Every Day An Idea
When I began coordinating content for the Lead Change Group in 2014, the idea of soliciting, editing and publishing a different piece of leadership material every weekday was a little daunting.
I was new to the community. Every contributor was new to me. We were all finding our way.
In the process, I learned several lessons that helped me understand why community matters in the first place, why a community won’t flourish unless someone nurtures it and provides structure, and why some of the most powerful leadership material comes from the people who feel least qualified to write it.
Our world has many authors with a wide array of ideas and philosophies. As the thoughts in someone’s head about how to lead begin to evolve into a written piece, it’s the nature of the process that sometimes the written product comes out poorly formed or simply failing to convey what the writer wanted. Sometimes, what sounded like a valid leadership idea does not turn out to be a good fit for your community.
Developing editorial guidelines accomplished something every good leader should do: Set expectations. With clear criteria in place, it’s much easier to either have a constructive conversation about how someone’s post can be more effective or to help them find a different home for it that may appeal to a suitable set of readers.
People Don’t Have to Have a Big Title to Have Potent Leadership Ideas
One thing I recall most vividly from my time coordinating the community is the people who would email me, saying, “I really am not sure what I have to say will make a difference,” or “I’m just a freelance writer (or retiree or nonprofit staff member) -- what could I possibly have to share?”
Telling these people—sincerely—that their posts were inspirational and thought-provoking was one of my favorite parts of the job. Who among us doesn’t wonder sometimes if our stories matter? These stories did, and still compel me to be an advocate for people who may not have a lengthy resume but who do have a full store of wisdom.
Another fantastic part of coordinating the Lead Change Community was seeing how the power of writing played out, post by post. In Why You Should Write, James Greig says, “Writing doesn’t just help you, it can also help anyone who reads what you’ve written.”
My favorite song from “Hamilton” is “Hurricane.” In this song, Alexander Hamilton explains how he has faced every problem in his life by writing, vowing, “I'll write my way out/
Overwhelm them with honesty.”
Writing helps us understand our own perspective better. When we share it, we start a ripple effect with no end in sight. Poet Tina Kelley says, “I think that anytime someone reads my poems out loud, I learn something from the reading.”
When the Home of Your Writing Moves
If you’re a regular here at the Lead Change Group, you are probably aware that Weaving Influence, its owner, is going to pause operations on the site starting October 1. Its archives will still be available, but no new content will be posted (with the exception of Leadership Development Carnivals, which are still scheduled each month through the end of the year).
This site is changing and growing quieter, but that doesn’t mean your ideas should. If you are an aspiring leadership writer, keep writing! If you are a Lead Change Group reader—of long-standing or a recent arrival—visit the archives to see what you may have missed or should refresh yourself on. After that, find one of the many incredible sources of leadership content available on the internet.
Thank you, Mike Henry, for starting the Lead Change Group in 2009, and Becky Robinson, for shepherding it to this point since you purchased it in 2012. Thank you, Kelly Edmiston, for your diligence and organization in dealing with those of us who have been contributors.
Plants that go dormant don’t stop growing. They just direct their energies to their roots. They may not look like they’re growing outwardly, but they may be coalescing their energy for the next season.
Keep reading. Keep leading. Keep writing.