Unsung Melodies: This week’s events I didn’t write about

January 24, 2013

Apps for apesThis week I would have liked to have blogged about Barack Obama’s second inauguration; David Cameron’s long-awaited speech on Europe; blacklisting of employees; Lance Armstrong’s interview with Oprah Winfrey; and iPads for Apes

President Obama’s inauguration

The UK, like the rest of the world, followed the inauguration. An estimated 40 million people watched [see the figures for Armstrong and Whitney, below]. A video of the 18 minute speech is available.

Initial reactions seem to be that the president will take steps to counter what he sees as obstruction to his policies by political opponents in the Senate. The speech signals this intention specifically on actions to preserve the environment, supporting human rights, and strengthening gun controls.

Prime Minster David Cameron’s European Speech

Meanwhile, over in Europe, Prime Minister Cameron makes what is considered his most committing political speech of his term in office. [23rd January 2012] His party’s stance on Europe will be built around a pre-election pledge for a post-election “in or out” referendum on membership of the European Community. The strategy appears to be a move to counter the rise of the anti-Europe UKIP party in the polls, and as a means of reducing trouble with his own anti-Europe MPs. He plans to renegotiate before the next general election [in 2015] to obtain changes in the EC and its arrangements with the UK. If successful. these will permit him to support a “stay in” vote in the subsequent referendum. A video of this speech is also available [via the BBC website]

Blacklisting of employees in the UK

This story is one which I believe will recur over the next few months, as a matter of corporate social responsibilities. Attention has been drawn to bullying and possibly illegal means through which organizations prevent employees from speaking out concerning their working conditions. The sanctions include the blacklisting of uncooperative employees from future employment. The examples suggest the practice has been widespread in some industries such as construction where part-time and supply work is common.

Lance and Oprah

The hero to zero story of Lance Armstrong played out as a full-blown televised confessional between Armstrong and Oprah Winfrey. It was watched by 28 million people worldwide. The charismatic figure considered the greatest cyclist of his generation once acquired cult status. Eventually he was revealed as a drug cheat who dragged his sport into disrepute. I like to describe leadership in terms of dilemmas. In chess terms, Armstrong moved not because he could or because he wanted to, but because he was forced to by a build up of stories against him.

Apps for Apes

Here’s a story which is fun and with animal rights implications. Apes like iPads. (Don’t we all?). The story was widely reported

The ‘Apps for Apes’ project came into being [in a Milwaukee zoo] because orangutans need constant stimulation – otherwise they become bored or depressed. Previous experiments have proved that the animals have an innate ability to use touchscreens.

‘The original idea came literally when Steve Jobs gave his opening presentation introducing the iPad,’ said conservationist Richard Zimmerman.

MBA student note

You may find a story for a leadership blog within these five items. Try to focus on a specific theme, and bring out its leadership implications around a critical incident.


Wanted: Blogs for Leaders We Deserve

May 27, 2011

Leaders We Deserve announce a new service for subscribers. We will be providing a list of blog topics with an open invitatation for new authors to add to the list. The list becomes open for anyone wishing to write a post on a topic (“Bid”) or propose a topic for someone else to write (“Propose”)

How the bidding and proposing works

This is how the service works. Anyone can ‘bid’ to write a post or ‘propose’ a post for Leaders we deserve by using the comments section below. Proposals for new topics should have a title and brief information to indicate the main idea behind the proposed blog. Bids should outline the ‘header’ to the proposed blog post (the first paragraph which appears in bold). Successful bids will receive guidance from the editorial team at LWD.

Here are some proposals in the pipeline, based on news stories this week [May 21st-May 28th, 2011]:

[1] Oprah Winfrey’s Secret
Oprah bows out from her show as America’s ‘second First Lady’. What was the secret to her phenomenal success?
USA Today story here

[2] Sarah Palin: The Undefeated
Sarah Palin steps up her Presidential campaign with a two hour film depicting her as Joan of Arc. We test the film and the candidate’s leadership style and credentials.
Guardian article here

[3]”The Evil That Men Do…”
Mladic captured and faces war crimes tribunal. Cn the notion of evil be explained the same way as that of charisma or the Hitler paradox?

[4]Simon Cowell shows ‘Presidential Envy’.
What motives successful people to the symbols of power? Simon Cowell wants President Obama’s Limo

[5] Adele named most powerful person in British music: why?

[6] “No divorce please, we’re from Malta”
Church in Malta is ‘confident’ priests will not use pulpit to influence vote on voting day for legalizing divorce
[7] Burberry flourishes through Angela Arhendts’ leadership
Photo from chinadaily.com.cn