I read a variety of blogs, journals and magazines covering everything from leadership and librarianship to reality TV, politics and book reviews. When I find inspiration and thought provoking articles I print and file them in a binder which I have cleverly labeled, Thought Leaders. I turn to this binder on a regular basis when I find myself stuck with a problem and looking for a new way to solve it. These are the people I turn to help me understand what is happening in my profession and in the world around me. I define a thought leader as someone who not only writes about new ways of doing things but also tries new ways of doing things. Thought leaders are not afraid to fail because they know that failure is just a step in the process of figuring out what works. Thought leaders are innovative because they are not afraid to be disruptive. Some of the most disruptive issues facing law librarians right now are also the most innovative: eBooks, virtual libraries, embedded librarians.
Years ago, Mark Estes suggested something which shocked librarian me to the core. He stopped checking in any serials in his law firm library. A boring job by anybody’s description and suddenly, you don’t need to do it anymore! What else could you do with that staff time? And really, who needs to know that you have received all the loose-leaf releases for Nimmer since 1997? If you don’t receive a release, you will find out when the filer starts to file the next one. That is soon enough to claim the missing issue. I confess that I have yet to implement this idea anywhere I have worked but it has stuck with me all these years. Much of what we do, we do because we have always done it. What could you stop doing today and no one would care? The thought leaders in our profession are asking this question all the time and we need to ask it of ourselves. Because the next question is, what aren’t we doing that we should be doing?
So, who are my thought leaders? I find inspiration in a number of places but these are the resources most related to my work life and inspiration:
- Dewey B Strategic
- Three Geeks and a Law Blog
- Harvard Business Review
- Library Link of the Day
- GTD Times
- Seth Godin’s Blog
I shared my list – now tell me, where (or who) do you turn to for inspiration and leadership?