Finding the next big thing isn’t easy. If it were, more Americans would be cashing in on the trends. But predicting those trends may be as simple as talking to up-and-coming generations. They can tell you what’s in or out. And, as Business Insider reports, teens are officially over Facebook.
What does that mean for us as journalists interested in engaging a new audience where they feel most at home? It means constantly seeking new outlets for our material — everything is becoming more visual. Teens may be over Facebook, but Instagram and Snapchat are quickly rising in popularity, with YouTube becoming the latest fodder for afternoon and late-night talk shows (like RightThisMinute and Upload with Shaquille O’Neal).
I found most interesting in the Business Insider article that the author examined several different samples of teens to see what the general consensus was, not just interviewing a select few. That way, it shows the greater trend among the group and doesn’t assume what’s popular opinion or not.
Journalists and future leaders shouldn’t just depend on technology to drive their industries. The latest inventions aren’t going to just present themselves to us at opportune times for us to gain traffic and garner success with whatever messages we’re trying to send. Maybe we should be less reliant on the Internet for predicting the future.
Maybe we should be paying attention.
Leadership styles are funny. At least, that’s how some, tired of the clichés in management books, prefer to view them. I wanted to look into how humor plays into the role leaders play in an organization, but instead I stumbled on this humorous adaptation of a common style of a leadership quiz.
Now, there’s an entire industry made out of those “what type of leader are you?” quizzes. Many companies and college courses invest hundreds of dollars (if not higher) on administering these quizzes to their employees or students in order to define their personalities and pair them up with a team that will capitalize on those qualities. The accuracy of those quizzes has yet to be quantitatively confirmed, despite the many qualitative examples assuring their success (“I tried Leadership Test XYZ and my employees worked together better than ever before and increased productivity by 200%!!”).
But one thing those quizzes don’t test is whether or not you, the quiz-taker, have a sense of humor. And while having a sense of humor isn’t the make-or-break quality of a successful leader, it certainly helps in what can be a very stressful position. As a leader, one has numerous responsibilities, including being in charge of making sure other people do their individual jobs. Of course, not all things go according to plan when it comes to supervising. The ability to deal with problems as they come and look at ways to solve them creatively will make a leader far more insightful than one that only plays by the rules. And while those leadership quizzes are always eager to put you into a category, sometimes, being a personable human being who can empathize and share a good laugh with his or her coworkers doesn’t fit in option 1, 2, 3, or 4 — it’s something you can’t put a number on.
Being a leader can be all it’s cracked up to be, and much more — but if you’re not “managing to have fun,” as this article states, you can quickly lose perspective. And to conclude with a poignant quote from that article: “Business author Paul Hawken said it best, ‘We lead by being human. We do not lead by being corporate, by being professional or by being institutional.’”
By Sara Steffan
When I went looking for mobile journalism blogs or posts on the topic, many of my first hits while searching were outdated or broken links — surprising because you’d think that the mobile is on the rise and more journalists would be talking about how they’re using it. I stumbled upon a column on ReadWrite that isn’t exactly about journalism (it has more of an adjacent tie to it); it’s a journalist’s experiment with online dating using ONLY mobile apps. Dan Rowinski writes that his experience will show the relevance of our lifestyle behaviors on our cell phones to what he does for ReadWrite:
There’s actually a deeper issue here. I cover mobile technology for ReadWrite, and so I make a point of living as much of my life via smartphones or tablets as I can. Mobile gadgets aren’t just a bunch of specs and apps, cameras and wireless connections. They’re portals for information and connection – powerful computers that have the potential to transform ordinary human behavior. My goal is to see whether and how this works in person, and to report back on the experience.
What I drew from this is that the way we share information has been completely turned upside-down with the evolution of mobile. Technology as a whole in the past two decades has transformed many of our country’s industries and no doubt has had a significant impact on the economy, but it also has affected our social interactions and parts of our lives that used to be intimate/deeply personal. Such as dating — who could’ve predicted that we’d be creating virtual representations of ourselves that could be picked or passed over by potential lovers, all through the comfort of our home computers, or now on-the-go with our mobile devices?
This reminded me of the video we watched in class that showed Walter Cronkite in the “home office of the future.” Just as he thought then that we knew what 21st-century life would be like, we think we may know now the impact of our Internet habits on our changing social lives. But really, it’s just the beginning. Our behavior now may seem completely foreign to future generations using technology that, right now, is just a barely-formed thought in some engineer’s head. It’s an exciting time that surely will be part of history – and as long as we keep an open mind and willingness to experiment, like Rowinski leaving his dating life in the hands of what he calls “sometimes sketchy-looking” mobile apps, we might be at the front of the next wave of new technology, and maybe even enjoy the ride.
