees’ entry, help them be more productive, and encourage their receptivity to senior colleagues’ intentions and concerns. Here are some ways to start young staffers off on the right foot and keep them on track.

READ MORE

Defensive

When challenged, if your first thoughts and words are to defend your actions, to offer reasons or excuses, or find someone to blame…you are being defensive. When you respond defensively you effectively say that you are not qualified for leadership. If it happens often you might as well be saying “I’m not qualified for my position.” Phrases like “I was just…”or “But you don’t understand…” or “It’s not my fault” are defensive phrases.

For more on this, check out this short video:

Excel – Tip – Setting conditional Formatting

Sometimes, even with the ability to filter and sort in all the ways you have learned so far, it would be nice if there was some way to make some information “pop” visually so that you could better identify certain data-points which may affect a decision or outcome.  That is where conditional formatting comes in.  The use in this tutorial of conditional formatting is barely scratching the surface of what is available but I think you will see the potential and hopefully experiment with this truly powerful feature.

Leaders are Learners

Leaders are learners, at least good leaders are.  I mean this in the sense that Leaders never stop actively learning.  Learning doesn’t always come in the classroom, nor is it restricted to one specific subject or modality.  Whether in the classroom, through reading professional journals, or books, listening to podcasts, or reading blogs, the best leaders are ALWAYS learning.

For more on this check out this short video:

Everyone has the same number of hours in a day

Here is an interesting exercise which I have found quite enlightening the times I’ve done it.  Keep track of your day in a log accounting for every minute of your day in 15 minute blocks for a week.  Log how much time you spent answering emails, on Facebook, talking with coworkers, making phone calls, eating, driving, watching TV, surfing the internet, etc.

For more on this – check out this short video: