Mashable (one of my all time favorite blogs/sites to follow) published a great video segment with Guy Kawasaki today on their Behind the Brand channel.
In this case, Mashable is going Behind the Brand of Kawasaki’s new book, Enchantment.
In the video and in Bryan Elliott’s mockup of the book, he highlights my favorite quote in Kawasaki’s interview. Kawasaki says, “You have to gain people’s hearts, minds and actions.”
When you’re presenting any type of innovation or idea, the most important thing is to “enchant,” as Kawasaki says, your listeners and investors into trusting and buying into your idea and/or plan.
In Kawasaki’s interview, and in his book, he describes how to connect personally with people in order to show them your passion. Your palpable passion increases your trustworthiness, and, ultimately, your personality as a whole.
In other words, people are more likely to invest in others they believe in personally, not just by the numbers.
I also liked his last comments about good ideas vs. implementation. Good things take time; remember that! As young adults, we’re so used to fast paced workflows and having things at our finger tips. As an entrepreneur, though, Kawasaki says you need to be patient and you need to be ready to haul out until the end!
If I hadn’t already done my book report, I would’ve read this book! Even still, I think I may invest in it this summer.
Kawasaki has written a couple other books, has anyone had the opportunity to enjoy any of them?
Brain Tracy’s book, How the Best Leaders Lead, provides advice on how to become a successful leader in business.His book is full of advice on various business success skills. Through out the book and in two chapters he allows readers to answer questions about their leadership goals to better help them develop into successful business leaders. The book also gives advice on business lessons, management, how to hire and keep the most productive people, how to build strong teams, problem solving, decision making, communication, and how to simplify your life as a leader. He also shares the seven key qualities of leaders which I will outline below.
- Know what you are trying to accomplish
- Know your values and your ideal future
- Be clear so others you are working with understand the goals of their task
- “The fact is that the future belongs to the risk-takers, not the security-seekers. The future belongs to leaders who are willing to move out of their comfort zones and take the necessary risks that are required for the enterprise to survive and thrive in any economic situation” (Loc 332)
- Move toward growth or else you remain stagnant and eventually fail
- Continuously think of actions you can take to help your company succeed
- “The key to dealing with a crisis effectively is to decide, in advance, that no matter what happens, you will remain calm, cool and relaxed” (Loc 368)
- Be truthful
- “The natural extension of personal integrity is quality work” (Loc 384)
- Have high ethical standards
- Accept responsibility
- “…willing to admit you could be wrong, that you recognize you may not have all the answers. And it means that you give credit where credit is due” (Loc 401)
- Acknowledge you are continuously learning
- Be open to peoples’ thoughts and ideas
- Able to anticipate what may occur in the future so plans for the company can be made accordingly
- Scenario planning can help leaders prepare
- Identify the strengths of individuals so the company can most effectively utilize their strengths
- A leader must focus on how to achieve goals
- “…the ability to get people to work for you because they want to” (Loc 495)
- Identify the result-achieving people and work with them on a daily basis so they feel appreciated
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in developing his or her self as a successful business leader.
Tracy, Brian. How the Best Leaders Lead: Proven Secrets to Getting the Most of Yourself and Others. New York: AMACOM, 2010. Kindle Device.
The book “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: a Leadership Fable” by Patrick Lencioni is about a CEO named Kathryn who is brought in to a struggling technology company called DecsionTech. The company, which was once pegged as a promising startup, has floundered and currently ranks behind its competitors. Through her dealings with the members of the executive board of the company, Kathryn comes to reveal the 5 dysfunctions that struggling teams will often embody.
In successful teams, the above pyramid is reversed. Teams with members that trust each other are able to admit mistakes and ask for help without fear. With this trust, teams can then engage in healthy debate without it getting taken as a personal attack. This healthy conflict leads to decisions that come from hearing everyone’s opinions. With a commitment to a decision comes a clear expectation of what is required from each team member, which is where accountability comes in to play. Effective teams can use the same standard to measure performance for all the team members. With everyone working toward one clearly defined objective and a clear set of expectations, the focus of team members will be on the goal of the community, and not the individual.