Would you turn to mobile apps for such personal behaviors like dating? Or do we do so already with apps that document our day-to-day activities like Facebook and Twitter? Is there even a difference?
Expectations of the federal government are extremely high. Most of the time, Americans are critical of decisions the government makes and the time it takes to make them. Through the democratic process, our government leaders are elected to their positions, and they make promises to the people while campaigning. Those promises are often very high-reaching goals that, once elected, officials have trouble reaching. I read a column in the Washington Post written by an expert in leadership and innovation, Tom Fox, and in his column he said in order to ensure the successes of federal government leaders, they should spend time defining their approach. Fox then went on to list some of the characteristics of a federal leader: intellectually curious, mentally tough, critical thinkers, flexible, results oriented and imaginative.
Thinking about that list, I came to the conclusion that yes, while expectations are very high for government leaders, most of those qualities are those any leader should have. Are all government officials good leaders? Probably not. But they still get elected because Americans don’t vote for officials solely based on their leadership qualities. It’s true that good leaders encompass nearly all of these qualities, but those good leaders aren’t under the country’s biggest microscope like federal officials are. The media and, through the media, the public rigorously examine those leaders to see how effectively they are doing their jobs. Because so much rides on whether they succeed or fail, including whether or not they are elected for another term, the pressure may affect their ability to focus on leadership. Even in our everyday lives, we think about the pressure on us to perform and achieve, but often our ability to lead gets pushed down on our list of priorities. And then there’s the debate as to whether leaders are “born” or “made” — should we administer some sort of a test to our government officials before their first day on the job to see if they have what it takes to be a leader?
While this blog has led to a lot more questions than answers, I think it’s important to reflect on those qualities Fox talked about in his column and see how our current leaders stand up to them. And more importantly, how we stand up to them and see if our expectations are reasonable for our elected leaders. If we can’t live up to those expectations ourselves, we may want to reconsider how we measure our leaders and even more, think differently next time we are voting in an election.
Reading Bill Gates’ article this week actually inspired me while writing an essay for an internship application. Needless to say I agree with much of what he says as it applies to nearly everything that we want to be successful — measurement is key to finishing what we’ve started. My essay, which I’m writing on the evidence-based approach in communication campaigns, shows how Gates’ theories can mean a better investment for a large corporation or small, nonprofit business whenever they’re seeking to improve their reputations or send a message in way that will attract the attention of their audiences. Research needs to be conducted at both the beginning, so there is something to be measured against, and the end, to see how over time if there was positive, negative or no change.
What I was concerned about when I first starting reading his article was that it was going to mostly focus on the negative aspect of measurement — how measurement can show us what went wrong and what needs to be fixed. I especially liked the example of the Eagle County teacher evaluations because that not only focused on areas to improve, but it gave the teachers opportunity to see what they were doing right and how they could build on their strengths. I think that in order for measurement to be effective, we have to focus in some way on how successful something was so we have the incentive then to replicate it. While always wanting to do better can be a motivation, measurement can be harmful if it only points out our failures. I liked the way Gates found ways to tie in the need for critical change with the need for high-quality, trustworthy systems that utilize positive reinforcement more than negative.
Not everything is measurable, Gates acknowledges. It would take a lot more money (or, a lot more philanthropists like Gates) to quantify data like disease exposure’s effect on children’s potential. But clear goals, along with a healthy dose of optimism, can help us get there. And if we can find in some way to do our due diligence and provide measurement tools at all steps of any programming with appropriate feedback systems, we can replicate the progress that things like the polio vaccination have seen — but that will take time. I’m certain that creating awareness about the need for measurement and the role of any sort of evidence-based strategic planning will help us get there.
Our team stirred up quite the debate when we discussed Billy’s choice to go up to the hotel room and hang the banner demanding Sukarno feed his people, in the emotional decision that led to him either being shot and falling out the window, or just falling out the window to his death (still to be determined). We questioned his leadership qualities in that we thought he should be able to separate his personal political beliefs from his professional duties. This brought up the term “advocacy journalism” in class, and to a certain degree, that is what Billy was doing — advocating for a change in a country he had become so connected to in a very public way.
Also we hypothesized about the metaphorical meaning behind Guy being “blinded” after Billy dies. Since Billy served as his eyes throughout the beginning of the film, helping him navigate while he ruthlessly pursued a story, it seemed natural that once Billy was no longer able to do that, Guy needed to have a moral awakening of sorts. He had so many conflicts between his personal and professional codes of ethics throughout the film. From breaking his love interest’s trust to go after the story to then arriving at the conclusion that he could give it all up to get on the plane with her, being physically impaled in the eye was a fairly dramatic way, fitting for Guy’s character, to have this self-actualization occur.
