The Krafty MLA Blog 2006

Monday, May 22, 2006

Swimming with the Sharks

Julie McGowan delivered an inspiring Janet Doe lecture this morning. The topic of her presentation was "Swimming with the Sharks," or risk taking and leadership. Besides being a compelling storyteller and very good presenter, Julie outlined very important points about risk-taking for librarians in uncertain times. She began with historical and current examples of risk-taking leaders, including Julius Caesar, Colin Powell, and Mario Andretti, who was the source of the quote, "If things seem under control, you are just not going fast enough." She moved on to provide examples of risk-taking by entrepreneurs as well as library/informatics professionals. The concrete examples of challenging situations, outcomes, lessons learned, and overall risk-taking philosophies were very grounding for the professional who wonders, "How can I do this?" Likewise, the overall tone of her presentation and advice for leaders was very inspiring for the individual who wonders, "Can I do this?" According to Julie, you can, if you follow these simple rules (paraphrased and translated for the purposes of this blog): Be bold as you jump in the pool, librarians - be smart, be prepared, be on the lookout for sharks, and know how to detect and survive the sharks. Be willing to accept casualties, accept change, take on new roles, stand up, and be counted. You can do it. Just ask Julie.


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