I was six months into my first blogging experience, and I was already at a pivot point. I was making all kinds of new connections, but something was missing.
There was something that wasn’t happening, and I needed it to happen to really make the experience meaningful.
This frustration almost stopped me in my tracks – I was ready to just retire the Blogger account and move on to something else.
And then I put a comment on somebody’s blog, and everything changed.
It was a catalyst to a Social Media AND a Leadership revelation – person to person, and face to face, still mattered.
I decided that many of those relationships I had built online just HAD to go to the next step – I needed to meet them in person.
And I figured out a way to to that – it was called SOBCon. We got a bunch of people together in Chicago in May of 2007 (nearly 100 of them), and I got my chance to connect face to face.
What a difference that made! It’s led to many, many more friendships, opportunities, and new businesses that ever possibly would have happened if I had simply stayed behind the keyboard (and SOBCon survives and thrives to this day).
It also provided a valuable leadership lesson in my role as an SVP of Operations for a cable TV company- I knew couldn’t lead through e-mail and memos. I needed to meet those I lead, face to face. And even though I had nearly 1,100 employees in my department, I ended up meeting nearly every one of them at least once, despite the fact they were scattered over 4 states nearly 1500 miles away from our home office.
The points here are these: Your Social Media efforts cannot truly blossom until you go “analog” and physically start meeting people. Leaders cannot become great leaders unless they connect with real people, not just names on a roster.
Which leads me to connect all the dots this way: Social Media breeds great leaders, if they go beyond the keyboard.