The Awkwardness of Social Media

One of my early adopted friends from when I joined Twitter in March 2007 made a comment that has stuck with me all these years. There had been a natural calamity — Earthquake? Typhoon? — and thousands of people had died. (It’s been a loooong time.) In the aftermath of said tragedy, for those of us not affected, we continued on our merry tweeting ways like business as usual.

He was offended. So much so to the point that he actually passively-aggressively tweeted something like: “Please be sensitive to those who were affected by (insert tragedy) and avoid tweeting messages that are not encouraging to them.” Or something like this.

I was taken aback. Granted, Twitter was young and the people we followed in those days felt almost like one’s own exclusive club. But to have an expectation that everyone would collectively commiserate was unfair. I wasn’t callous but neither was I emotionally vested in the tragedy. And even if I was, I would never have expected someone else to change their behavior on a social network on my account.

Continue reading

Finding the Balance Between Burnout and Burning

You already know the drill: I get busy, I ignore this blog, I come back brimming with hopes of consistency, I retreat into life and disappear.

I give up on consistency. I now choose to be present when I am able. If this becomes a daily discipline as “successful” bloggers preach as their proven recipe for building an audience, so be it. I’m not going to fuss and cross my fingers hoping to “build a platform.”

The hard part about being a creative is when you start to lose touch with creativity in favor of managing your creativity.

I choose to be selfish now and write for myself without expectations of applause other than my own.

The last few months have been hectic. We mounted a li’l event called the Every Nation 2013 World Conference. We’ve been so busy that I feel paralyzed by the mountain of work that never seems to disappear no matter how hard my team and I chip and chisel away. Even as we headed into Orlando with our heads spinning, my mind was already on our next projects — Missions Month 2013, the ENCM Winter Summit 2013, Campus Harvest 2014, ABC3 promotions, the Prophetic Gathering 2014, the global website, the organization blog, and then some.

But it’s a good thing, this feeling of being overwhelmed. It’s challenging me to be a better leader; making me think more strategically how we can be better at what we do with our communications; stretching me to revisit priorities vis-a-vis resources. Ultimately, surrendering what and how I think things need to be done in favor of God’s blueprint.

This busyness is humbling. I really cannot accomplish anything without God’s help. I mean that. So in this busyness where I feel burned out and uninspired, I’m asking God to give me new dreams, new ideas, new strategies for our communications.

A quick break at a luncheon at the Dolphin Resort during the World Conference. Of course we're taking selfies!

A quick break at a luncheon at the Dolphin Resort during the World Conference. Of course we’re taking selfies!

I had two separate conversations with the two freelance videographers we contracted for the World Conference. Ryan of 29Eleven Productions and Dan Chaney are both extremely talented, hardworking guys who are passionate about video. Their Instagram photos are inspiring me to rethink my personal posts. While I’m just as guilty as the next person when it comes to selfies, I’m starting to rethink how to train my eye to capture images that are more thoughtful, like I used to more than twenty years ago when I started taking pictures on my dad’s old Minolta.

The hard part about being a creative is when you start to lose touch with creativity in favor of managing your creativity.

You should always make room to be inspired to create and burn brightly. I should always make room to be inspired to create so I can burn brightly.

So what am I doing? I’ve started following photographers on Instagram and videographers on Vine. And of course, Ryan and Dan.

And there are these plans:

  • Visit local art galleries
  • Soak up the Downtown Library
  • Drive anywhere out of the city
  • Find people who inspire me

Here’s to burning.

Be the Best at What Matters Most

I saw a post on the Social Media Group I’m part of on Facebook inviting people to check out an event at E|SPACES in Cool Springs. Since it was at 7:30 a.m., which is before work, I figured I’d check it out.

What I thought would be a social networking event turned out to be an author talk from Joe Calloway on his book, “Be the Best at What Matters Most: The Only Strategy You will Ever Need.” He was joined by Nashville company bites of knowledge’s, Julie May and Gary Hornbuckle. Bites of Knowledge is the case study featured in the book.

E|SPACES at Cool Springs

View from the back of the packed E|SPACES author talk with Joe Calloway featuring Julie May and Gary Hornbuckle of bites of knowledge

Here are the takeaways I took home, I mean, to work:

  • Check-in with clients and team, contact clients proactively, communicate for accountability, repeat
  • Good connecting includes frequent: asset managing, issue managing, project managing
  • Understand what the business or need is first before trying to resolve issues
  • Reward performance and incentivize behavior of employees
  • Clarity and accountability go hand in hand
  • Value reliability first before “singing on the plane like Southwest”

Continue reading