Leadership and Opportunism in the Social Media Age

What Would a Leader Do?

A word related to your business is trending on Twitter. You have two choices: employ a tactic you’ve already developed for cases such as this, or insert your business, opportunistically, into the Trending Topic. What would a leader do?

Your capability as a leader is a measure of your clout, your ability to influence others. If (big if, I know) your Klout score is a measure of your social influence, then a high score should reflect your capability. You have two choices: opportunistically game the system to achieve a high score or allow it to accurately reflect your engagement and influence. What would a leader do?

You’re a generational expert; you’re in Human Resources; you’re trying to get a job. A Twitter chat exists that is perfectly suited for your business or personal goals. You have two choices: spam the chat with your pitch or thoughtfully invest time into the chat by building relationships and adding value to the conversation over time. What would a leader do?
An article is written suggesting only one generation is qualified for a specific job. You have two choices: be part of the problem or be part of the solution. What would a leader do?


What Do Leaders Do?

Saying things such as, “That’s the way it’s always been done. I hope it changes. I doubt it will” is the equivalent of saying someone else needs to take the responsibility for creating the change I’d like to see. Does that sound asinine to you? Now, don’t run to the comments or stop reading here because you think I’ve called you asinine. I haven’t. That statement is asinine; and, we all say foolish things every once in a while, including me. What do leaders do?


Be a Leader

The best thing about leaders is that they’re not always looking for ways to embed themselves into conversations that propel their business or personal goals in obvious ways. Leaders see the benefits of long-term engagement.


For more than two years #GenYChat has been leading the discussion that seeks to solve the problem of the generation gap every Wednesday at 9pm ET. Do you care enough to be part of the solution even if you aren’t the guest host leading the conversation? Would you rather write a one-off post in response to one person; or, would you rather be part of shaping and adding value to the weekly discussions with many people that seek to better generational ties? It’s true that Millennials can tell when we’re being used to propel business goals. Guess who gave us this insight.

Be a leader.


Do you have questions or comments on leadership versus opportunism? You can answer in the comments below or start a conversation with me @WriterChanelle on Twitter.

Attend the Premiere Screening of “Walk With Me” at the Arena Stage

Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Four years ago Tanisha Christie and Ellie Walton started on the path to creating a documentary fraught with inspiring tales of thoughtful, committed citizens who believed in their power to create change.

On Thursday, February 2, 2012 the completed project, “Walk With Me”, will have its first screening at the Arena Stage in Washington, DC at 8pm.

Against the backdrop of historical moments of social change, “Walk With Me” is an expressionistic documentary that follows three women who use theater to inspire, stir and animate our democracy. Journeying with them while they work in prisons, community centers and schools, we see how theater can ask and answer critical questions: How do we fight injustice? How do we reclaim our personal and collective history? And, how do we inspire positive change in each other? “Walk With Me” shares that the personal creative act is a political one revealing that one person – one artist – can make a difference.

This may be the first screening of this film, but these two ladies are not newcomers to this world. Ellie Walton recently received the Mayor’s Arts Award for Outstanding Achievement in Arts within the Washington, DC community. Tanisha Christie spent many years in the Washington, DC community as an actor-educator-director. She was formerly the Assistant Director at DC’s Living Stage Theater Company/Arena Stage.  She now lives in New York. Both were inspired to make this film by their mentor, the late Rebecca Rice who is featured in the film.

Check out the “Walk With Me” trailer

Walk With Me Teaser from Ellie Walton on Vimeo.

Suggested ticket price is $20 but no one will be turned away. Please pay what you can.
Seats are limited, so please RSVP here to reserve a seat: ayaartsandmedia@gmail.com

Q & A will follow the screening.

The Mead Center for American Theater (Arena Stage) is located at 1101 6th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024 or the Waterfront-SEU Station on the Green Line.

“I Hate My Teenage Daughter”: A New Normal?

“I Hate My Teenage Daughter”, a new Fox sitcom, tells the story of two popular teenage daughters being raised by two mothers who were unpopular in high school and their husbands.

Nikki Miller, one of the mothers, represses what are presumably her feelings of low self-worth – feelings that make her feel inferior to her daughter – by eating. She was supposedly, “cured” of these feelings, feelings for which she was teased mercilessly while growing up.

