Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Which COUNTRY reads my blog the most?

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Following on from Major Stephen Court's blog on the predominant countries reading his blog, let me offer you the Top 10 Countries that Read My Blog (statistics atleast taken from the last fortnight, thanks to www.statcounter.com):

  1. U.S.A - A whopping 62% readership. Maybe I should be advocating a little stronger against gun ownership, and yelling out praise for the Obama administration - that way I'd give other countries opportunity to up their percentage.
  2. Australia (15% of the readership - thanks Mum) - This is where my credible audience comes from. ;)
  3. The United Kingdom - If I'm speaking about The Salvation Army specifically, I'll increase readership from the UK.
  4. Philippines - Yes, the Philippines. Thanks for wading your way through the sand, in order to find the pearls.
  5. Canada - Thanks Stephen Court and others. You are so fortunate to be reading an Australian's views on the world.
  6. Hong Kong - And I haven't even committed to a blog about pro-democracy demonstrations in the region (the Umbrella Movement).
  7. Ireland - Who knows why.
  8. Nigeria - Actual readership? I hope so. 
  9. Vietnam - Hmm... It's surely all the amazing blogs about leadership.
  10. India - Did I do a blog about Cricket?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

10 Things I'm Sick Of...

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It's time to get some things off my chest. Here's my list of 10 Things I'm sick of:

1. I'm sick of television adverts that tell me I need to grow my hair, lose some weight and brush my teeth. I can't remember ever watching an advert that told me to simply appreciate the looks I've been given.

2. I'm sick of facebook changing the alogorithm to my 'Newsfeed', so that I am only able to read what facebook believes I think I should be reading.

3. I'm sick of my bank thinking they can pass my mobile number on to any section of their bank that they believe might be able to sell me something.

4. I'm sick of  being told that, 'your call is important to us', though not important enough that you would employ enough people to answer my call.

5. I'm sick of people smoking in non-smoking areas.

6. I'm sick of people driving UTEs parking in 'Pram' Parks.

I must say, I love a good coffee. But let me continue my rant.

7. I'm sick of news reports that spend 6 minutes talking about the latest scandal in sport and barely give a mention to anything worthy of news, like: human trafficking, unemployment, the plight of asylum seekers, etc.

8. I'm sick of people telling other people off for being judgemental and sounding judgemental in the process. And yes, that was probably judgemental.

9. I'm sick of big conglomerates doing fundraising initiatives, that fundamentally are marketing campaigns to increase their brand loyalty while giving very little (proportionately) to the charity.

10. I'm sick of politicians being treated like animals, irrespective of their ideological persuasion.

I could go on. In fact, I really could. I'm not stopping here because I have run out of content. No way. I still have plenty to say. Though, what would it achieve? I mean, I guess I would allow a few concerns to get off my chest, but my frustration would probably still linger.

Here's the crux of what I want to say: I have to choose a different outlook. In fact, I do. I choose to lift my eyes to the Lord. I choose to rise above a bad attitude towards the inherent brokenness of our society. I choose to do what Paul once wrote:

'Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.' - Phil 4:8.

It's a choice though, and one I do not always make. The manipulation of big business is apparent to me, everyday. The wilful sinfulness of others is so noticeable (let alone my own failings). BUT, I must lift up my eyes and fix them on Jesus; the author and perfector of my faith. I must look to him. I must concentrate on what and who really matters.

I mean, in the end, that causes me to be a little less frustrated...

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Who would have thought Leadership would come from there?

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Sometimes you find leadership material from the most unlikely places. Well, maybe it should be a given, but I was not expecting this...

As my role on a local school council, I have come across discussion of leadership from the perspective of the Victorian Education Department; namely what they called, 'The Developmental Learning Framework for School Leaders'.

Take a deep breath. There's some content in there that's worth having a look at. The document is about helping school leaders reflect on their leadership practice and to identify strengths and work areas.

In recent days I have had the privelege of helping in the employment of a new school principal and this is where this new framework comes into play.

There are five areas that sum up the 'organisation of leadership framework' produced by the Department of Education Victoria. The five areas of leadership (related to education but also leadership on a broader spectrum) are:

1. Technical Leadership
2. Human Leadership
3. Cultural Leadership
4. Educational Leadership
5. Symbolic Leadership

Technical leadership is about an effective leader demonstrating the capacity to optimise the school's finances, physical and human resources. Human leadership is about fostering an environment that is safe, meaningful and inclusive amongst all the relevant stakeholders (students, parents, staff, etc). Cultural leadership is about the leader being able to have vision, purpose and values that are relevant to particular educational environment. Educational leadership is unique to the education system, and of course is related to a leader's capacity to understand and engage with effective learning processes that will enhance learning in a school. Symbolic leadership is about a teacher's ability to 'model important values and behaviours' to the school, the community, etc.

If you're interested, read more about leadership from an education perspective here.

So, out of ten, how do you rate when it comes to modelling important values and behaviours in your own leadership context?

Out of ten, how well do you acheive when it comes to enhancing a particular environment so that it is safe, inclusive and meaningful?

Out of ten, how well do you do at cultural leadership? That is, do you have a vision? Do you know what you value? Do you have purpose and meaning around what you do?

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