Welcome to the Digital Leadership Network! My name is Charlie Potts and I am the Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Residential Life at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. We are a small (2300 students), private, residential college in rural southern Minnesota. In the context of my institution, leadership takes many forms. We are affiliated with the Lutheran church (ELCA) and a cornerstone of our mission and purpose is the idea of servant leadership.
I began my professional career as an Area Coordinator in residence life at St. Olaf College in Minnesota in the fall of 2004. Facebook was brand new and just spreading to other campuses by the middle of the 2004-2005 academic year. I worked with students who were learning Facebook and learning about the power of social networking at the same time I was – and I was hooked.
I am an introverted personality in a profession that often necessitates and emphasizes extroversion. I have spent my career finding ways to engage and interact that would not drain me of energy or enthusiasm – and social networking sites have been my outlet. Social networking sites have been my single greatest professional development tool – I have connected with colleagues and friends from around the world to discuss current trends, opportunities for involvement and leadership, and to share resources.
I am excited about this project because our roles in higher education require our attention to leadership in all its forms. It is vital for us to understand how we engage with those who lead us, how we lead our teams, how we lead our students, and how we shape future leaders. Leaders now must not only know how to use digital tools to complement their leadership styles, but must maximize their ability to fully integrate digital tools and social media into their ways of leading. This is the next step in the evolution of leadership, and I get excited thinking about how to think about practical application of these tools.
You can find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat with the username @pottscharlie