Stop Reading and Start Doing

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I read. A lot. Books, blogs, reports, research. Tweets (of course). You name it; I read it. Throughout my adult life  I’ve believed that I read because I’m curious. I’ve told myself and others that I read because I am a proud life-long learner.

Of course I am both of those things. But if, like me, you spend more time reading than doing, you may detect the deeper problem here — can you spot it?

Truth is, there is a deeper story. I read because I’m scared. I read to avoid what I do best, which is write.  In my moment of truth I had to ask, am I really learning or simply running?

Do you read as a way to postpone real action? It’s cool if you don’t want to raise your hand. I’ll be honest; writing this blog post is uncomfortable. It stirs feelings of shame that here I am — with a God-given talent — and I’m not fully using it. I’m hiding in the pages of someone else’s good writing.

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The iPad, my Blog, and Clicky Keyboards

Eerily similar to “the dog ate my homework,” I have a perfectly good reason for allowing my blog to grow weeds. Pure and simple, it is the fault of technology.

As my laptop wheezed its way to certain death, my iPad was working a diabolical plot. With its hip energy and snuggle-in-bed-affection, it lured me into believing I (a writer) could live on iMac and iPad alone.

Simply put, I was left unfulfilled. I crave a clicky keyboard. I miss composing content in my PJs on the couch. Mobility seems crippled without multi-tasking.

I need a laptop.

Though I have lived and loved in an Apple world, my next laptop won’t bear the logo of the forbidden fruit. That’s not to say I’ll stop playing with apps (such as Blogsy) in my pursuit of writer mojo.

It does mean, though, that I’ll be back to blogging in my pajamas soon.

Mind Maps, Mobility, and Breakthroughs on SMChat

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I experienced a right-brainer’s fantasy on May 4 as I facilitated #smchat (social media chat) on Twitter. The topic: mind maps and collaboration.

Back by popular demand, we had the honor of hanging out with Chuck Frey to discuss mind maps.  A lot has changed since Chuck joined us on #smchat well over a year ago.

Can we, as innovative folks, use mind mapping to drive break-throughs and eliminate the waste of good brain power?

The hour-long chat chased these core questions. Make sure you check out the full chat transcript. Continue reading

Social Media Made Me Do It: The Webinar

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Chock Full of Goodness: 10+ Article Faves

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Here are 10 share-worthy articles from 2009.  If you care about communication, collaboration or leadership, dedicate your next coffee break to reading them.

  1. The Value of Visual Thinking in Social Business – Slideshare (David Armano)
  2. A Selection of 2009 Collaboration Posts (collected by Oliver Marks)
  3. Stop, Collaborate and Listen: knowledge management has a brand new adventure (James Gurd)
  4. Advice for Saving the WorldOutside Magazine (Nicholas Kristof) FAVE
  5. Media Heroes and Villains of 2009 (Trevor Butterworth)

  6. Best of 2009: 24 social media experts interviewed (Graham Charlton)
  7. The Social Customer Manifesto (Christopher Carfi)
  8. PR Disasters That Aren’t (Shel Holtz)
  9. This I Believe: A Manifesto for Web Marketers and Analysts (Avinash Kaushik)
  10. Five Ugly Numbers You Can’t Ignore: It’s Time to Calculate Hiring Failures (John Sullivan)

It’d be a crime to leave these links out of my list of 2009 faves:

  1. Blogging Starter Checklist (Rajesh Setty)

Your LinkedIn Status: Are You In?

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Deconstructing Your Failure

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Photo credit: Steve Ford Elliott

Career Grief sucks. There, I said it. It sucks — horribly.

I sat in a pool of it this past week, despite an astronomical EQ, a mad set of business skills, and growing demand for my work.  That, my friends, is exactly why it torques my day.  It rolled through at the most unexpected (and least welcome) moment, leaving me cranky that I still feel the aftershock of losing a job I loved.

Some days grief is like a spider web. You walk face first into it and no matter how much you spin and try to pull away from it; the tiny strands cling to you all day long.

Rather than wallow in a pool of self-loathing, I pinned down the source of recurring frustration.  I confess that my departure felt like a failed mission — it’s one thing to admit defeat but altogether castrating when someone else calls the time of death for you.

A Sense of Failure at the Root of Grief

It turns out that I’ve been mourning a vital part of me that I left behind. That part of me is kick-ass brilliance and talent, and I’d be an idiot not to retrieve them. In order to do that, I deconstructed my (self-labeled) failure by asking four questions:

  1. Did I attempt too much?

  2. Where did I contribute to poor communication or incomplete information?

  3. How did I dilute my own authority or weaken my team’s responsibility?

  4. When and how did I permit “drop-in crises” to derail our primary mission? Continue reading