Two years ago, as I sat down to write my first blog post, I found myself at a loss for where to start. As a focusing activity, I decided to write the purpose of my blog. It was quite helpful, and I ended up making that the topic of my first post: The Answer to What is Why.
I hit the publish button that evening, sent out a tweet – “What happens when you put a message in a bottle? I’ll find out in the morning. I just published my first blog post” – and then I went to bed. When I awoke the next morning, I was surprised to find 6 comments waiting for me, and more came in later that day. In some ways it was more exhilarating than publishing my first book. Such tangible, instant feedback!
Since then, I have written at least one blog post a week for the past two years. I have found my rhythm and style, and blogging has become part of my routine. My original purpose in blogging still holds, and I have personally benefited and grown as a result. To be honest, I still take a deep breath when I hit the publish button as it still feels a bit audacious sending my words off into cyberspace.
There have been some unexpected bonuses. I am delighted that my blog has become recognized and widely read in such a short period. What I noted in my first post holds true. Each post is like sending a message in a bottle – there are no guarantees it will be received, understood or appreciated.
The second bonus is that I often get a lot of comments. This has been the most rewarding part of blogging for me. I love the conversation as reader comments deepen the messages in my posts and take me further in my own thinking.
Finally, I have been honored to discover and connect with some wonderful leadership bloggers who generously offered me guidance early on, many of whom who have become real friends – Lolly Daskal, Wally Bock, Dan Rockwell aka Leadership Freak, Becky Robinson, Whitney Johnson, Bret Simmons, Mary Jo Asmus, Tanveer Naseer, Kathy Caprino and my buddy Chris Edmonds who I had worked with at the Ken Blanchard Companies.
My only concern is that a lot of my original thinking was published before many people were aware of my blog. Because people tend not to read older posts, they are missing out on material I have not repeated. For the past two years, I’ve been laying out my research, concepts and process for creating a shared vision, interspersed with information on building high performing teams, organizational change, collaborative leadership, and navigating non-hierarchical work environments.
30 quotes from my first year of blogging
A while ago I listed some quotes from my books. Recently my friend and colleague Irene Becker suggested I list some quotes from my blog. I think it’s a nice way to honor and celebrate my 2nd anniversary. Each quote links back to the original post.
- Although we won’t all be recognized by history as being great, we are all capable of striving for greatness. Greatness lies in the small everyday actions we take.
- It takes courage to consider the relationship between your hopes and dreams and reality, because you might have to do something about it.
- When organizations don’t articulate clear values, individuals are left to their own devices to determine which values should guide them.
- When team values are clearly defined and understood, conversations on how to implement work go much smoother.
- If you ignore the behavior of those who act inconsistently with the vision, you threaten the trust and alignment of the rest of your team.
- Don’t let go of your vision. It is a law of nature that tension seeks resolution. Use tension to your advantage rather than expending energy avoiding it.
- The truth is your team can only be as great as you believe it can be. Your expectations for your team are a reflection of your expectations for yourself.
- When forming a new team, it’s a mistake to assume that because the people have worked together well in the past, they will automatically become a strong team.
- The “right” decision might not be effectively implemented if team members don’t feel good about how the decision was made.
- When people know they share the same vision, there is greater trust, appreciation for differences, and more creativity and innovation.
- Whenever you forget that you are not the center of the universe (as we all do at times), your ego takes over and you lose your focus, your priorities and your full strength.
- Great leaders do not hold themselves separate from the people they lead. They truly respect and care about them, not just from a distance.
- The biggest failure in implementing vision is in not effectively managing the airspace between the view from the hot air balloon and the on-the-ground view of day-to-day activity.