Probably the thing that struck me the most from reading the book and researching it was this article I found from the USA Today about NFL coaches who have adopted Lencioni’s book as a tool. For a book that was written in the style that would appeal to business executives, a surprising number of NFL head coaches and players have taken lessons from the book about leadership and teamwork:
“Inside the NFL, the Chargers may have embraced Five Dysfunctions more than any other team. Schottenheimer declined to be interviewed, but friend Benirschke says Schottenheimer has undergone a “transformation.” Schottenheimer used to have a slacker rule that forbid any player from competing on Sunday if he had not practiced by Friday. But the veteran coach has established trust in an executive committee of players, who are free to approach him to air player concerns. That committee convinced Schottenheimer that it is sometimes in the interest of the team to give a player the full week off to recover from an injury if it gets him healthy to play on Sunday, Benirschke says” – Del Jones (USA TODAY)
Knowing that prominent team leaders and figure-heads buy in to what Lencioni believes is powerful. We all will find ourselves in situations where we have to work with other people, and knowing how to best manage personalities and promote trust is an important step in creating an environment in which the team will thrive.
Steve Jobs, written by Walter Isaacson is the official biography of Apple’s Steve Jobs. Walter Isaacson is the CEO of the Aspen Institute and has been the chairman of CNN and also the managing editor of Time Magazine. The book is close to 600 pages, and is an extremely honest, thorough and interesting account of Steve Jobs, his life, his legacy, his leadership, and how he conducted himself as the leader of Apple. Isaacson writes, “Some leaders push innovations by being good at the big picture. Others do so by mastering details. Jobs did both, relentlessly. As a result he launched a series of products over three decades that transformed whole industries.” The leadership lessons from Steve Jobs that I learned while reading this biography are: keep it simple, be honest, think different and have passion. Although Steve’s leadership styles, methods and his personality were all unconventional, he showed the world how innovation can change the course of society. He forced people to think differently and forced society to move forward. Regardless of the bridges he burned in the process, Jobs gained respect throughout his life and created a legacy that is sure to last forever. Like it says in the Think Different commercial, “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do,” and Jobs was one of those people.
Isaacson, Walter. Steve Jobs. 1st ed. New York City: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales
Inc., 2011. eBook.
“Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.” – Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times is a wonderful illustration of President Abraham Lincoln’s leadership strengths during his presidency and the Civil War written by Donald T. Phillips. Lincoln had true American spirit and used his skills to unite our country during its toughest time. While most Americans think of Lincoln and only bring to mind his nickname “Honest Abe,” I have been able to improve my leadership style and gain valuable leadership lessons from learning about his life.
The lessons listed below outline Lincoln’s identity and the characteristics that have given him the title of one of the best leaders in American History.
- Get out of the office and circulate among the troops
- Build strong alliances
- Persuade rather than coerce
- Honesty and integrity are the best policies
- Never act out of vengeance or spite
- Have the courage to handle unjust criticism
- Be a master of paradox
- Exercise a strong hand – Be decisive
- Lead by being led
- Set goals and be results-oriented
- Keep searching until you find your “Grant”
- Encourage innovation
- Master the art of public speaking
- Influence people through conversationand storytelling
- Preach a vision and continually reaffirm it
The leadership book I read for this class was On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis. A friend recommended it to me, and my honest first impression of the book was that it was going to be another cliched, dry 12-step program on how to “be a better leader.” But as I read it, I was more and more pleasantly surprised at the things I was learning.
Bennis writes with a refreshing simplicity. His book isn’t a 12-step program but rather a 10-part guide that emphasizes qualities of a leader. It’s not meant as a magical self-help program that will instantly turn you into a leader after you finish reading it; Bennis himself even says, “Leadership courses can only teach skills. They can’t teach character or vision — and indeed, they don’t even try. Developing character and vision is the way leaders invent themselves.”
There were a lot of take-aways from this book — even nuanced ones within the 10 sections. If I were to go through all of them, this post would be ridiculously long, so instead I want to focus on the two that stood out to me the most: master the context and know yourself.
Mastering the context is about understanding your place in the world. You have to understand the state of the world around you in order to enact change within the world and within yourself. You have to know what kind of leader the world is lacking to know what kind of leader you must be. And you must be willing to take risks instead of going along with a broken system, or you will never be able to help fix it.