A sample of dialogue from the show:

“Honey, please don’t be mad at me. I hate it when you shut me out. Can’t we just go back to being best friends?”

“We were never best friends.”

“It’s okay. I know you didn’t mean that.”

It’s normal to hate our mothers, right?

In the pilot the two daughters are punished by their mothers for leaving a wheelchair-bound classmate in a locked closet. Meanwhile, their fathers, seeking peace with their daughters, pay them each $100 to stop being angry with them.

The show approaches its end with a tender moment from Annie Watson, the other mother, to her daughter, Sophie. Sophie’s apology leads the audience to believe the cause of their argument was a moment of failed communication where the mothers punished their children without listening to their daughters’ side of the story. Both mothers lift the punishment.

The audience, now ready for a touching moment showing the daughters’ complexity and exposing them as well intentioned, are instead shown that the girls are, in fact, liars. Years of family sitcoms with tender teaching moments offered at show’s end might have trained our minds to expect and accept these endings. The show, in fact, ends with a realization that the daughters lied to have their punishments waived. Not only did they lie, but they also blamed their plight on hurtful comments received from the supposedly racist wheelchair-ridden student. Nikki, a Caucasian woman, is raising a biracial daughter, MacKenzie, the product of an interracial marriage now dissolving in divorce.

Instead of portraying the daughters as having the ability or the desire to grow and become better, they are portrayed as manipulative bullies who repeat the negative behaviors learned in their homes with their peers at school. Upon realizing the truth, that the wheelchair bound classmate is African-American and did not make racist statements, Annie notes they might simply have horrible daughters.

Is It Normal to Hate Your Daughter?

As a GenY-er I wanted to be on the side of the daughters prior to watching this show based solely on its title. I cannot support their behavior. This show highlights one kind of young person, an individual that does not represent the broad and diverse spectrum of today’s youth. Daughters have long hated their mothers; it’s part of youthful rebellion. Is “I Hate My Teenage Daughter” creating a new normal in hating the daughter right back, publicly? Is there a possible lesson to be learned that will be revealed in time?

The title of this show leaves much to be desired. Given its popularity, though, the show might not be going anywhere for a while. In December it won its Wednesday 9:30-10pm time period among Teens and Men 18-34 and ranks #2 among Adults 18-49 and Adults 18-34. The ratings show the unpopularity of this show among women, perhaps driven by its title. What is drawing teenagers and men to the show? Is this entertainment?

Broadcaster Tavis Smiley to Lead Conversation on #RemakingAmerica

An article written recently by Forbes contributor Gene Marks was shared over 90,000 times, garnering attention for its, seemingly, purposely sensationalist headline. Out of the thousands of ensuing comments a theme emerged: His error was in making the piece about race when it should have been about class. What this article achieved was to highlight the ignorance of the experience of poverty held by the inexperienced. Poverty is still an issue. In 2012. Across the world.

In an effort to call more attention to and find a solution for this crisis, Tavis Smiley, host of Tavis Smiley on PBS, The Tavis Smiley Show and co-host of Smiley & West from PRI, (Public Radio International) and a panel of prolific thought leaders and advocates will convene in Washington, DC on January 12, 2012 from 6:30pm – 9pm ET for “Remaking America: From Poverty to Prosperity.”

This symposium will discuss solutions for restoring America’s prosperity and dissect the findings from a recently released White Paper from Indiana University on ‘the new face of the poor.’ Remaking America” will feature a list of distinguished influencers from political, finance, film and economic communities including: Cornel West, Princeton professor and author; Suze Orman, America’s leading authority on personal finance; Michael Moore, Academy Award®-winning filmmaker; Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed; Jeffrey Sachs, poverty expert and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University; Majora Carter, Urban Revitalization Strategist; Vicki B. Escarra, President and CEO of Feeding America and others!

WHERE:             George Washington University Lisner Auditorium 730 21st St. NW, Washington, DC 20052


ADMISSION: FREE TO THE PUBLIC on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 5 p.m. Self-parking is available on site. All attendees must register at www.TAVISTALKS.com/REMAKINGAMERICA

To participate on Twitter, follow the hashtag: #RemakingAmerica


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