Leadership Elastic …Now that’s Fantastic!
I love this article by WordPress blogger, LeadershipFreak:
Stretched, Not Crushed
Every time things start going wrong we look to the leader for solutions. Beware! The pressure to provide solutions crushes leaders. When solutions come from the top, organizations crumble from the bottom.
A C-level leader recently said, “When I wake up stressed out over problems in the night, I know I’ve forgotten it’s about the team. Things go better when I include others.”
Stretching others: Leaders who can’t ask people to do hard things can’t get hard things done. Meaningful contributions require deep commitment and effort. Weak leaders assume others can’t or won’t step up. They rule out before they ask.
Ruling out: That’s too hard for them. Making it easy prevents people from stepping up. Give people the opportunity to do hard things. I’m not suggesting you intentionally make things hard for others.
- They already contribute so much. Translation, they can’t make meaningful contribution in new areas.
- They wouldn’t be interested.
- They’re too valuable where they are. If anyone says that to you, update your resume’.
The big ask: The big ask is about values before programs. Programs, methods, and techniques are small things when compared with the power of shared values. Align shared values before making the big ask.
It’s the team:
Carrying the load alone crushes;
carrying the load together stretches.
Shared values are magnetic; they pull people together. Success is always about people before it’s about programs and initiatives. People committed to shared values make deep commitments to each other. Connections sustain and energize when things get hard. Blame separates and defeats.
How do you ask others to do hard things?
What should be in place before you ask for deep commitments?
via Stretched not Crushed, by LeadershipFreak
Here’s a Monday freebie for you…
A freeware program called KeepVid lets you save YouTube videos and other movie files to your computer.
Three easy steps to downloading videos:
1. Copy the URL of the video you want to download, then head to www.KeepVid.com, and paste it in the bar at the top.
2. Click “Download” to the right of that bar. Do not click the large green “Download” button.
3. It will load for a few seconds, then you’ll have the option to download the video in FLV (Flash), MP4, or WebM format. If you don’t know which one to pick, go with MP4, as it has the greatest compatibility.
Here’s a nice tutorial on how to use KeepVid: http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57405342-285/how-to-download-videos-from-youtube-vimeo-and-more/
Of course, be sure to have the appropriate permissions when saving videos.
Let your ideas breathe…
How Can You Harness the Power of White Space?
Objects in a composition need to breathe. White space offers an airy canvas stage on which the parts of your design can freely dance. Just ask Mark Boulton, graphic designer and writer from the UK. Here’s my favorite part about Mark’s view on white space:
“Whitespace is often used to create a balanced, harmonious layout. One that just “feels” right. It can also take the reader on a journey through the design in the same way a photographer leaves “looking room” in a portrait shot by positioning the subject off the center of the frame and having them looking into the remaining space.”
Check out this slide show by Brand Autopsy to see some compelling use of white space.
Now, how can you use white space in your next design, web page, slide deck or thank you note to make a bold statement?
Looking forward to [the spaces between] your ideas,
Infographics: Pictures That Tell A Story…
What is an Infographic?
The term Infographic is a portmanteau of two terms, “Information” and “Graphics,” and describes the visual representation of data. Infographics help communicate complex information in a digestible manner, as they creatively present data in an understandable and engaging format.
As web users, with our diminishing attention spans, we’re inexorably drawn to these shiny, brightly colored messages with small, relevant, clearly-displayed nuggets of information. They’re straight to the point, usually factually interesting and often give you a wake-up call as to what those statistics really mean. Here are some examples to fire up your i-graph engines…
Example: An Infographic that’s all about YOU
Intel’s “What About Me?”
Intel’s What About Me? is an automatic infographic generator that connects to your own Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts to create a profile infographic about you.
Social media users know that discovery is half the fun. With What about Me? you can capture a snapshot of your social media life and create your own colorful image, full of clues and facts about one of the most fascinating subjects in the world — YOU!
The chipmaker’s new “What About Me?” app culls info from your Facebook, Twitter and YouTube profiles to crank out a data visualization of your composite social media profile.
For instance, there’s a graphic that looks like a flower that tracks your interests based on what you tweet and write status updates about. There’s also a record of your most popular post ever and your most popular pic, your ratio of self-created updates vs. found information and “likes.”
More great Infographic examples
Free Online Tools For Creating Infographics
Hohli is an intuitive, simple online chart maker. It’s incredibly easy to pick your chart type, add some data, vary the sizes and colors and see the finished chart.
Creately lets you design easy-to-make diagrams and flow charts. You can choose from a number of purpose-designed diagram types and quickly add your data to make your own chart. The end result looks very professional.
New York Times
New York Times’ Visualization Lab lets you use statistics from recent NYTimes articles to create visualizations in various formats. You can also see other people’s visualizations and see how other people choose to display the same data.
Many Eyes lets you upload your own data or use data already stored on the site. The visualizations themselves are well-designed and very professional-looking. This is definitely the easiest way to use your own data for online visualizations.
Google Public Data
Google Public Data lets you easily take public data and transform it into an infographic of your choice. These beautiful, colorful graphics simplify and communicate the data perfectly.
You may have seen my earlier post on Wordle, which lets you create word visualizations using text you enter. There are plenty of interesting designs to choose from. Enter whole books, short passages or see what other people have used. In this example, we can see the US constitution visualised.
Free Software For Creating Infographics
Tableau is a free Windows-only software for creating visualizations. As you can see, these impressive graphs are colorful and quite unique.
Great tutorials on infographic creation: