"I Borrowed the Shoes But the Holes Are Mine.”

Posted by jlubans on May 01, 2011

The Klaipeda conference, April 27, 2011, in Lithuania, attracted 90 participants. Del Williams (Fulbrighter at Klaipeda U), shared the morning session with me. The afternoon session feautured four Lithuanian librarians reporting on research topics. One of the speakers (Gražina Lamanauskienė, Director of Šiauliai University Library) had applied the concept of "distributed leadership" to her library; I hope to post her slides here.

My talk: "Leading from the Center: ‘I Borrowed the Shoes But the Holes Are Mine.’”

Here's the abstract:
"Leading from the Center: Meaning, Experience and Implications."

Since the mid-2010 publication of his book, Leading from the Middle the author has reflected on the book’s central argument: the more democratic a workplace, the higher its productivity and creativity. This talk shares those reflections and experiences.

While reviews have been overwhelmingly favorable (a starred review in Library Journal!) some readers have questions about the book’s central argument. Indeed, some doubt that followers can lead.

If the democratization argument is even partially true, what are the implications for the various styles of leadership, from the hierarchical (systematized) to the most “Theory Y” of leaders? What are the implications for entry-level librarians who seek responsibility and a share in decision-making? What skill sets does a middle or senior manager need to evoke the best performance from beginning librarians, those who yearn for innovative and supportive work cultures and who prefer action over sitzfleisch.

The author will touch upon gender differences in leading/following as revealed in his research on women leaders in Latvia, done in collaboration with his students.

And, Lubans will share his observations about the few libraries with genuine staff empowerment. Also, he will draw upon organizational models from musical realms – the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Grateful Dead - along with his experiences in using a self managing teams model in his teaching a at the University of Latvia s part of his Fulbright scholarship.

Holding forth, making a point which now eludes me:

Del Williams and me listening to afternoon presentat20110502-Del&me.jpgions:

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