“She was born in the ’80s. She still uses her phone as a phone!” – Troy, in Community
Over the years, KJR documented and referred to The Eight Dimensions of IT Leadership. Eight (yes, 8) is still the number.
By KJR’s definition they all require the individual leader to demonstrate Leadership.
What they don’t all require is Popularity. We may want to be liked by those we lead, but we may not always get that luxury. Some of our calls to action are going to ruffle feathers or make somebody’s day take an unexpected turn. Even when we follow the advice of “Avoiding de-motivating employees”, we might have to make a choice that staff may not be in love with (that is my midwestern way of saying “I just made somebody angry”).
Most of us are not completely solitary reptiles, so how do we cope with this?
It is unseemly to go on social media to complain about how those who report to us might be angry at us, and your boss probably isn’t going to sign up to be your therapist either.
You don’t want to take it out on your family or kick the dog—but we all sometimes need somebody who understands our situation, and better yet, can go beyond mere empathy to offer coaching and advice.
In short, you need to be a Professional in a Profession.
In shorter … you need a Community.
You need to have people you can talk to who understand the lingo, abide by a written or unwritten code of ethics, and have passed through some sort of rite of passage that tells the other members that you are a legitimate practitioner of the leadership trade.
It is through being a Professional in a Community that we will have the support of others who understand the tradeoffs and challenges we face in exercising the Eight Tasks effectively. You can return the favor by supporting others when they have their own difficult choices, AND, by expanding the body of knowledge for the Community by sharing your own outcomes and experiences. Better yet, your kids and your dog will thank you for not bringing your work life home to them.
It seems we can build Community relatively well virtually these days. Technology does help us stay in touch, through webinars, conferences, and social media.
Example: One of my favorite musicians in the world , Tim Burgess, started a virtual yet real-time album listening party in 2020. It showed us how far you can go to build a virtual community. If you wanted to take part, you cued up the album, and then commented on Twitter with other fans in real time. It was great. But it still had limits.
So, just like there is nothing to compare to seeing Tim Burgess singing in front of The Charlatans live, in a crowded, real life club in Phoenix a few weeks ago, I propose that KJR readers should meet face to face with a lot of other like-minded, fun people at a conference in October of this year, in the Phoenix area.
How will we do this?
In Bob’s The Cognitive Enterprise he suggests replacing the old “People, Process, Technology” formulation with “Customers, Communities, Capabilities.
At OSI we’ve embraced this formulation, which is why we’re now sponsoring KJR.
And, it’s why, for a number of years, we’ve been steadily building up a community of like-minded practitioners .
As you’re a member of the KJR Community I’m inviting you to our 2024 event. We are currently setting up the exact dates and other details. For now I’ll ask you to reserve the dates of October 29th – 30th.
In return, a promise: This won’t be a promotional event. Nobody will try to sell you OSI’s services – the point is to build community, not revenue.
So plan on meeting at a great venue 20 minutes from Phoenix’s SkyHarbor airport. To whet your appetite, here is a trailer from our event last year.
What do you say? Are you up for helping grow your Profession, having fun, and hanging out with the new-found colleagues you’ve been needing in your professional life but didn’t know how to connect with them?
In the next week or so, we’ll have our website up with more details.
Stand by for more information!