Leadership Class (Y52.3300.001)

nyuscps I am teaching a Leadership class at New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies that begins tomorrow. The course is an elective course in the Strategy and Leadership Concentration toward an M.S. in Management and Systems through the Management and Information Technology Program within the Division of Programs in Business.

While the course description is already online for anybody to see here, I thought instead I will lead by setting an example of sharing text references. Academics (and even scholar-practitioners, which is a title I use for my own work) do not easily and publicly share what materials they are using for a certain course, so I thought I will share my required and recommended texts, specifically to assist others who may be building such a leadership course for the first time and are looking for appropriate texts.


  • Bass, B. M. & Riggio, R. E. (2006). Transformational Leadership (2nd ed.). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. ISBN 0805847626
  • Collins, J. (2001). Good to Great. New York: Collins. ISBN 0066620996
  • Northouse, P. G. (2007). Leadership: Theory and Practice (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. ISBN 141294161X


  • Kouzes, J. M. & Posner, B. Z. (2007). The Leadership Challenge (4th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. ISBN: 0787984914
  • Marquardt, M. J. (2005). Leading with Questions: How Leaders Find the Right Solutions By Knowing What To Ask. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. ISBN 0787977462

I am expecting great things from my students in this course, and expect to share a bit about the experience between here and Twitter.

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TweetWheel – Visual Twitter Relationships

Will the useful and interactive Twitter applications never stop? Thanks to the wonderful Twitterholics website, I just discovered TweetWheel.

tweetwheelThis online application analyzes all of the followers we have and then identifies which of them in turn follow one another. In other words, this visually shows relationships between those people I follow. Bring the cursor over each name, and colored lines appear that link them to one another based on their relationships. While some relationships I know, a number of them were a surprise.  As followers and relationships are dynamic while the TweetWheel takes a snapshot in time, you may want to generate this repeatedly. One word of caution, depending on the number of people you follow, this can take some time. As I have recently added a number of new people I follow (from the Connected Futures CP2tech01 workshop), this program helps me understand those people’s relationships a little better.

Click my TweetWheel image to see it full-size.

What community-building or other uses can you imagine for this?

Twitter Invitation to a Discussion Group

I found a new use of Twitter–quickly connect to an entire community.

Well, I did not necessarily discover this on my own, as it has been a recent topic of discussion on one of the discussion groups I follow, Online Facilitation. onlinefacilitation.jpgOne of the members of the group sent a Twitter follow request / email invitation to the mailing list itself, which in effect invited anybody and everybody in the community to click the link to then follow this person via Twitter.

Brilliant idea, I thought–how better to communicate with a group of people with similar interests than by sending a Twitter invite to the entire group! If we share this interest in online facilitation, as I thought about it, then perhaps sending this sort of Tweet to everybody in the group may in fact move the communication to a more public area (Twitter) , where people can continue to connect in another forum. Isn’t this what facilitating community is all about?

However, the issue of this being discussion board spam or an accident has also been raised. Here, I thought it was a brilliant community outreach (there are many people on the list I do not know nor have I ever met or seen) that tried to bring people together, while others perceived a similar outreach as more discussion group clutter. I know I usually do not actively seek people out on Twitter or any of the other social media (a bit shy, fear of rejection, or desire to be unobtrusive?), so when I get these invitations from others who have some similar interests, I am usually appreciative of their efforts.  That this came in a spam-like blanket that does not offer any immediate benefit for the current community (Twitter conversations would, of course, occur outside the current community) is also a very real concern. This is like sending donation emails, self-promotion communications, or even adverts to a discussion group, most of which are frowned upon. What surprised me the most was how little discussion this really did generate at all. 

That once again Twitter (I Tweet here, by the way) is used in an unintended way that sparks discussions that previously did not exist is a testament to how significant I really believe this technology to be.

What do you think?

How to Use Twitter in Higher Education

I decided that I will list my Twitter name on the syllabus for the class I am teaching that begins tomorrow, Project Management for Training. I decided to do this after reading an article in the Chronicle, Forget E-Mail: New Messaging Service Has Students and Professors Atwitter. As my class is in a continuing education certificate program, I am not sure how or what I will do with it, but I know nothing will happen unless I take the first steps.

While my class will only touch on technology, I am interested in listing the Twitter address and seeing where it may lead. Has anybody out there effectively used Twitter in an adult-oriented, non-technology focused class?

Twitter Thoughts from BarCampNYC3

twitter2 I started using Twitter a little over a year ago, when I first encountered it while at Northern Voice 2007, and am still active there at http://twitter.com/JeffreyKeefer. Since then, it has become more popular in the last year. I am still surprised with how many people use it for such a variety of purposes, yet there are no usage costs or advertisements on it or otherwise anything that seems questionable.

One of the BarCampNYC3 sessions yesterday speculated about several future revenue models that may or may not be in their business plan. What struck me is that Twitter allows, and even encourages, developers to use the Twitter data in other applications, which is interesting since all of the Twitter data and posts have been available and indexed on Google for some time. If it goes on Twitter, count on it being part of the public Web.

While I do not know Twitter’s business model and am not an investor in their technology, as a user I find their product the pinnacle of clarity and openness. Let’s hope as the technology begins to go mainstream, that they do not turn on their customers.

Come to think of it, does Twitter even have customers?

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Twitter in the Classroom

twitter It is nice to see some college classes making use of current technologies that are all the rage in the private sector and amongst early-adopters. It is another thing for a professor to formally integrate this by having students sign up for their own accounts.

Such is the story in the recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, where a professor uses Twitter to interact with his students. Thankfully I saw this article in my newsreader on the Twitter blog. While I applaud the effort, it will be wonderful when non-technology or media faculty begin integrating these technologies into their syllabi for their educational value alone, even beyond the technical “wow” factors. This is a wonderful start, and reminds me of when I taught high school years ago and began using email with students to review for exams and work on assignments back in 1997. How times have changed.

I wish I would have tried this with my class that just ended. It would have been great to discuss current news stories, share ideas about upcoming assignments, and even debrief what was learned. This debriefing is where I believe much learning is done, yet it is the connection between what happens in the classroom and how that gets realized in life that formally gets overlooked in the race to “do the assignments.”

I would be happy to speak with any of my former students via Twitter.

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Twitter Champion

I just read a fascinating post from Richard Azia, where he described some of his thoughts having recently Tweeted 10,000 times (in under a year!). He had some really thoughtful reflections about Twitter as a truly social media. I commented on his page about this, sharing my own thoughts about why I started to Tweet more. To quote my own reply:

. . . I have started using it [Twitter] again a lot more because of 3 reasons–I have a BlackBerry and started using TwitterBerry, since it makes it easier to Tweet while on the run. Secondly, I find myself more open to sharing things in my day as my own public reflective practice (like autoethnographic and narrative studies). Thirdly, I recently switched my blog from MovableType to WordPress, and use Twitter Tools–this allows me to have my daily Twitter feeds get automatically added to my blog (so I do not lose my thoughts if Twitter decides it wants to become a walled garden).

I here so many people argue for or against Twitter, that is is nice to here somebody share a rather humble explanation of how they use it. I like to see such examples, especially after hearing all the arguments.