This morning I have been thinking about the original purpose of the LDSLeader environment to be created to directly deal with significant business challenges facing the business side of the LDS Church. I thought of a conversation I had about a father and his efforts to prepare his children to be leaders in their own homes. His comment stuck me. It was simple. He said he tries his best to be an example of leadership in the home. My mind then went to my own experience with the new http://mormon.org site. It presents examples of Mormons under the title Our People. I wondered what our LDSLeader site could gain from a section labeled Our Leaders.
If authority of example is so compelling and powerful why not feature exemplary leaders at all levels? Participation in the mormon.org initiative is impressive. Two thousand profiles compiled before launch and 13,000+ in the queue shortly thereafter. One of the biggest hurdles I see is helping people to use an online format to share observations, examples and feelings. But it obviously can be done. The cognitive surplus certainly continues to manifest itself with in the mormon.org invitation.
Examples of LDSLeader sharing online would be personal reflections of situations where a principle of the pattern for leadership played out. This would take the shape of a leadership journal. To me, it sounds a lot like the action research I am beginning now in conjunction with a masters in learning technologies at Pepperdine. I am uncertain as to how I encourage others within my organization to also engage in their own action research as they strive to become a leader in their current role. I think of my own conversion to sharing more of myself online and it was not easy. I recall wanting to participate in the discussion so badly that I finally overcame my anxiety and accepted that my identity was still emerging and that it was ok NOT to have myself figured out entirely. I told myself that identity-shaping would come more and more as I involve myself in those communities I desire to belong and contribute to.
The term social artist has really struck me. I knew that the LDSLeader initiative would benefit greatly if I could connect others and help them share and collaborate. I see a continual leadership journal as an extraordinary way in which examples of leadership can be shared in caring relationships and extended to countless others through the use of a simple technology: a blog. Now for crafting the environment to foster that type of sharing! 😀