Monday, January 28, 2008

Leadership Found in Government Policy

There is much concern about the economy today. The stock market is taking a hit most days and people are worried about a recession happening world wide. China’s and Japan’s stock also worsen when news of America’s markets reach other areas of the world. American leaders have been waiting for the market to correct itself but that does not seem to be happening any time soon. As a way to help; the government has lowered the prime interest rate. In the past this would ease worries and the stock market would improve. In this climate, the stock market is not responding as expected from the change in rates.

The leaders in Washington are not waiting; they are taking action. Congress has approved a stimulus package to help improve the economy. In general, the package will provide $600 per person and $1,200 for couples filing join. The idea is people will take the money and pour it back into the economy. The Senate still needs to approve of the measure.

It is good to see our governmental leaders taking action as appose to watching and waiting for improvement over time.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Nice to Meet You!

Networking is an important leadership component in one’s carrier. This was done by socializing prior to events as in cocktail hours. People would mingle about and by happenstance meet different people in different circles. This type of event would happen infrequently throughout the year. Then people started to come up with events designed to allow people to network. This approach is still limited to your geographic location. is a web site that coordinates contacts between colleagues. People can grow their contact list by extending their circle of contact beyond their first level of people. These people can share their contacts and the circle grows ever wider.

Positions can be filled using this tool. There is a search capability to look for job postings. The web site also has communication methods to pursue any potential jobs.

The web site facilitates people offering mentoring services to other members in the database. People can look up specific disciplines and see if the contact is interested in this kind of relationship. makes your name visible to the business community at a world level. With tools such as these, the world is getting flatter and flatter.

Giving to Charities Over the Years

Our family has given to charities over the years that send food and water around to world to people in need. This is the type of work that seemed beneficial and the right thing to do. However, I always wondered if there was a better way to help. I cannot help but be reminded of a story my Mother told me when I was small. She told of the story that my grandparents came over from Italy with very little money and could have applied for assistance. They refused because they did not want a hand out; they had too much pride for that way of life. They worked very hard so the next generation could have a better life. That is where comes into the picture. People can supply funds not as a handout which keeps people in the current state of poverty. This act is a hand up and not just a hand out. With this approach people are given the dignity they deserve. Kiva not only sustains life but it enhances life as well.

An aspect that set Kiva apart from the typical charity is the fact that the money entering into the program is a loan; the money is returned to help other people as well. The help is recycled over and over again. It is understood that not all business will succeed and repay the loan, however, business have a chance and can have an opportunity to make a difference to the people in the business.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008

Working from Home

As a person with physical difficulties, the weather can cause me a challenge to get into the office. My position at my company and the infrastructure allows me to work remotely from my home. The applications that support are available over the internet and the company network is accessible by using a communication tool. This arrangement was originally set up to allow limited access for accessional email lookup. The applications became more sophisticated allowing easy access to main systems.

This became very important over the summer last year. My office area had a renovation that took one and a half months to complete. I was able to work from my home during this time while my office was worked on. This allowed me to pack and unpack my office only one time. I was more productive because the time for setup and taking down the temporary office was used working on the project.

More team members utilize this method of remotely working from home. There are many a day when the team receives an e-mail with the subject containing “WFH” meaning Working From Home.

Virtual Class Room Experience

What can be done when a college class is faced with the teacher that has a schedule conflict? Our current course was in recently this predicament. The solution that we incorporated was a “virtual classroom”. The teacher was remotely located and was equipped with a web camera and a microphone. Using a web site the student were able to post questions and comments during the class time. A good feature was that we could see any quests the teacher introduced during the section. However, the video was choppy at best. The output seemed better suited for still frame and not motion.

The audio was on way; from the teacher to the students. This helped with the flow of the conversation. The student however, could only communicate with the other end via typing the thought or question. The tool allowed for emotion icon to enhance the experience. The voice did cut in and out for a period of time during the section. The words were not lost during the pause, there was just a delay. These make understand the full thought difficult.

The overall experience was interesting and fun. There are certain improvements that will advance the communication approach. The tool has many power features that make this approach a good alternative but not effective at this point in it evolution.