I chose to participate in ILD 831 in order to be exposed to technologies that can help me as a leader. I have always been a little slow to engage technology and usually would only use it if the technology was essential to my job. Case in point, back in 1996 I began working for a company that had me traveling overseas and staying in those countries for three to five months at a time. I was assigned a laptop, an email address as well as instruction on how to fill out expense reports, time cards, and daily engineering reports. The laptop was an old Toshiba Tecra that weighed about ten pounds………And one hundred pounds after carrying it through the airport! The battery life was about thirty minutes and did not have much hard drive space on it. I never thought much of the laptop and certainly did not use it for anything but business purposes.
But then I found out that non-business people had email addresses and there was this thing call the World Wide Web. Suddenly I started understanding what everyone was talking about, and I then began to realize that I had a lot to learn. Fast forward to 2013 and now I am learning even more about technology by taking part in the new world of blogging, using smart phones, as well as doing research on software that has helped to flatten the world.
I researched Skype® during week two of ILD 831 and found out some amazing facts. Skype® is a communication tool that provides voice, video, and text message capabilities. It is a software program that can be downloaded to a PC or MAC and operates as a voice-over-IP service (VoIP) (About Skype, 2013). Skype® originally started as a peer-to-peer sharing program for voice connection. The premise was that with an Internet connection anyone in the world could use a microphone and speakers/headset to talk to one another (Aamoth, 2011). Microsoft purchased the rights to Skype® in 2011 and embedded Sype® in the newly released XBox One® as a video communication application.
Through the past eight weeks I have researched and found that a lot of technology was created before an actual use for that technology could be realized. As a leader I have to recognize how to use current technology effectively but still also keep an eye open to the future. Even though some technology may not be at a point where it can be useful does not mean that the technology should be abandoned.
Many leaders I have been studying all became extremely successful by taking advantage of newly developed technology. Some leaders also used technology in a ways the inventors never dreamed of in order to create a leap in their industries. All of my research has given me the conclusion that the bottom line is that leaders need to embrace technology. I have traditionally been slow to embrace technology, now I am seeing the risk with not being on the cutting edge. If I do not maintain a healthy development of technical knowledge, I am doomed to being left behind and becoming obsolete. The last eight weeks have been an exciting, eye-opening, scary, hopeful, and informative journey. My curiosity has been ignited and I am looking forward to seeing what new technologies I can learn about and apply to my role as a leader.
Aamoth, D. (2011, May 10th). A Brief History of Skype. Retrieved from Time Tech: http://techland.time.com/2011/05/10/a-brief-history-of-skype/
About Skype. (2013, November 2nd). Retrieved from Skype: http://www.skype.com/en/about/