The biggest point Bennis stresses about mastering the context is the difference between a manager and a leader. “[T]oo many CEOs become bosses, not leaders,” he says, “and it is the bosses who have gotten America into its current fix.”
Here are some of the key differences:
- A manager administers while a leader innovates.
- A manager is a copy while a leader is original.
- A manager relies on control while a leader inspires trust.
- A manager focuses on systems and structure while a leader focuses on people.
This got me thinking about my own leadership style. When I’m put in charge of people, do I work with them or do I try to control them? I’m guilty of being a “manager” a lot of the time, and this book inspired me to do better at focusing on leading others rather than being a boss over them.
The second point that hit me hard was Bennis’ views on knowing yourself. There are four lessons he offers to knowing yourself:
- You are your own best teacher.
- Accept responsibility. Blame no one.
- You can learn anything you want to.
- True understanding comes from reflecting on your experience.
Even though building relationships is an important factor of leadership, you alone are responsible for your own self-direction, Bennis says. No man is an island, and a good leader knows the difference between self-knowledge and total self-reliance. Trust yourself above all else, but never shut others out. Bennis sums it up well by saying: “Leaders learn from others, but they are not made by others.”
There are two ends of the spectrum: Some people are totally self-reliant and isolate themselves, and others are wholly reliant on others and can’t function on their own. There needs to be a balance, Bennis says. This is another key thing that’s easy for me to understand but hard for me to remember. I tend to be on the self-reliant end of the spectrum — I’m not great at taking others’ advice because I think I’ve got it all figured out. But any decisions I make on my own — especially in a leadership role — will affect others, and I need to be mindful that my place in the world isn’t limited to just me. As a leader, I need to be in tune with the people I’m leading, and I need to learn from them while still maintaining my role as a leader and being responsible for my choices.
Overall, I thought On Becoming a Leader was a great book. For anyone who wants a fairly easy read with a lot of good lessons and memorable quotes, I would highly recommend it.
The book I chose for my leadership book was Through My Eyes by Tim Tebow with Nathan Whitaker. I chose the book because I love Tebow’s leadership style and also because when we were choosing the books, the Broncos were in the playoffs and Tebowmania was at it’s highest. I also have a man crush on him but that’s beside the point.
I do love Tebow’s leadership style because it inspires others to believe. If you watch him, you can’t help but believe that he is going to win or succeed. It’s just something about him that leads people to believe in him.
Maybe it’s the way he was raised. Maybe it’s the way he plays each game. Maybe it’s the way he acts off the field. Whatever it is, he is a person that people follow. He earns the respect from teammates, and he doesn’t act entitled.
Maybe the reason everyone is willing to follow him is because he is a clean, hardworking, humble athlete. I hate to say it, but it’s not something we see a lot these days.
Going into the book, I knew Tebow was down to earth and humble. But I am even more convinced because of the way he talks about his life, his family and his faith. He didn’t mention how it felt to win the heisman. He just talked about everything around it. He did talk about the two national championships Florida won, but it was a team thing. He talked about how he helped the team.
I am very sad he is a Jet now. I think I might have to have a man crush on Peyton Manning. I think that’s an okay alternative. He is pretty much awesome.
But I leave you with these two videos that help explain Tebow and why he is so popular.
There are so many important and meaningful leadership lessons in Seth Godin’s Tribes that it is impossible to grasp the book’s full significance in just one read. Godin’s tactful command of the English language and deliberate use of metaphor transforms complex leadership theories into rudimentary ideas that serve to inspire and encourage the average reader to find his or her leader within. His artistry is poignant and can change your leadership paradigms, but only if you choose to let it.
After listening to the book presentations in today’s class, something really struck me about about each of the lessons, especially Julia’s: We are all part of a leadership seminar, but by design that does not make us leaders. We learn about leadership theories, traits and characteristics, but none of it has any implication unless we apply it to our every day lives. So I leave you with this: Actively commit to reading Godin’s book (or any leadership book of your own) daily. Don’t try and read it cover to cover, but pull out one key element each day and search for ways to apply it to your life.
Here is what I will focus on this week:
1) Proactive Behavior
“The largest enemy of change and leadership isn’t a no. It’s a not yet. Not yet is the safest, easiest way to forestall change. Not yet gives the status quo a change to regroup and put off the inevitable for just a while longer. Change almost never fails because it’s too early. It almost always fails because it’s too late.”