Of course, Sukarno failed to show leadership for his people throughout the film. But what raised the best questions in our ethical discussions were considering characters that were fairly likable on the surface, such as Billy Kwan, and looking at their behaviors through different lenses. We were surprised, and also intrigued, at the amount of debate it caused.
by Sara Steffan
My leadership lesson came recently (or my memory doesn’t go very far back!) when I was deciding where to go to college in Fall 2008/early Spring 2009.
My parents gave me the opportunity to attend any college I wanted, and they would help with my tuition up to $25,000 per year. I remember thinking at the time that this was one of the first chances I had ever had at making a substantive decision about my future, and the fact that it was coming with financial support what more than I even could have imagined.
So it quickly became one of the most exciting things to ever happen to me, but at the same time it completely overwhelmed me. I wanted a pre-professional program with a focus on writing and communication. Journalism seemed like a natural fit.
But where did I want to go? Location was an important factor that I did not anticipate having such influence on my decision. And, more importantly, cost – when did schooling become so expensive? My top choice at the time, Syracuse University, was $44,000 per year. My scholarship only knocked $4,000 off the price tag; even with my parents’ help, I would still be paying $15,000 a year with student loans.
When I got an offer letter from ASU that ended up covering almost all of my tuition, I had to think long and hard about how much location was important to me. Did I want to be close to my family in upstate New York? Or did I want to venture further and eventually, have almost complete financial freedom?
Leadership isn’t just about leading others. Great leaders also have to show personal responsibility and skillful decision-making about their own lives. When I decided to come to ASU, even though it was something I’d never considered until that letter arrived in the mail, I felt confident that my future was now in my hands and that I was able to successfully manage the responsibility my parents had given me. And being able to shoulder that weight was one of the most important lessons I’ve learned about myself thus far.
“A saint is a sinner that keeps on trying.”
Aung San Suu Kyi is the iconic leader of the democratic resistance movement in Myanmar and a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. She took up the cause in 1988 after witnessing a massacre of students while in the country to take care of her mother. Suu Kyi sacrificed relationships with her family for the good of her country by choosing to spend 15 years under house arrest to draw attention to the human rights abuses in her country.
Suu Kyi’s persistence and innate qualities allowed her to servant leadership at a time of transition. Her belief in non-violent activism and willingness to personally sacrifice for the cause has made her an influential leader in her country and all over the world. Through meditation and introspection during times of trial she persevered until finally being released in 2010.
Suu Kyi’s commitment to Buddhism allowed her to reason through the captivity. She was able to overcome fear and not develop a sense of vengeance.
“The only real prison is fear. And the only real freedom is freedom from fear,” she said.
Her spirit of inclusion, patience and forgiveness allow her to be a unifying force for a divided country.
She was elected to Parliament in 2012 and met with President Obama this fall. The country has been cut off from Western investment and trade due to it’s long history of human rights abuses. As a member of Parliament, she can now travel freely internationally to share her story and spread awareness of her cause. Obama’s visit signals a new beginning where her role will continue to grow.
Many consider her to be a similar figure to Nelson Mandela for the modern age. Both figures fought for justice using non-violence and suffered isolation from family and friends to achieve peace. She is truly an ideal and an example for global leaders everywhere.
When most people think of a leader, they think of a politician, a social reformer or a war hero. But sports figures display many of the same leadership qualities found in more serious types of leader. While it’s true these superstars are simply playing a game, for many sports fans, the game of basketball is more than just a game, which helps explain why Michael Jordan was seen as a global icon during the 90′s.
Jordan was a leader in three main ways. As a player, Jordan was an unprecedented basketball player and talented athlete who racked up numerous individual accomplishments. As a champion, Jordan elevated the play of his teammates and made his team so incredible successful, winning six championships in such a short span (eight years, with Jordan playing baseball for one and a half of those eight). And as a global icon, Jordan captivated the world with incredible talent, competitiveness, hard work and charisma.
On an individual level, the player Michael Jordan was easily the best player on the Chicago Bulls of the 90′s. His numerous awards and accolades easily attest to that. In his time in the league, MJ won 5 MVP Awards, 2 Olympic gold medals, 10 scoring titles, a Defensive Player of the Year Award, 14 All-Star appearances, 2 Slam Dunk Contests and the Rookie of the Year Award. His points per game during the regular season (30.1) and during the playoffs (33.5) are still all-time highs for the NBA. On an individual level, it’s easy to see why such a dynamic scorer and incredible athlete made him a leader. His dunks and gamewinning shots made him a living highlight reel and the representation of the NBA.
