Five Things I’ve Learned About Leadership From Blogging

In April, this Blog will turn one. So it seems timely to reflect a little bit on how far it’s come in that time, and, more importantly, what I’ve learned about leadership from blogging.

'Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.' ~ Benjamin FranklinClick To Tweet

Learned About Leadership From Blogging

So here are five things I’ve learned about leadership from blogging.

There’s more where that came from…

What I thought would happen:

When I first started this site in April 2017 I was fearful. About a lot of things. But in particular I was worried that I didn’t know enough about leadership to write about it consistently, and that I didn’t have enough ideas and creativity.

What has actually happened:

What has actually happened is that I’ve written two posts a week, each of about 1,000 words, for fifty weeks, with no sign of slowing down! During that time there’s been family vacations, frantically busy periods at work, birthdays, the flu… but even if the day I posted changed a little, I still got two posts completed. And I hardly ever have to work hard to think of an idea!

'The key to abundance is meeting limited circumstances with unlimited thoughts.' ~ Marianne WilliamsonClick To Tweet

What it taught me about leadership:

There is no limit on the number of ideas you can have. Sure you have to learn about how to get into a creative/ideation frame of mind, but in reality, the world is a rich and varied muse. There’s also no need to be competitive with your ideas. It’s a good thing if other people copy your ideas, or have a similar idea at the same time. There’s more where that came from!

Growth Mindset

Being authentic requires less effort…

What I thought would happen:

In the beginning I was worried about sounding authoritative. Some of the incredible folks blogging about leadership are daunting towers of intellect. They’ve read all the literature, studied at the most prestigious leadership schools, coached or consulted at the biggest firms and have massive followings. I was worried that people would see me as ‘try-hard’ or amateur. That the holes in my experience and knowledge would be visible for everyone to see…

What has actually happened:

Well, they are visible for everyone to see. And that’s OK! What’s more, some of the posts I’ve written that seem to have resonated the most for readers are the ones where I’m laying it all out there… Like the one where I gave up on trying to follow the rules. And the one where I concede that most leadership advice is wrong (including mine). And the opposite is also true. When I tried really hard to write an authoritative article about technical advice I either got no readers or lots of readers who didn’t engage. The post about making a bad first impression when you start a new job, has more views than every other post, my homepage and my about page combined… yet no engagement. People clicked to make sure there wasn’t anything they needed to know, scanned through, and moved on. No connection.

'Authenticity means erasing the gap between what you firmly believe inside and what you reveal to the outside world.' ~ Adam GrantClick To Tweet

What it taught me about leadership:

Leading with authenticity should be effortless – just like writing with authenticity is. Why? Because there’s no need to keep track of what you’ve already said, there’s no need to ‘manage’ your outward body-language or speaking. There’s no need to guard against letting something slip that you didn’t intend. When you lead from a place of confidence in yourself, your abilities and the courage of your convictions, your leadership presence shines through and everything becomes easier.

Learned About Leadership From Blogging

Improvement is gradual and easy to miss…

What I thought would happen:

When I started, I thought I was a pretty good writer. And I thought I knew enough about blogging to get started. This was probably true. But I didn’t really expect to get much better. I thought the “it takes time” I’d read everywhere was about technical matters, like being found and indexed by search engines…

What has actually happened:

When I look at my first posts now, I cringe.

They look terrible, and they’re hard to read. The ideas in them aren’t crisp. There’s a sloppiness. A pretence. The voice is unclear

When I read some of my more recent posts – say a month or two ago – I’m often pleasantly surprised by what I find.

'I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy.' ~ Marie CurieClick To Tweet

What it taught me about leadership:

Although I don’t have such an explicit record of my first forays into leadership, I’m sure the same progress would be evident. If I could watch a video of me in my first few months in a leadership role, I’m sure I’d cringe… Improvement is gradual. Progress is gradual. But there’s real value in looking back from time to time to see how far you’ve actually come.

Learned About Leadership From Blogging

You get out what you put in…

What I thought would happen:

When I first started blogging, I half expected some sort of magic to happen automatically. I’m an optimist – and I thought that I would be so clever (oh the retrospective hubris!) that people would be flocking to my site by the thousands…

…Within days.

What has actually happened:

I have had many visitors – about 25,000 all told. But that’s because of a lot of hard work. You can’t buy it. You can’t force it. You have to be persistent, generous, diligent and tenacious.

'Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life's deepest joy: true fulfillment.' ~ Tony RobbinsClick To Tweet

What it taught me about leadership:

The same is true for leadership. It’s all very well to get the promotion, to land the plum job. But that’s actually when the real work starts. You have to prove yourself, deliver results, and keep showing up… day in and day out… with the best version of yourself. What you bring to the table is rewarded. Do it often, and do it well, and who knows what is possible.

Personal Leadership Contribution

There’s seldom a ‘correct’ way or a single answer…

What I thought would happen:

Once I realised I didn’t already know it all, I went through a process of trying to find the answer online… the downloadable, the existing blog post, the eBook.

Surely someone could tell me how to build a successful blog?

Surely there’s a formula for this?

What has actually happened:

There are as many answers as there are questions… possibly more. Some of the advice is contradictory. Much of it is out of date.  Some doesn’t apply to my topic. Much of it focuses too much on things that are relatively straightforward, and not nearly enough focuses on the things that are actually tricky…

'Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.' ~ John F. KennedyClick To Tweet

What it taught me about leadership:

There is a multitude of leadership advice out there – all very well-intentioned. But if they don’t know you and your unique context, it’s pretty unlikely the advice will perfectly meet your needs.

Sample all of it with moderation and a critical eye and then find your own path. You will be rewarded for your tenacity.

 


Full Focus Planner

My favourite tool for staying focused right now is the Full Focus Planner designed by Michael Hyatt.

This link will get you 15% off…

It’s brilliant – I’ve achieved more in the first quarter of the year since I started using it than in most of last year combined!

 

 


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More importantly, it’s for those who have just been – or are about to be – appointed to one of these roles and are a bit anxious about what is involved.

Follow this link to get your first two months subscription for free…

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2 comments

  1. I really enjoyed reading the blog. I have recently started writing blogs on leadership and am still learning how to write and make it better every time I write my blog. Reading about how you started writing your blog and your learning from blogging on leadership matches my present situation and have given me motivation to continue my blog. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, and for taking the time to comment!

      Blogging has been a source of constant learning for me, and it sounds like the same is true for you! Enjoy the journey, and let me know if there’s anyway I can be of assistance!

      All the best
      Rebecca

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