I was doing bills last night (first time in nearly 30 days with all the holiday rushing around), and I was surprised by the new digits. 2014. It came out first as 2013 (unsurprising), 2004 (got one part right), 2011 (what?!) and finally …2014.
To which I can only say: Change … it’s harder than it looks.
I’m eager for new experiences, and learning. A little trepidatious about everything ahead, but generally … excited. In fact, I thought it would be fun to share just a little bit of what’s going on with me personally and professionally and then ask you to help me shape this journey.
I spent the holidays in Santa Fe with the family, visiting my sister-in-law and also my amazing literary agent. While I had initially conceived of the next writing projects, I hadn’t done enough substantive work on it so I got my ass proverbially handed to me (gently, oh so gently) for my procrastination. I see now I was afraid to start, because I want it to be “done right”.
In between watching the Jason Bourne series (and SERIOUSLY… how is it possible no one told me about this movie series before, so Jane Bondish!?) we designed a little writing workshop where ideas were vetted and challenged by several people. The skeleton of the idea grew stronger. I’m now digging into this with gusto. And, even with some discipline as I carve out hours every day to focus on it. As is normal fare, the plan is to share ideas as they are developed, and you’re every-so invited to question / prod / share, and all that to provoke the next level deeper insight.
My aim in the next work (s) is two-fold:
- One is to unpack ideas more fully. As writer-friend Drake Baer points out, I use distinct words like purpose, networked power, enlisting, alignment, onlyness, and so on… but generally move right along to the next idea without elaborating or explaining the nuances so readers can make those ideas more their own. Unpacking will let me explore more fully what is meant, what it’s not, and what’s the implications.
- Second, to lead with stories. Thus far, I’ve done what most management thinker types do– they share a thesis, they provide some evidence and then they conclude. But great writers are more storytellers. They actually find the stories that illustrate a point and then fully develop those stories teach and guide the reader to their own understanding. Any emphasis or elaboration is done then after the story provides a shared context.
I share all this because in naming my desired new actions, I’m hoping you’ll help me hold true should I wander away from the goal… . I’m about to enter the phase of learning called “conscious incompetence” where I know that don’t know what I’m doing. So feedback and lessons from you will help.
The blog is going to continue to be my main home and community well. It started in it’s very early form in 2003, got renamed as Yes & Know in 2011 (by you) and so now I enter Year 11 of sharing. It’s always changing, and since starting off, I now get to write for Time, HBR, LinkedIn and so on. But this blog is more clearly than ever home base. All content gets posted here. With over a 1,000,000 following me across all (G+, Twitter, LI, etc) the different platforms the volume has gone WAY up in the ether. It’s super hard to have any conversation of meaning. But this community’s signal-to-noise ratio works. I read all your comments and hope that I give back in ways that work for you. I recently took a reader-question on “how to tackle the new thing” and genuinely loved that “by request” idea. (Though I wish I had written a shorter piece.) Maybe we can do more of that in the year — what do you think???
If I have one wish for the community — a metric per se, it is that more of the just-wandering-by-“looky-lookers”-online find their way to stick around — to subscribe, and engage in conversation. There’s 1,400 subscribers right now. It doesn’t seem like we’ve yet hit a critical mass for learning and exploring together.
Ideas are never finished or sacred. But the idea here is that, when shared, we can learn together. I hope 2014 continues to be a year where we help one other to navigate these times — to be able to make that dent in the world, to put the power of connection to work and to know how to thrive in the social era.