On a team level, Jordan’s immense success also made him a living legend and a remarkable example of what a leader brings to his team. Jordan elevated his game when his team needed him most and became known for clutch performances at the end of close games. One example is “The Flu Game,” which is regarded as one of the greatest performances of all time in sports history. Waking up fit for a hospital bed, Jordan not only played in Game 5 of the 1998 NBA Finals, but he led his team to victory with 38 points and 11 assists. And in Game 6, he dropped 45 points, including the gamewinning shot that would be his last in a Bulls jersey. The picture, shown below, is immortalized as one of the best clutch shots in basketball history, an iconic last act of basketball’s greatest player. Jordan made his teammates better with time and brought six NBA titles to a Chicago Bulls franchise that had never won a single championship before. And in all six championships, Michael Jordan was voted the Finals MVP, which is a true testament to his status as the leader of the team.
On a global level, Jordan took the world by storm in the 90′s. As David Halberstam writes, “His only rival globally was Princess Diana.” Jordan was everywhere: advertisements, commercials, cereal boxes. As a representative of Nike, McDonalds, Wheaties and more, Jordan was an extremely profitable marketing tool. Jordan became worth millions, not only because of his (comparatively) cheap contract, but through all his endorsements. But it wasn’t only about money with Michael Jordan. His charm, charisma and easy-going, down-to-earth personality made him an easy sell and he was one of the most popular Americans on the planet. The more Jordan achieved, the more people expected of him. The more people expected of him, the more he excelled. And the more he excelled, the more people began to believe that “man could truly fly.” Jordan wasn’t just an inspiration for basketball fans; anyone who watched him in the 90′s saw the incredible product that talent, hard work and desire could achieve. Michael Jordan transcended sports like only Babe Ruth and Muhammad Ali had done before him, which is just one more way he was a leader and pioneer in the world of sports and hard work in general.
Most people will see this as a sports fan’s gushing and roll their eyes at the thought of an overpaid athlete being anything more than a superficial leader, but this is not the case with Michael Jordan. Any basketball fan who watched Michael Jordan play in the 90′s will tell you that this man transcended sports and made basketball more popular worldwide. It’s sad that most people see Michael Jordan as a failed owner of an NBA team and an ass with little tolerance of the media now, because he wasn’t always this way. If anything, everyone demanding so much of him constantly made him a grumpier person than anything else. Plus, Jordan’s contributions to charities and those in need shouldn’t be disregarded. In fact, when Jordan made his second comeback that damaged his career statistics, he donated all of the money made from that basketball contract to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Regardless of his difficulties as an owner, Jordan should be remembered for singlehandedly globalizing basketball and for making children and adults alike believe in the impossible, which MJ delivered on a nightly basis. It’s hard to describe his relevance the the phenomenon that he was during the 90′s if you were too young to remember or care, but Jordan’s charisma as a basketball leader made him an undeniable leader that the NBA may never see the likes of again.
And for anyone who thinks LeBron may someday replace Jordan, go ahead and watch this for some perspective. The music’s a little dramatic, but you get the point.
The first thing that struck me in this article (and something that has struck me since I took my first journalism class freshman year) is how unfortunate it is that the industry didn’t adapt to the changing world quicker. What I mean by this is how journalists failed to charge for their content online from the very beginning. Had they done so, the Internet would be a much more profitable realm than it is today. Rather than relying on advertising and hit-or-miss paywalls, the general news content online would all be paid for by the public accessing that information. Those payments might lessen with the development of social media like Facebook and Twitter, but people would have been accustomed to paying for access to news content and the online news stories would take in much larger profits. But because so much of the Internet’s appeal early on was how nearly everything was so free, news assumed that position as well. By failing to recognize how prevalent the Internet would be just a few years down the road, particularly in the area of news consumption, our profession was not prepared for the Internet boom.
Second, I found the connection between the humanities and journalism to be interesting. The author is correct in writing that a return to in-depth stories could result in more profitability. People who enjoy in-depth stories usually enjoy them because they recognize the substantial amount of effort and research and reporting that goes into writing them and therefore, would not be as opposed to paying for more quality work. For example, in sports journalism, ESPN’s 30-for-30 productions rake in a large amount of viewers and even more money when they are released on DVD. The in-depth reporting of Sports Illustrated requires a subscription and online, ESPN.com visitors and site regulars pay for the best analysis with an Insider account they pay for. In other words, in-depth stories attract a specific audience willing to pay for that kind of content.
