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CEO Charisma: what is it? July 31, 2006

Posted by electrica in blog business tools, CEO blogs, CEO Videos, Video Blogging.
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Here’s a comment I posted on CEO Blog – Time Management by Jim Estill, CEO – SYNNEX Canada Ltd.

The topic of one of his posts was executive charisma. He questioned whether he really had much charisma. I’d say he’s probably got plenty, because you have to have some charisma to lead such a successful and prosperous corporation.

Charisma can come across in a text blog, I suppose, to an extent.  But a CEO Video blog post can really communicate your charisma, personality, and vision.

Charisma is suddenly a vital topic to me, since I’ve gotten into video blogging and CEO videos.

What is charisma? Does it necessarily mean extroverted, wild-eyed, pulpit pounding enthusiasm, gushing charm and a twinkle in the eye?

I doubt it. I think there are many types of charisma, including a gentle, soothing, calm, shy, and introspective manner.

I point you to the book Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It — by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner.

Kouzes is chairman emeritus of the Tom Peters Company.

According to their research, constituents seek (1) Honest (2) Forward-looking (visionary) (3) Inspiring (4) Competent (5) Fair minded (6) Supportive…(etc.) leadership.

Where does charisma fit into this scheme? The word “charisma” is not even found in the index of the book.

Thus, I think charisma is a blend of the 6 qualities above, especially being Visionary in an Inspiring manner.

How you portray these qualities is up to you, or any other CEO.

According to Websters New World Dictionary, “charisma” is (1) a divinely inspired gift or talent, as for prophesying, healing, etc. (2) a special quality of leadership that inspires great popular allegiance.

I personally think you can have charisma, even when few follow you, and your organization is not doing very well, for reasons that are not your fault. I think of Socrates, Buddha, Jesus, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Abe Lincoln, Tim Berners-Lee, Jason Calacanis, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, heck, even The Beatles…

Did they have “charisma”? As we commonly think of it?

Or did they have a burning passion for an idea that simply had to come to pass through their efforts and leadership?

How much of their lifelong achievement was due to charisma?

To me, charisma is passion, dedication, and a unique, warm personality that inspires others to follow cheerfully and expectantly.

atomic unit of the web: from site to page to tag? July 30, 2006

Posted by electrica in basic blogology, blog business tools, deep blogology, information architecture, tagging, web usability.
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Jakob Nielsen once said, in his Designing Web Usability book, that the atomic unit, the smallest coherent unit of the web was the web page.

At first, people linked to static, or infrequently updated, web sites. Then, as web sites became more complex, requiring site maps, site indexes, and clearly, relevantly labeled tabs, the exact page of a site grew in importance.

Weblogs made linking even more page oriented, with frequent posting on more varied topics. While site search and sidebar post categories were a step in the right direction, they were often unsatisfactory, hit or miss, and time-consuming.

We link, ideally, in most cases, to a specific post we are quoting, rather than to thehome page of a site. Linking to the site’s main index or home page forces the user to navigate to the specific page containing the quote or image or whatever is being referenced. This enables users to go immediately to the specific information, audio, video, photo, or art image we want them to check out.

This is why hardcore bloggers will keep a notebook with post URLs (web addresses) for each post they publish.

Now, tagging each post is all the rage, especially for what is called Web 2.0 designers and advocates. Adding tags to posts is a way to provide a context or keyword identification of a post’s content, prior to actually reading the post. Tags also enable users to see other posts, at other sites, that are tagged with the same words, thus, hopefully, relevant to the same topic.

Many problems arise with tagging. You rely on the honesty and intelligence of the site author who adds a tag or tags to a post. Plus, who knows how relevant and information-rich the posts are going to be, the posts all tagged with a specific word?

Worse yet, and you can see this in YouTube as an example, some sites that you provide content to will not have a good tagging system.

What I mean is this: say you want to tag a post “vaspers the grate”. If the site tells you that the tags must be separated by commas, or put in quotes, you’re alright. You can type in the tags “vaspers the grate, web usability analysis, blogology” (excluding the quotes) for example. Or just “vaspers the grate” (in quotes).

But wait. At some sites, like YouTube (and I’m not picking on them), your tags can be only one word. That’s why my own videos are tagged “CEOblogs” and “vaspers”, rather than “CEO blogs” and “vaspers the grate” (excluding quotes). Because the tag “CEO blogs” are two words, two separate tags, “CEO” and “blogs”, and NOT “CEO blogs”.

This distinction becomes absurd with something like “vaspers the grate” (excluding quotes) as a tag. The tags, plural, become “vaspers”, “the”, and “grate”. I jam two or three words together, as a workaround.