I always find myself putting things off until tomorrow – not because I am afraid of change, but because I deem other priorities more important. This week I will work to change that.
2) Eliminate “Fear” From My Vocabulary
“Fear is what holds us back. Leadership isn’t difficult but we have been trained to avoid it.”
Realizing that fear is what holds us back is a powerful thing. Once we know (and accept) what our demons are then we can work on overcoming them.
What leadership lessons will you work on this week?
Effects of the Penn State University sexual abuse scandal are still being felt several months later. Today brought on the latest development in the case, as school trustees issued a statement justifying their removal of iconic head coach Joe Paterno. What caught my attention, however, was the reason that was cited:
“Failure of leadership”
Paterno, who had been coaching at the school for 61 years, was fired in the wake of the scandal in which a former team assistant is accused of molesting 10 teenage boys. The report issued today cites trustees saying they ”determined that his [Paterno] decision to do his minimum legal duty and not to do more to follow up constituted a failure of leadership by Coach Paterno.”
The questions that I have:
- When is doing just enough in a situation not enough?
- What constitutes a “failure of leadership” …. is it only limited to when people get hurt?
- Is one mistake enough to destroy the reputation of a well-respected leader?
It’s a question that comes up in every job or internship interview I’ve ever done: what are some examples where you have shown leadership?
They ask it for everyone.
They asked me in my job interview last week. I had some good answers (or at least I thought so) on places where I think I show leadership. One of them, obviously, was in past classes where I take the lead on projects or in group settings. Any of you who have worked with me know that I do like taking the lead. It’s natural and I think I’m a fair leader who pulls his own weight.
As many of you know, I’m also an ice hockey referee. That is a different style of leadership because I have to be professional, calm and judgemental while not leading the game in a certain direction. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but it does to me.
All of that is beside the point I’m trying to make: is there a way to balance leading and following? Because it seems to me, through our books, stories and just personal experiences, that leadership is something people are either born with or inherently pick up. And I get that feeling from every person, fellow or attache, in this class is a natural leader. We wouldn’t be here if we weren’t.
So how do we find the balance and the right time to lead in a room full of leaders? I think it’s based around listening and timing. For our legacy project, we are in great hands. Emily, Caroline, Kelsea, Annie, and Lubna (and whoever else I missed) are doing awesome. This is their time to really lead the project. For us others, our time to lead within the confines of the project hasn’t come yet.
But it will. And when it does, we need to be ready to step up and help the group leaders.
As for the balancing act, I think it will be easier in this class than in others because everyone is so capable.
The question of why Americans do community service was raised last class. I believe there are multiple reasons behind why individuals do community service. I think the motivation behind community service depends on the individual. Some individuals, organizations or companies may volunteer to make themselves feel better, for political reason or to look good. Others may volunteer because they are passionate about helping others or want to give back to the community.
In American I feel like community service is a big part of our culture. There is a positive connotation attached to the words “community service” or “volunteering.” People who volunteer are generally thought of as good people. I feel like our culture has incorporated community service into many aspects of American life such as schools, businesses, and extra curricular activities. There are multiple organizations and programs in America for community service.
I grew up doing community service because I was a Girl Scout. I remember going to nursing homes to spend time with the elderly, helping at the humane society, donating clothing and food to the homeless, and performing other various community services. When I was younger I thought of community service as something that I needed to do to help others. I did see it as an obligation but I was also happy to do it. I have a lot of fun memories with my troop doing community service.
Now that I am older I like doing community service because it feels good to know I am helping someone else and making a positive difference. For me, community service is just the right thing to do.
Given that March is Women’s History Month, and based on recent blog posts on various leadership blogs, I thought it might be interesting this week to reflect upon the female leaders in our lives. One blog in particular, Lip-Sticking, focuses on women’s issues and women’s roles in society, particularly as leaders and businesswomen. I enjoy it because it often makes me reflect upon how I can be a strong, female leader in my generation and an example for younger generations, especially if I am fortunate enough to one day have a daughter.
