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The Leadership Playlist

Leadership wish list: Five sites to check this season

As the year unwinds, we thought it would be fun to spend the next couple of weeks reviewing some 2010 highlights. The Leadership Playlist has brought us down a winding and intriguing path, and who better to celebrate our experiences with than all of you. To kick things off, this week we put together a list of the top sites our writing and research has introduced us to. Enjoy and, as always, sling over your thoughts, comments and additions.

1. Christine Henseler - Select Papers & JenX67.com
With all the work we've put in to exploring generations, the essays at Christine Henseler's personal site have managed to stand out. While there are certainly other tidbits worth poking around at (such as The Hybrid Story Spaces Project), Henseler's focus on Gen X is a "must explore." Raw and experimental, her efforts speak to the generational challenges that Xers continue to face. Her multimedia approach is laudable and suitable for the sentiments she strives to capture, and her uplifting overtones will prove warm and fuzzy for any Xer out in the cold. Academic in tone, Henseler raises a number of captivating concepts and ideas, and will take you down a critical road of nostalgia and sentimentality.

Like Henseler, Jennifer James, aka JenX67, also focuses on issues pertinent to those classified as Gen Xers. While the technical name for Jennifer James's blog is "are you there God? It's me, generation X," her posts range from personal to career, cultural to religious. James's recent topics included her dismay about the current crop of Gen Xer congressman who will shortly storm D.C. to her struggles to find a church that's best for her daughter.   More than anything, James consistently displays a refreshing optimism for the potential of Generation X, a knack for looking beyond some of the larger challenges that our generation will be faced with, and a hope for the role we might play in leading the country to a better place.

2. USGovernmentSpending.com
This site deserves a shout out for its ability to capture complexity with simplicity. Focused on how the government spends the country's cash, the charts and search options make federal finance look easy. This is a must-have resource for writers, scholars and government enthusiasts alike, as information about federal and state spending is simply accessed in user-friendly fashion. You could spend hours here. Whether you're checking out government spending through the decades or comparing education with defense budgets, USGovernmentSpending.com has an overwhelming amount of information and is a great starting point for anyone researching how leaders are doling out tax dollars throughout the country.

3. The United States of Inequality
Okay, technically this isn't a site, it's an article. But we're invoking creative license because it's a favorite that doesn't fit kindly into any one category. This Slate series by Timothy Noah is more journey than article, and deserves our nod. A 10-part series exploring economic inequality in the United States, it captures and advances the continuing conversation of class divergence. A necessary reference when declaring the death of the middle class, Noah's opus is informative, alluring and meticulous. Packed with references that are equally captivating, this link is sure to fill your time and open your mind. Did we mention that it's 10-parts . . .

4. The Daily Dish
While he may have flown under the radar for a while, Andrew Sullivan has become a prominent commentator on social issues, American politics, leadership and the personally exhausting act of blogging. As of March, Sullivan's Daily Dish had more than 10 million page views per month, tripling readership in the three years that Sullivan has been at the Atlantic. Sullivan is prolific, often publishing more than 250 posts in a single week about assorted topics such as DADT, climate change, Israel, gay marriage, Sarah Palin, torture, along with lighter fare such as his "mental health break" series. As a gay Catholic, conservative Obama supporter, British-born US politics enthusiast, and Harvard-educated PhD who avoids the trappings of academia, Sullivan grapples with contradiction by embracing nuance. With an honest and open approach, he challenges established doctrine, and digs into the heart of issues that have often been dummied down by our 60-second news cycle.

5. Fora.tv
Similar to counterparts like TED.com and Big Think, Fora.tv is all about cutting-edge ideas. Fora.tv works under the assumption that brilliant ideas are expressed in different forums across the world daily. The site aggregates video content from conferences, universities and other events, and the subject matter ranges from technology and economics to politics, entertainment and the environment. Fora.tv displays a wide range of thought leaders, from rapper Jay-Z and Rolling Stone guitarist Keith Richards to controversial political author Christopher Hitchens and writer Malcolm Gladwell.

Each of these sites is well worth exploring, and since many constantly refresh content, they can gobble up time quickly. Tell us about the sites that you rely on. And hey, we'll even allow an article or two...

Have an idea for what we should write about next? Be in touch at info@menoconsulting.com, connect with us at Facebook, or visit us at Meno Consulting.

By Joe Frontiera and Dan Leidl  |  November 30, 2010; 10:49 AM ET  | Category:  Leadership , Research Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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