Posts Tagged quotes

To build a ship, teach them to yearn for the sea…

Posted by on Thursday, 4 April, 2013


“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

I stumbled upon this quote today, and it resonated with me like few others. I immediately saw the direct connection to my daily work and struggles with social business: how to shift from asking people to be social, to showing them the value social has for them as individuals.

I’ve gone through a few iterations of analogy where social was the sea, or social was the ship…. but what I’ve discovered is social is nether of those things. Instead, the ship is a best in class organization (or even an individual’s own digital eminence), the sea is the desire to improve one’s own life /career, and social is merely one of the tools to help you get there.

Last week I discussed Building your success by claiming your name-space. In that post I touched on a few reasons why you would want to be active in social media channels from a professional perspective. But I think I went about it from the wrong angle. Instead of telling you that it is important to be social, I should be showing you how social activity is a vehicle to help you obtain that which you long for; that vast and endless sea.

Here’s a simple exercise:

  1. Think of someone whom you’ve never met in person, but can identify as an expert in their field. Got it?
  2. Ok, now, think about how you KNOW they are an expert… (I’m guessing that it is through direct or indirect interaction in some form, be it email, telephone calls, or other non-face-2-face interaction.)

If you’re reading this post, I’m confident at least some of that ability to identify the person as an expert came from some level of sustained social-media interaction you either saw or participated in directly. If you can identify anyone as an expert or thought leader, you can see the value of social business.

And that, my friends, is the power of social media in business: the ability to be identified as leader in your space and scale the visibility far greater than ever before. Being recognized as an expert, or thought leader in your chosen field is a huge boon to your ability to be hired or promoted and in turn improving your own career. The added benefit for employers is that when you hire on someone active in the social spaces, you gain that bit of status and eminence as well.

Social business activity really is a win-win for everyone: we not only get the ship built, but more importantly we get the ability to sail that vast and endless sea.

Finding my path to the woods….

Posted by on Tuesday, 24 July, 2012

img_2002_soft_warm I have a lot of stuff floating around in my head when it comes to content for this blog whether it is relevant to current events, social media, or just aimless ramblings. Sometimes, though, the best thing I can post is another’s words in place of my own:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion… ”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

These have been echoing in my head recently; words that have followed me for over twenty-three years since I first encountered them in high school, thanks to the Dead Poet’s Society. Words which have been shaping who I am ever since.

Now, excuse me for a bit as I go outside to sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world and celebrate myself…