One question I have for all of you this week is: what woman in your life do you perceive to be a leader? Do they lead out loud, or in a more silent, powerful manner? I fondly recall one of my high school English professors, a woman named Dr. Conway, who lead in a silent but very powerful way. She was quite the feminist and ever the intellectual, and really spurred my passion for literature into action. She left my sophomore English class with many words of wisdom, including the insight to never feel limited by the roles people saw for us. If men or even other women perceived us a certain way, she dared us to break that mold and show that we were more than what they thought. I always appreciate that one of the ways she saw for us to do this was education, and that she lead by example with a Ph.D in English Literature!
Speaking of perceptions, there was an interesting article posted on Lip-Sticking on March 2 entitled “Copping Out of Opting Out.” It addresses the idea that many women choose to “opt out” of the workplace still in favor of raising children and focusing on family, or taking on other ventures, and that other women often opt out of the professional areas they have come to dominate. This latter category includes women such as Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey, both of whom recently chose to break out of their comfortable roles in daytime TV, in which they were prominent leaders, to try something new. The author of the article, Yvonne DiVita, goes against what many critics are saying about them now and asserts that just because “their new endeavors are not yet wildly successful, is not to say they don’t still deserve our admiration.”
These women and other powerhouses like them are enduring struggles just as they first did when they entered their original professions. Just because they chose to break out of the roles in which we are comfortable seeing them does not mean we should write them off as failures. Rather, we (men and women alike) should all be so brave to break outside of the mold and past our comfort zone to become leaders in a new field. Even if we fail, we can still lead by example and pick ourselves up again, learning from our mistakes and becoming better people and leaders for it.
So I pose the following questions to the class this week: what women leaders make or made a difference in your life? What kind of leaders are/were they? And what role, if any, do you think you need to or want to break out of in your personal/professional lives? I still sometimes find myself arguing with my mother and grandmother about the concept of “having it all”–a family and a successful professional life, and I’m working to find a balance of both.
Image courtesy www.oprah.com
We talked a little bit last class about the motivation behind volunteerism in America. Various explanations were offered from Fellows and attaches alike: We do it because we care about others; we do it to give back to society; we do it because we feel obligated; we do it to make ourselves feel better. While I personally believe the answer to the question comes on an individual basis and there are many people who volunteer out of a love to serve, I want to focus on the darker side of volunteerism and activism in light of the recent phenomenon of KONY 2012.
The KONY 2012 movement started on Monday. A mere three days later, I think it’s safe to say there are few people in the U.S. who haven’t heard about it. At the time I’m posting this, the campaign video has gotten 37 million hits. 37 million hits in three days is nothing to sneeze at. This movement is powerful.
The organization behind KONY 2012 is called Invisible Children. The goal of the movement (and of the organization in general for many years) is to shed light on the crimes of Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda who has committed heinous humanitarian crimes such as abducting children and forcing them to serve as soldiers or sex slaves. The mission of KONY 2012 is to spread the word about Kony so that governments around the world will take notice and work to bring this man to justice. In a few short days, social media has allowed it to spread like wildfire.
I support the movement. I think it’s a great way to spread awareness, and I’ve worked alongside Invisible Children in the past. It’s a wonderful organization, and I think it means well with the KONY 2012 campaign. But there’s a huge caveat in those 37 million views and the scores of shares I’ve been seeing on Facebook.
The word “activism” should be interpreted literally. Frankly, KONY 2012 has become a bandwagon for many. How many people who tweet with the #stopkony hashtag or click “share” on Facebook have actually donated money to Invisible Children? How many have pledged to help in whatever way they can? What does simply spreading awareness do, exactly?
On the one hand, we’ve seen (and I’ve posted about) how social media is most definitely a driving force to enact social change. It can happen. But in most cases, it happens within the country or region that it’s being discussed in (the Occupy movement, the Egyptian revolution, etc.). Does sending a video to your friends on Facebook do anything for the activists and organizations in Uganda fighting to bring this man to justice?
I’m not saying don’t participate. I’m not saying don’t spread the word, because I think it’s a noble cause, and social media is a wonderful way to rally the troops, so to speak. But please, let’s be careful about jumping on the bandwagon without making an attempt to enact change.
Write a letter to a government official. Sign the pledge on the KONY 2012 website. Donate money, time or both to the cause. Let’s put the “active” back in “activism.”
