Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

IPhone Leadership: Leading with Impact and Integrity

Written by: on November 18, 2012

Technology and communication have come a long way in the past couple of centuries. Can you believe it? The first stamp was produced in 1840 when letters were transported by ships and trains. Letters took weeks, sometimes months to be delivered around the world (Briggs and Burk 2010). Another communication invention in 1837 the telegraph was patented in Britain by William Fothergill Cooke and Charles Weatstone. In 1866 the first large cable was laid across the Atlantic Ocean to connect Britain with the United States through the telegraph. Samuel Morse (1791-1872) was declared father of the telegraph in 1871 on his 80th birthday. He invented the dots and dashes code which enabled people to talk to each other through the telegraph wires.

It wasn’t until 1796 that Alexander Graham Bell patented his telephone that would enable people to speak over the telephone wires. Vladimir Zworykin patented the first complete television system in 1923 in the US. In 2008, Steve Jobs used a touch-screen handset to combine a music player, video, a mobile phone, email, calendar and the internet into the iPhone [Briggs and Burk 2010]. What an amazing invention!

One of the complaints about the early telephone was that people would spend too much of their time on the phone. Today, we hear the same concern that people are spending too much time on their iPhone managing the multiple communication technologies to help their work and enjoy personal entertainment. As leaders, one of the biggest challenges we face today is how to manage the amount of information and communication that floods our day.

I try to read a few books a year on how to manage time, goals and technology. Here are a few guidelines and tips that I have picked up through the years to manage the iPhone to accomplish goals with impact and integrity:

1.      Make sure you have a good plan for the week clarifying your goals, commitments and appointments.

2.      Attend meetings with clear goals you want to accomplish ahead of time.

3.      Summarize commitments at the end of every meeting with an action plan and send out meeting makers when new meetings are set.

4.      Use internet search engines to look up information or definitions during and after meetings.

5.      Use productivity aps like metric or money converts or dictionaries, etc…

6.      When writing emails, always double check for accuracy [who you are sending it to, typos and grammar errors] and learn email etiquette and protocol like – never bold words as it could be interpreted that you are yelling and angry.

7.      When reviewing emails, try to deal with it only once or twice – opening the same email many times before you make a decision on what to do with it wastes precious time. Delete or file emails you do not need to respond to and mark as unread it you need to respond. Later when you are at your computer, search for unread emails and respond as you have time.

8.      Make sure your subject titles are accurate and concise. I have inadvertently deleted emails that did not seem to apply to me. Others will do the same to your emails if the subject title is missing or fuzzy.

9.      When using the phone, I always ask is this a good time to talk in order to discern if there is enough time for me to discuss what I need to talk about with my friend.

10.  Have a goal in mind before the conversation and get to the point of the call upfront in your call.

11.  I attempt to be short and to the point but also relational and ask a relational question if there is time like “what are you going to do over the week end?”

12.  If there is a decision to be made by another person not on the phone, I find the conference call feature very helpful to add the person to our call if available.

13.  Grow your contact list with the “add a new contact” feature [when new people call and you think you may need to call them sometime in the future].

14.  When you spot a visible problem, use your camera to record the problem and send it with email or text features to the person or persons who can resolve the problem.

The iPhone is an amazing combination of communication technologies that assists us in achieving our goals or it can side track our productivity. What are some guidelines and tips you use to help you use the iPhone more effectively and efficiently?

Briggs, Asa and Burke, Peter. A Social History of The Media: From Guttenberg to the Internet.Cambridge: Polity Press, 2009)

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