Name tossing

Name tossers pepper their conversation with the names of people who the they  think important. Name droppers want you believe that their association – however tangential – with an influential person is meaningful. The name dropper dangles the perception of being “in the know.”

Two things you need to know about name droppers: They want you to believe that their knowledge of this influential person gives them some kind of pull. Name droppers don’t want you to call them on it.

This brings me to the difficulty that I’ve had in coming up with fruitful results using Google Alert. The question I have decided to ask is what exactly is a transformational leader and why do institutions find it especially difficult to replace highly effective leaders?

I’ve used several key phrases – “leadership succession,” “servant leadership.” and “transformational leaders.” Some of the results have been quite helpful. such as the Inc. Magazine story about servant leadership among Navy Seals. That was an explanatory article that delivered both through its explanation of servant leadership and how this applies to Navy Seals.

However, Google Alerts hasn’t consistently delivered.  The alerts I receive link to articles that are motivational in nature like this or are PR puff pieces such as this article. I’ll keep checking Google Alerts because that is one of the class requirements. But if I’m going to get better results  I am going to have to expand my where I look beyond Google Alerts. 

  1. I was just thinking about your topic this morning because I’m reading the book Good To Great for the second time. I think you’ll find some really interesting perspective on leadership in it. I would encourage you to browse a copy of the book. I try not to be a name dropper, but once in awhlie I find myself doing it as well. Not proud of that!

  2. I am treating my Google alerts as breadcrumbs. Most have to do with conferences and events, frequently from other bloggers. But imbedded in these sites are links to other sites, an occasional research footnote, and names of other people in the field. So here is where being a name tosser really comes in handy. I am all about focusing my efforts, so if someone has already done the research legwork on an element of my topic, I would just as soon drop their name in my blog, discuss what is relevant and then link to the supporting information. And, I admit I like being connected globally to thinkers and speakers on the same issues I am exploring such as: Jens Berggren, Stockholm Resilience Centre; Stuart Orr, WWF International; and Michel Jarraud, UN Water 🙂

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