Finally, the most interesting thing I took from the article is also the most uplifting piece of information it had to offer: namely, journalism is not dead in the water by any means. Yes, the industry will have to struggle to find ways to stay profitable (particularly online), but there is always room for experimentation and innovation. The author mentions there is no set game plan, but if journalism can mingle with the humanities as they once did, the profits may soon follow.
My first passion was reading. As I child, I was the crazy kindergartener sitting in the corner trying to sound out words during research rather than play ball. The only assignments I remember from fourth grade are the short creative stories I had to write. I still have them at my parents house. I still think they were a work of genius.
Now, reading is my escape and writing is what I do.
I think that there are many people in the same boat as I am, people who love wonderful stories, but perhaps do not always set aside the time to sit down with a new book from the library or Kindle or whatever and enjoy. If it were conveniently presented though, we would soak up every word, devour each chapter.
The concept of fusing the world of journalism and the arts truly isn’t new, but I agree that right now, there is a chance to revolutionize the concept. There are so many avenues it can be taken. Like the Minneapolis Star revamping the concept of serials in the newspaper of old. It worked. People loved it. It is proof that people will take a second look at the paper if it is art infused.
While sure, a newspaper in my hands is nice, I can get it free online. What is harder to get for free is a beautifully written novella, a series of poems or perhaps even a photo essay.
I could see the Arizona Republic building relationships with local artists. What a mutually beneficial relationship! The artists get their work into the public eye, and earn more money than they would self-publishing on the web, and the paper brings in more readers and advertising. Win-win.
That is a paper I would pay for.
Sports Journalism In America:
- Sports journalism was present in America before the Revolutionary War with articles being written about boxing (although it was not considered a sport yet).
- It did gain prominence until the 1850s with as baseball became more popular. Journalists were primarily statisticians back then.
- Sports got their own section in newspapers starting with Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World. Pulitzer also hired the first sports editor (1883).
- By the early 1890s, every major newspaper had a sports editor
- Creation of basketball in 1891 and American Bowling Congress helped establish sports journalism as well
- Golden Age of Sports – 1920s
- Called the Age of the Spectator, sports journalism really began to take off thanks to the exploits of the Four Horsemen of Notre Dame, Jack Dempsey and Babe Ruth.
The 1st Successful Sports Magazine:
- Started in 1954 by Time’s Henry Luce
- Goal: Not a sports magazine, but the sports magazine
- Magazine took off once Andre Laguerre became managing editor
- Swimsuit edition started in 1964
- Known for its colorful photography, in-depth reporting and scouting reports
The 1st Successful sports network:
- ESPN: The World-Wide Leader in Sports
- Created in 1979
- 1st broadcast network centered only on sports
- Sportscenter has now had over 50,000 shows
- Popular but also criticized
There are plenty of ways for students at the Cronkie School to get involved with the college. The school goes over and above to foster connections between the student population, staff and faculty and the local Arizona media community. It’s one of the things that make our school different from the older J-Schools out there.
But Cronkite Day, a celebration of everything the school has to offer and has helped its present, former and future students accomplish brought that sense of community to a new level.
I was able to be present for the majority of the day, working a table in the First Amendment Forum. For me, the day was a whirlwind of chatting with enthusiastic potential students, returning alumni and just getting to spend some extra time with the teachers and students that are around every day. At times it felt like celebrity watching, as some of the school’s highest achieving alumni came to see the school’s new building and check in on what current students are doing.
It made me realize just how much the Cronkite School strives and succeeds to produce strong journalists, who in many cases have or will go on to become not only leaders in their own newsrooms but also in the wider field of journalism.
Sitting in on the many panels of students past and present drove home the fact that so many of the students at the school work hard to make themselves leaders in their own niches of journalism. From sports to business to investigative journalism, Cronkite students are able to hone their skills through excellent coursework and unique hands-on experiences.
Bearing the name of one of the most honored journalists of all-time couldn’t be more fitting for a school leading the way into the digital future and consistently producing graduates that will help show the way.
I really wish political parties didn’t play such a strong part in people’s opinions. In watching the second debate with Romney supporters, watching the final debate with Obama supporters and monitoring Twitter during all three, it’s difficult to draw any conclusion other than this: political affiliations largely cloud people’s judgment. I understand believing in what one’s party stands for, but completely blocking out what the other party has to say seems too narrow-minded to be helpful in political elections. I’ve seen Romney supporters ignore and deny good points brought up by Obama during the debates and I’ve seen Obama supporters laugh and scoff at Romney’s remarks, and both barely listened to what the other side was really saying.
