Monday, December 29, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 364

A leader’s best friend must be a mirror; “This is who I am” is the only way to stay grounded. #QuoteADay #Day364 #edchat #NYedchat #satchat

I’ve been thinking a lot about the benefits and disadvantages of social media lately, and how I’ve changed, and how others I know have changed, because of it.

One of the areas I’ve seen the most change in is reach and networking.  I know many more people than I did just three years ago, and I “know of” even more people.  I’ve also found myself in additional leadership roles due entirely to the networking and connections I’ve made through social media (as opposed to the true merits of my work, as great as they may be J).

These are all tremendously positive outcomes, and this connected aspect of social media (Twitter in particular) has made me a better leader, a more effective learner, and realistically, a better person over all.
But, for every positive impact, there is an equally powerful negative one.  In terms of social media use, the biggest challenge for me has been remembering that despite all the connections I might make, I am still Fred Ende, and no more amazing or interesting than I was before I was connected. 

This is both a sobering and necessary mantra to repeat. 

I won’t allow any number of connections to make me shift to being someone I’m not, and I find it important to remind myself that I am still who I am on a regular basis; a mirror is good for that J

It isn’t necessarily easy to reduce the pull of letting ourselves believe we’re now “different” than we were previously.  Who wouldn’t want to attend as many conferences as possible, present to large audiences on a regular basis, and, realistically, who deep down doesn’t want to promote themselves to the masses?

The challenge, of course, is that we all have responsibilities that are close to home, and those that are farther away.  Our responsibilities to those we most directly serve must always, always, take precedence, even when those farther away callings seem so enticing.  For if we aren’t truly leading in the capacity we’ve been asked to lead in, then who are we truly serving besides ourselves?

To make sure we never forget that, we always need to intimately remember who we are.  And that can begin with a simple look in the mirror.

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