In class this week, the big discussion centered around why we volunteer. Is it because we want to help others or is it to benefit ourselves in terms of good karma? Is it the right thing to do or do we volunteer because it makes us feel good? These rhetorical questions aren’t including court mandated community service of course.
I’m all for service because it’s the right thing to do, and I genuinely believe that people serve because it is the right thing to do. People have good hearts. When I serve, I would like to think I’m doing it because it’s the right thing to do. Sometimes that happens, and sometimes it doesn’t.
I think people serve to help out others in need. There is a point where people want to make others happy, and to serve others gives people a warm feeling inside. It’s not about helping others who don’t have the means to help themselves in terms of jobs (homeless), mobility (older folks), and money (non-profits like food banks and churches), it’s about seeing the joy and happiness on the face of those you are helping. Some people may not show it, but even one happy face and a thank you is enough.
So while helping others, we are working because it makes us feel good. We work for our own personal feeling. What does that say about us? I think it says that we are still looking for some personal gain out of doing something for others. It’s the what is in it for me right away attitude. Maybe I’m just tired and spouting nonsense, but does that make any sense?
This morning I had the opportunity to attend an event by Vibrant Phoenix in Chandler.
The MC was Derek Neighbors, a blogger I (ironically) started following on my Google Reader about eight months ago to find story ideas for Cronkite Newswatch. He supports and hosts many of these Vibrant Phoenix events and I’m sure will blog about today’s very soon.
Anyway, there was an event this morning, hosted by Gangplank, and Retha Hill, Director at the Gannett New Media Innovation Lab at the Cronkite School, invited me to go.
We had a great time speaking about how to connect governments and communities in a way that encourages growth and expansion of cities. For governments this means filling vacant lots, recruiting people to work in the vacant lots and then creating a strategy that will sustain the growth of these lots, their employers and otherwise. For citizens and workers, this means creating a community with a slew of “essential” qualities chosen by said government – like education, entertainment, opportunity, etc.
One of the most interesting discussions we had today regards a significant lifestyle change I see in our future. Many of the generations before me have grown up with a very structured work life – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays on most occasions. With the evolution of social media and the walls of office space essentially disappearing, this structured lifestyle is fading.
I participated in a breakout session related to this topic and (as one of two people associated with the 25 and under crowd) took the chance to explain the idea of a 24/7 workday. Because of our level of connectedness (oh my gosh that’s a real word), we rarely “turn off.” So, we younger generations on this 24/7-like cycle take breaks for breakfast, lunch, dinner and sleeping as needed, instead of a massive break in the middle. In the midst of work, we talk to our friends, family and coworkers all at the same time (i.e. I don’t need to wait until I’m out of work at 5 p.m. to call my friend because that was work time. Now I will text her throughout the day or email her – you get the idea).
An older woman in the group prompted a good question. She said, well that’s good and all but what happens in five years when you want children and a family? How does the 24/7 work cycle work then?
This is a good point, however it was clear to me how differently we see our daily schedules. In her mind, a 24/7 cycle means she never stops; in my mind I see a 24/7 cycle as the opportunity to choose when I can and/or want to stop. If I need to go to my kid’s baseball game at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, I’ll take the break from work knowing I can 1. work after the game as needed and 2. take calls, emails, etc. from my phone/laptop/ipad during the game if necessary. Where she felt the cycle was too much pressure, I feel the cycle actually creates much more room.
The consequential topic discussed the idea of trust in this type of work environment. Creating a work cycle that is so limber, where employees are more free to make decisions as to where their daily priorities lie, hinges on the responsibility of the employee – can he/she schedule time effectively and still get the work done?
So, what do you think? Do you think we’re slowly maneuvering into a more freely scheduled work environment as a young generation? Or do you feel the corporate work week will still be a concrete concept when our kids graduate from college? Which one do you feel is more effective? Which one do you prefer?
I’m interested to hear feedback. It’s an incredibly transitional concept; but it’s one I believe has already begun to transpire.
I am so glad we have Cronkite Global Conversations. I appreciate the personal insight from the Fellows.
Last Wednesday Evgeny Kuzmin and Hao Chen, also known as Alex, presented on Russia and China. Its amazing to compare the size of the two countries. Russia is 6.6 million square miles with a population of only 143 millions compared to China’s population of 1.3 billion people living in a country with about 3.7 million square miles. I suppose the climate of Russia impacts the number of people who live there.