As a sports fan, I understand the balance between commentary, analysis and being opinionated or biased. I like to think I know how to offer insight without being affected by my own interests and favorite teams. I really wish more people saw politics that way. Both candidates present themselves well (for the most part) and it’s a shame to see so many people disregard what another candidate has to say just because they are a Republican or a Democrat. This may be easier for me to say since I don’t have a political affiliation and because I’m a journalist who understands the value of being unbiased when I write about something, but I really hope we take the time to appreciate how important it is to not make decisions based simply upon what their political party is.
Moving on to the actual debate, the two things people made note of the most on Twitter was that Romney’s smirk was still slightly creepy and Obama was still a little condescending. Many thought Obama was lifeless in the first debate and it seems he saved all his zingers for the final debate. Romney was much more peaceful in comparison and agreed with a lot of things Obama said. I feel like both displayed some different leadership qualities, but that’s a lot easier without a (much-needed) fact-checker letting the public know which comments are accurate and which are untrue. But again, the point of these debates seems to be how the candidates make their points rather than what points are being made. My final point is about Bob Scheiffer, who deserves recognition for being the best moderator out of all three debates. He let the candidates talk when they were on to something and brought them back down to earth when they started to ramble. The third political debate was a draw in my book, as Obama was strong in the middle but Romney made some good comments throughout. I know I don’t have the greatest political insight, but I’m definitely proud of the fact that I’m not blinded by any political affiliation like some people unfortunately are.
Hello, my name is Lauren Saria. I am a freelance writer and photographer at the Phoenix New Times, covering food, arts, culture and sports. My passion for food journalism stems directly from growing up in northern California near the famous vineyards of Napa Valley, where many could argue the modern American food movement began. My experience in sports writing includes covering the Arizona Diamondbacks during their spring training season, writing stories for the Arizona Cardinals website and various features for a local fitness magazine; Last summer I worked full-time at the New Times as one of six Village Voice Digital Media Fellows. I enjoy writing and learning about a variety of topics and am actively looking for a job in print or digital media.
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not usually very tuned into politics. I am a registered voter, however, and this will be the first presidential election in which I will be eligible to vote. That being said, I was excited to see the first presidential debate for a number of reasons. For one, I thought the debate would be a great chance to see a bit more of the true colors of each of the candidates – unfortunately I still can’t decide if that was true or not.
While watching GMA last week I remember one of the correspondents saying how important it would be for each candidate to try to turn the tides on his image. For Romney the key would be to come across as less strange, for the President to portray himself as less condescending.
I think this our general interest in not only the candidate’s personalities, but also how they are about to manipulate them shows a lot about leadership. The public’s focus on the persona of each candidate speaks volumes about how important behavior and public image is in making a truly effective leader. As much as we like to believe we all vote based on the issues, the truth is a lot of politics boils down to making the people like you. Personality also affects a leader’s effectiveness since your personality plays into how you decide to tackle issues and solve problems.
In this article from the Huffington Post, Benjamin Knoll, Assistant Professor of Government at Centre College, points out that despite what we may want to think the two candidates actually have a lot of personality traits in common. Using software that analyzes and creates a personality profile based on transcripts of speech, Knoll found that Romney and Obama have many traits in common including self-confidence, task focus and a need for power.
I think we saw some of these traits during the debate. On Twitter, many viewers commented on each candidate’s facial expressions including Romney’s smirking and Obama’s apparent inability to look his opponent in the face.
As a viewer and voted, I think it made both candidates come off as arrogant and haughty. Romney’s smirk did nothing to help me relate to him on a personal level and Obama’s obvious impatience and frustration with the debate made him seem condescending. On some level, I think they displayed their emotions in different ways but were essentially exhibiting signs of the same attitude. Neither one seemed interested in listening so much as spouting off his own agenda.
Social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter indicated that the content of the debate was far less important than the delivery method. Personality outweighed political viewpoint.
Perhaps its because after months of campaigning we all feel like we know where the candidates stand on the issues – now we just want to know how they stand.
Sidenote: Worst leadership of the night award should go to moderator Jim Lehrer, who couldn’t seem to keep either candidate in line.
By Lauren Saria
As a non-partisan voter, I came into the first presidential debate tonight with an open mind to take note of what leadership qualities each candidate brought to the table. But after watching the entire debate and following it on Twitter, it was hard to find a large amount of leadership qualities in our current president Barack Obama in comparison with Mitt Romney. Although I’ll confess I’m not up to speed with every single issue discussed in the debate and BOTH candidates probably were in need of fact checks, my opinion sided with the general consensus that could be found on Twitter or Facebook: Romney took round one of the debates.
