A few months ago (ok, a year ago), my Co-Founder, Melanie Bernstein, came to me and said we need to do a better job “getting the word out” about EngagedLeadership. Sounds great to me I said and went back to whatever it was I was doing. She persisted. Mel explained that one way to do that is to create and publish relevant “content” that can help us perform better on Google’s search algorithm.
I didn’t really know what that meant, but ok, great. Then I found out whose job it is to write this content. Yep. So, I found all kinds of other things to do, as I deftly avoided getting started. I have a few serious skills and avoiding things I don’t want to do … well, I might be the GOAT.
EngagedLeadership Leadership Lesson #1 - Don’t underestimate the persistence of Ms. Bernstein. Do not do it; it will end unsatisfyingly for you.
She didn’t give up for a minute, of course, as she schemed to get me to turn my jumbled thoughts into electrons. After the unmerciful application of her wicked leadership jiujitsu (learned after working with our clients, growing and managing her own staff, and raising two amazing young women and one husband) … she broke me. She also said she was going to stop paying me, which really got my attention.
Grudgingly words started appearing on the InterWeb. To make it easier for me, she said she would supply me with topics to write about. Apparently, she has some Magic Millennial Google Genie (MMGG) who can tell her what potential clients are searching for and, therefore, what topics I should write about. Great, off I went, and quickly, it became a misery. It was certainly no fun to write and, I’m sure, not particularly fun to read.
While I want more clients to find EngagedLeadership and our cadre of crazy talented Coaches, I found myself dreading every new topic and every new deadline. As I reflected on why this was so unpleasant, it became clear that it wasn’t about having something to say; rather, it was that I felt I had to write in a “straight-laced business white paper” style that is in no way me. If I could just write like I speak, this would get way better. When I explained this to Mel, she said something along the lines of, “No one told you to write like that; go ahead, just be you.” Well, isn’t that good coaching. I feel like a V8.
It’s painful when I see myself forgetting the basics. I spent much of the first 10 years coaching career coaching and teaching and talking about the power of authenticity … smdh. 🤦 Fortunately, I quickly settled into a truth most good Coaches know, some of the best moments in our work are when you realize you are trying to help a client with exactly what you need yourself!
So that’s what you are going to get from me from now on: observations, stories, thinking, conclusions, questions … my way. That means writing replete with stilted language, colloquial phrasing, made-up words, and the occasional well-meaning, lightly off-color remark. You will also need to wade through my painful use of commas and those dot-dot-dot thingies and an emoji or four (those things are one of my favorite communication creations of the last couple of decades). 🤦
If the words in this space make you smile, great. If they make you laugh, also great. If it makes you want to share your own observations about the topic at hand, fabulous. If it just makes you think, good for you. If it makes you want to go have a conversation with someone who matters and share something they need to hear from you ... well, then that’s what I’d call a win for all of us.
Join The Conversation
Further, I invite you to be a part of these creations. One of the most enjoyable parts of my job over the years has been the fascinating and insight provoking conversations I’ve had with leaders and other Coaches. As you read, please weigh in, share your conclusions and your experiences. My personal goal is to learn a bit, share a bit and continue to try to be a wiser and more graceful Larry. I wonder what you want for yourself?
Closing Note – May Summer Break
This is my last blog until June, as I’m taking a nice vacation. Chat with you when I get back.
Now go be your best selves out there … you need it and those around you deserve it. 👍