Have You Made Leadership a Measurable Goal? Are You a Knowledge Seeker?
Change has always been a significant issue for members of the information profession. However, over the last two decades, at least, professional goals have evolved from coping with change to managing change to, now, leading change and, as this decade begins, to leading the knowledge revolution.
Who are the knowledge leaders among us? All of us, I hope. Knowledge leaders are those who are respected for their expertise as evaluators, selectors, organizers, and disseminators of information and knowledge. That's us. While our profession is currently positioned to take this leadership role, it is also experiencing greater competition than ever before from those in other professions who would assume our role. So, how then do we maintain our leadership role? How can we measure our own performance?
To be a knowledge leader one must also be a knowledge seeker, one who is intent on expanding one's involvement with their industry both in terms of education and personal interaction with colleagues. Our need to be knowledge seekers might explain why overall attendance at conferences is up in all professions, why we like sessions that are case studies and why our networks of professional colleagues are so important to us. At a recent conference I attended, a speaker observed that we learn best from human interaction.
To be a knowledge leader then, one must seek new knowledge or, as I heard it put recently, join the conversation on the professional issues of the day. One must seek visibility. French author and critic, Andre Maurois, wrote, "The most important quality in a leader is being acknowledged as such. …