While Obama seemed uncomfortable, condescending and often bored during the debate, Romney spoke with enthusiasm and speed. He furiously scribbled down notes while Obama was talking and responded well. Many pointed out his creepy and almost condescending smile while Obama was talking, but the fact that this was made into such a big deal just points out how truly boring Obama’s speeches were: he meandered off topic, he went off on tangents and he spoke so slowly that the pace of the debate slowed to a standstill every time it was his turn. Obama spoke for four more minutes than Romney did, but Romney probably said a lot more with his time. Despite the creepy smile, Romney seemed attentive whenever Obama spoke while the president looks angry and frustrated when it was Romney’s turn. Romney looked at Obama for the majority of the debate, which many people (mostly pro-Obama people, I noticed) pointed out, saying that Obama was addressing the nation as opposed to Romney addressing one man. However, I think that since these are debates, Romney challenging Obama like that was a smart decision because it rattled him, it allowed Romney to go on the offensive and because Obama ended up looking like he didn’t want to engage Romney.
I noticed both leaders used their hands a lot when they spoke and they often clasped them in front of their bodies, two signs of authoritative leaders. Both were respectful to their opponents, although a little more courtesy should have been thrown to poor Jim Lehrer. The biggest difference between the two in tonight’s debate was attitude and passion. Romney spoke quickly and had an urgent tone to his voice while Obama stuttered and stumbled through most of his responses. Romney looked excited and passionate about the issues while Obama talked about figures and facts like a schoolteacher trying to educate an annoying student. He even treated Lehrer that way when he told him “I had five seconds before you interrupted me.” This little quip came off as funny, but there definitely was a hint of frustration behind it.
For the majority of people on Twitter, it seemed that what was being said wasn’t nearly as important as how it was being delivered and in that category, Romney dominated with enthusiasm and a few surprising instances of humor. It may have been because the president was rusty, but Romney seemed to be in peak debate form with crisp and clean responses as opposed to Obama’s long and drawn-out speeches. In basketball or football, if you’re going up against a high-scoring powerhouse, you want to dominate the time of possession and slow down the pace if you want to win, but unfortunately for Obama, that’s not the way to go in a presidential debate. Keep in mind, this is all coming from an independent, which is the big category of people that candidates are trying to win over with these debates. A leader should be enthusiastic and inspire through their passion. Tonight, Obama didn’t even come close to doing that. He provided facts and figures, sure, but their delivery didn’t motivate me to get up off the couch and vote for the president to be reelected. So despite Romney’s “creepy smirk” and the possibility of Big Bird being canned, round one goes to Mittens.
Like baseball in the 9th inning, all the talent in the world won’t help you if you can’t pitch. But unlike baseball, when it comes to showing off that talent to potential future employers, the pitch can only be one style: a fastball.
With an elevator pitch, the goal is to sum up who you are, what you’re good at and what you want to do with your career and life, all while making it relevant, interesting and impressive. And all in 30-60 seconds. Not exactly an easy task.
When I was writing my elevator pitch, I was troubled about what to write at first. I’m only 21 years old. What had I done in my industry to gain an employer’s respect or desire to hire me? I’m just a college student after all. But then I realized just how much experience I really do have. I don’t say this as a way of bragging; the truth is, all of us have a lot to offer any journalism organization. Especially if it’s presented in a confident, concise and engaging manner.
As members of the Walter Cronkite School, we’re taught by some of the best journalism minds in the country. As members of Barrett, the Honors College, we work hard to advance ourselves as much as possible. Internships, blogs, social media, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, FinalCut and WordPress are all tools that have been at our disposal for years. Although this all sounds like bragging, the truth is, an elevator pitch without confidence will attract no one.
If we want to put forth a successful elevator pitch, confidence is the key. Leaders are confident and honest about what they bring to the table. Who wouldn’t want to hire who can tell you their life story, dazzle you with their skill set and tell you what they want in less than a minute? In this way, we see how leadership relates to the simple idea of an elevator pitch.
To close, I’ll quote the now unforgettable words of Eminem to open his famous song “Lose Yourself”:
“If you had one shot, or one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted, would you capture it? Or just let it slip?”
Late last night the parent company of Village Voice Media, which owns the Phoenix New Times, made a huge announcement. Thirty-two years after founding the paper – in protest of the Vietnam War and the Kent State shootings – Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin sold the company and all 13 VVM publications.
While this may not seem like a very important piece of information, it gave me a chance to think about a few leadership lessons. As some of you may know, I have been writing for the New Times for the last year now, and spent the summer as a Village Voice Digital Media Fellow.
While working there during the summer I was able to see how much the paper reflected the personality of its founder. The hard-hitting, no apologizes attitude toward tackling tough stories and tongue-in-cheek opinionated reviews for which the New Times is known was only made possible by the owners undying support and belief in the First Amendment and free speech.
