Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Where do we share ideas on Leadership?

I have a longing for a dialogue on leadership within our sector. Go through my blog postings and you will see this emerge. I guess I will keep coming back to it. Of course we will have to have a debate about the word “Leadership” first.:-)

Where is the Leadership Lounge in Volunteer Management? Where do you turn to for leadership ideas? Where do you turn to for a little inspiration? Leadership and inspiration are different things yes but I see them as intertwined on so many occasions.

Don’t leaders inspire?

When I see dialogue in volunteer management I still come across much of the same old dialogue Ive seen come up intermittingly over the last 14 years.

An example is some recent discussion I’ve come across on some forums. What should we call volunteers? What should we call volunteer managers? Or should that be managers of volunteers.

We seem to be addicted to questions of semantics and terminology. Meanwhile the great issues for our sector remain largely unspoken of or commented on. Yet we will get plenty of folk engaging on the semantic topics. Are basics like “what we should call each other” the Everest of our intellectual conquests in volunteer management?

Where can we form our leadership lounge? Where can we find the space to share thoughts on leadership?

Lessons in leadership can be found in many places.

One place I often go to for ideas and inspiration is the Ted Talks. Here’s the wikipedia definition of TED

“TED (Technology Entertainment and Design) is a global set of conferences owned by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, formed to disseminate "ideas worth spreading."

TED was founded in 1984 as a one-off event and the conference was held annually from 1990 in Monterey, California. TED's early emphasis was largely technology and design, consistent with a Silicon Valley center of gravity. The events are now held in Long Beach and Palm Springs in the U.S. as well as in Europe and Asia, offering live streaming of the talks. They address an increasingly wide range of topics within the research and practice of science and culture. The speakers are given a maximum of 18 minutes to present their ideas in the most innovative and engaging ways they can. Past presenters include Bill Clinton, Jane Goodall, Malcolm Gladwell, Al Gore, Gordon Brown, Richard Dawkins, Bill Gates, educator Salman Khan, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and many Nobel Prize winners. TED's current curator is the British former computer journalist and magazine publisher Chris Anderson.

From 2005 to 2009, three $100,000 TED Prizes were awarded annually to help its winners realize a chosen wish to change the world. From 2010, in a changed selection process, a single winner is chosen to ensure that TED can maximize its efforts in achieving the winner's wish. Each winner unveils their wish at the main annual conference.
Since June 2006,the talks have been offered for free viewing online, under a Creative Commons license, through As of August 2011, over 900 talks are available free online. By January 2009 they had been viewed 50 million times. In June 2011, the viewing figure stood at more than 500 million, reflecting a still growing global audience.

TED's mission statement begins:
We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we're building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.”

TED can be found at

The title of this blog links to a fun TED talk on leadership!

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