On a recent SLA adventure, I visited the Pacific Northwest Chapter in Seattle and had a lovely tour of the new(ish) library at Microsoft, in Redmond, Washington. The MS Library has an inviting presence with lots of seating. They focus on training materials in the physical library and, of course, have a killer website built using MS Sharepoint.
After meeting with the PNW chapter, visiting SLA dignitary Gloria Zamora and I travelled to Portland to speak to the Oregon Chapter of SLA, which gave us a great excuse to visit Ziba Design’s new digs in Portland, Oregon and see their library. Ziba’s library also has a very inviting presence. The information specialists are embedded in the business and only in the library ad hoc.
And for other business interests, I visited the Uliko Studio a materials research resource in Beaverton, Oregon which just opened in September. What can I say? It’s another warm, inviting open space. Quite lovely.
It’s not a library, but a materials sourcing service. They have an interesting business model as the materials and space are supported by the vendors as a service to the clientele of designers and developers. Isn’t this interesting? The owners were very knowledgeable about materials, processes, and sourcing. If you are in the area, and interested in materials, I recommend making an appointment to visit!
Are you an animal lover? If so, have you noticed the lessons your dog, cat, or other critter can teach you about life, just by they way they approach each day?
As a joke, someone recently offered me their copy of Leadership Secrets of Attila The Hun, which is a light-hearted look at how an obscure barbarian leader might sum up his approach to managing an unruly horde.
However, I have a better leadership model to work with – our two golden retrievers, Arnold and Ginger. Even though they passed away last year, within six weeks of each other, I still think of them all the time. I miss them now because of their sharp instincts and insights.
At the SLA conference in June, candidates will be asked to speak about their leadership philosophy, and key traits that make good leaders. So I boiled down some of the dog widsom that I witnessed and tried to translate them into positive leadership skills.
| Dog Wisdom
|| Leadership Skill
|Head down, tail up
||Dogs are always on the lookout for new information that will inform their world and help them make the right decisions. A happy dog has their nose to the ground, seeking out new data, and their tail is usually up, indicating they are in a good mood.
|Join the pack
||Dogs are pack animals and so are we. If you join the pack, the pack will be stronger for it. A good healthy pack has a wide variety of individuals, all pulling in the same general direction. Good leaders inspire others to share the load for the good of the entire group. Good packs have a nice balance, and the members seem to have more fun.
|Wag more, bark less
||A good leader should have a pleasant demeanor and welcome meeting new people. Keep wagging your tail as you sniff out a new friend and everyone benefits. A good leader doesn’t dominate the conversation with a lot of barking. In fact, a good leader often doesn’t have to do a lot of barking – if you’ve watched Caesar Milan on The Dog Whisperer, you know that a subtle nip is all that a good leader needs to keep everyone’s tail wagging.
|Some bone need to be chewed thoroughly
||Have you ever seen a dog leave a bone when it still has meat on it? Neither have I. Dogs will relentlessly work a bone until the job is completed.
We all wish we could be the person our dog thinks we are. Your SLA leadership team is the same way – we want to do right by our members. We put high expectations on ourselves and try hard to do good things, but we need your feedback – a kind word, a pat on the head – to keep us on the right trail and make for a doggone good pack.