It’s allowed the paper to relentlessly cover Joe Arpaio and other out-of-control public servants in the Valley. For decades with Lacy and Larkin’s support, the reporters at the New Times have been able to write without fear of repercussions from their leaders and frankly, the law. Lacey and Larkin have successfully overcome dozens of lawsuits over the decades and their fearlessness permeates the entirely of the New Times staff.
I’ve never personally worked with Mike Lacey and in fact, I’ve only met him on a few occasions. But from what I’ve heard (and believe from my limited experience) he was not a perfect leader, but a good one. If I had to fit his leadership style into one of Larkin’s styles, I think it would be Consultative management. The teamwork and motivation of the staff at the paper has been key in its continued success.
The announcement of the company’s sale gave me a chance to stop and appreciate a good leader who has been right in front of my eyes. I think we often forget to be grateful for the leaders that are the most obvious until it’s too late. What other valuable leaders and lessons in leadership have been in our faces the entire time? Maybe we can all learn something from taking a few minutes to think how different our jobs or schools would be without the leaders we have or have had in the past.
I wonder how the New Times will move forward without its founder and longtime leader.
As a huge sports fan and avid basketball player, I grew up learning the importance of teamwork. The value of teamwork in sports serves as an example of how effective teamwork can be in any area of life. Any young athlete grows up hearing “There is no ‘I’ in ‘team’” from their coaches and are taught to put the team before yourself. In a way, being a part of a true team is nothing short of everyone being a servant leader. Everyone leads in different ways, as Likert showed us last week. Some are authoritative leaders and take a more vocal role, while others simply do their part and allow others to lead the way. But each person serves as an essential part of the equation that either results in a successful and balanced team or an unhappy and unbalanced experience.
As an example of both type of team, let’s take a look at the Olympic basketball debate that Kobe Bryant started when he said the 2012 American team could beat the famous 1992 Dream Team over the summer. No matter your opinion on which team would win (I must state my own opinion that the Dream Team would win hands down, just for the record), it is undeniable after watching the summer Olympics that these two teams have very little in common. Whereas the Dream Team dominated the competition with good, unselfish basketball, the 2012 Team USA seemed more like a group of individuals. The Dream Team worked together and had balanced scoring to help them blow their opponents out; the 2012 squad had a few players who scored a lot while the others kind of trailed off. The Dream Team was made up of a remarkable group of NBA legends and Hall of Famers, but these superstars put aside their pride and egos as servant leaders, each playing their own part and doing their own respective jobs to contribute to the overall team effort. This year’s basketball team faced stiffer competition, but they were never really cohesive. Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Kevin Durant led the way for Team USA and they all certainly got along, but the reason the Dream Team swept the world off its feet is because they were a tight, talented unit. This year’s stars never really learned how to play well together, while the Dream Team’s superstars/leaders of Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson came together and learned how to cooperate in the group. The Dream Team also had an inside post presence with David Robinson and Karl Malone. This may seem like more irrelevant basketball talk, but if the Dream Team is the metaphor for the perfect team, these players functioned as servant leaders who didn’t get as much of the spotlight, but still had an essential role on the team and fulfilled their duties perfectly.
This debate is just one of many examples in the world of sports that can be applied to every other facet of life when it comes to teamwork and leadership. The Dream Team had leaders, but was still an effective team because they all fulfilled their roles for the good of the team. The 2012 American team was still successful, had leaders and won the gold medal, but they had a much harder time and were exposed at times by countries with more team chemistry like Spain and Lithuania. They lacked an inside presence and had a lot of guys who scored points, but didn’t really contribute like the role players of the Dream Team. So if you’re looking for a reason to take the Dream Team’s side in this debate, the fact that they were a much more cohesive team as opposed to a talented group should be where you start.
Working in a team can be stressful, difficult and time consuming – but there are definitely benefits to not always doing things on your own.
In my group last week, I think we each experienced some of the benefits of having a group to rely on. One of the things I think we did best was taking advantage of each of our strengths. We tried to divide up the tasks according to what we each would be best at, and enjoy the most. For example, neither of Fellows felt very comfortable with their English skills so the Attachees took on the duties of writing and speaking. As a compromise we all worked together on idea generation and brainstorming.
This way of dividing up the work reminded me of the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. The idea came from developmental psychologist Howard Gardner and centers around the idea that there are various intelligences at which one can excel. Gardner believed there to be little correlation between the different areas of cognitive abilities.
He designated the following eight intelligences:
I found this website which offers a quiz that will tell you what intelligences you possess, or in other words, your strengths. My strongest intelligences are social or interpersonal, language or linguistic, and musical. I believe my social intelligence played a role in our groups ability to from bonds so quickly.
Now, what are your strengths?