In 2006 I started blogging about leadership. It was a simple little post on January 22nd about Peter Drucker, and his philosophy that employees are “an asset, not a cost“.
In hindsight, that one post, and all that subsequently came after, played a major role in my success as a leader.
The act of writing down and summarizing my experiences, opinions and lessons was a catalyst for my maturity and development.
In a way, it was a diary of sorts, and when all those thoughts got on a page, it gave me a chance to really reflect about, and then process, my actions as a leader.
Because after all, how many times do we typically get a chance to do that in the course of a busy day?
And because my writing was placed in this public place, there was an additional awesome benefit.
It was wonderful to read comments on my posts, both positive and negative, because they helped me refine my leadership thinking.
(And if you have been one of those kind folks, thank you!)
Then, with that refinement in hand, I’d go back to my leadership post and put it into practice, and see what happened.
And then, write about that.
It became a wonderful “learning loop” that helped and sustained me for 4 years as a corporate executive, and the writing and learning still goes on today, fed by my new experiences here in Portland as a consultant, mentor and angel investor.
There was also another very cool side benefit – blogging also helped me become a better writer. That carried over to my memos, e-mails, presentations and announcements that I penned in the corporate and investment worlds, and is making a big difference in the book I’m in the process of writing today.
And that leads me to a suggestion I’d like to make to any aspiring leader.
Be a writer too.
Whether it’s a blog, a journal, a diary, or just some notes on a yellow pad, I strongly recommend that you write about your leadership experiences, lessons and ambitions. Even if it’s just a few paragraphs a week.
Document what is working, and what’s NOT working. Give yourself a chance to put it into words, which will also give you the chance to think and reflect.
And if you are bold enough, go ahead and start a blog, and get some additional feedback.
I know many of you reading this post are already bloggers – I’d love to hear your thoughts about how writing has helped your leadership.
If you want to be a great leader, be a good writer too, and document your journey. I’m so glad that I did.