It was interesting to learn there are 160 different ethnicities in Russia and 56 in China with the majority being Han. I was surprised by the low percentage of the population that uses Internet. According to the Internet World Stats, a little over 38 percent of China uses the Internet, while 43 percent of Russians use the Internet. The Internet World Stats says a little over 78 percent of Americans use the Internet.
A big difference between the two countries is Russia does not have censorship on social media, while China does to a certain extent. Alex said people in China can criticize the local government but if they criticize the national government they risk the chance of being jailed.
It was interesting learning about the different search engines and social media brands. In Russia, Kohtakte is similar to Facebook. Yandex is the most popular search engine in Russia, beating Google. Evgeny said Futubra rivals Twitter in Russia, but Twitter is still the most used. Baidu is the most popular search engine in China. Weibo is the most popular social media tool in China. Alex said the government is trying to control social media so it will block people from using it, but people are able to get around the government block.
I am glad Evgeny shared the various view points of Russian’s based on age. He said the first generation is people older than 40 who are ex-soviets. This generation uses cell phones but do not use social media. Evgeny said most are pro Putin. The second generation consists of people in their twenties and thirties. They grew up with freedom in the nineties and experienced years of poverty. This group uses social media. The third generation includes people who are currently in high school and younger. This generation has used the Internet and social media since childhood and do not consider western countries as a threat.
Evgeny talked about the citizen movement against election fraud, which is still a hot topic in Russia. On Sunday Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was elected president. The L.A. Times reported that election officials said Putin won about 65 percent of the votes after two-thirds of the votes were counted Sunday. The Washington Post reports in the article “Russian police, protesters heighten confrontation following Putin victory” that 5,000 to 20,000 Putin protestors gathered on Monday night at Pushkin Square in Moscow to protest the unfair election and Putin’s win. According to the Guardian’s news blog, titled “Hundreds detained after Moscow anti-Putin protest – As it happened,” some of the election frauds being reported include voting more than once, being paid to vote, and ballot stuffing. The Guardian reported leaders of the opposition claim that about 500 people were arrested in the Pushkin Square rally while police reported 250 arrests.
A good question was brought up in today’s class. Do people volunteer to feel good or to really help other people? I agree with a comment made about American culture – it is self-centered. However, there are different types of volunteerism and reasons why it’s done. In this blog post, I’m going to focus on the volunteering our class is doing and the volunteerism most people can relate to. It’s not the same as a business donating money or time to a charity or as a retired person spending their time by volunteering.
While community service is used as a punishment in some cases, it isn’t the only reason people give back to the community. If you haven’t seen the movie Role Models, then you must because it’s hilarious and in the end there’s a message that can further my point. There is a mix in volunteerism between people who must give their time and the people who volunteer the extra time they have, but I think the end result is always the same.
Personally, I’ve grown up with a mother who constantly volunteered for the Special Olympics. I still remember going to events with her and seeing her work from distance. When I was old enough, my mom put me to work as well. In this case, I believe it is in her nature. She gravitated toward a teaching career and truly enjoyed volunteering with Special Olympics to help others. She always tells me how gratifying it is to see smiles on the faces of those she helps and after years of volunteering, I agree.
As I’ve grown up, I have volunteered my time to many different organizations. This weekend was a sort of volunteer weekend for me because not only did I go to the orange-picking event, but Sunday morning I volunteered at a Reducing Euthanasia at Shelters Through Commitment and Underlying Education (RESCUE ) event with my other Fiesta Bowl court members. These events are gratifying because there is never a time when after volunteering that the people you helped aren’t extremely thankful.
To answer the question whether volunteering is for a better self image or really to help others, I believe that even if someone walks into a volunteer situation with bad intentions they will walk out with a different perspective. Volunteering is individually gratifying, but I don’t believe that people do the act of volunteering solely to gain a better image. Someone may volunteer seeking a better reputation and in the end others do see them as a better person, but there’s an element of volunteerism that truly changes the heart.
It feels good to give back. Whether someone has personal motives doesn’t change that they have volunteered their extra time. I think if someone volunteers and doesn’t do the job they’ve been asked to do with 100% dedication, then it is a selfish act. Why volunteer at all?