When he storms into your office with a voice just beneath a yell, red-faced and angry about something someone did. “Before you tell me another word, take a deep breath.
But the real benefit comes from breathing before a crisis or stressful event. A deep breath almost at any time can change your mood, improve your day and help you achieve more. I don’t always remember to do it, but when I do, my day is more relaxed and I have a better and calmer presence. As a singer, I know that I feel better after singing a difficult song. The reason may very well be the forced deep breathing from the diaphragm.
Ron Edmondson is quick to tell you that he is first and foremost a pastor. And, while that is true, he also has a strong online presence that uniquely qualifies him to talk about social media. His leadership blog is widely read, and he is active on Twitter and Facebook.
I met Ron online through Twitter, and we began discussing various leadership issues. Just north of Nashville Ron started one of the fastest growing churches in the U.S. He recently moved to Kentucky to lead another church. Before he joined the ministry, Ron was a business owner. His experiences running a small business, starting and rapidly growing organizations, and leading online were all topics I wanted to ask him in person.
In this nine-minute interview, we discuss:
The similarities and differences between leading a business and a church
How he has grown a church through the use of technology and social media
Why he was an early adopter of the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, and blogging
How he found his “blogging voice”
Mistakes he made along the way
I especially appreciated Ron’s advice to leaders who want to start building an online presence:
Someone, who I will call Michael for this post, once told me, “If you want to know what Michael thinks, ask Michael.” Apparently Michael had seen this before. Many of the things he supposedly said were distorted when others repeated them. In some cases, his supposed conversation simply never happened. And this was a recurring event.
There are many reasons this can happen. It could be simple miscommunication or a mistake. It could be the sign of a manipulative person. It could also be a damaged culture, creating conversations to serve various political interests. The fact that it happens frequently is definitely a concern. The fact that others may run with it without verifying it is also a concern.
Yogi Berra once said, “I never said most of the things I said.”
“When bad things happen, we all dream of rewinding the tape…but we can’t so we do the only thing we can: we take those bad things and turn them into situations we can learn from. It’s human nature to try to pan for gold, to find a positive slant in something so negative because anything less would feel like defeat.” Lee Woodruff, Perfectly Imperfect
Lee Woodruff dropped into my life unexpectedly. We were both speakers at an event raising funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Within minutes of meeting her, we were sharing stories, laughing, and exchanging email addresses. Some people have that incredible gift to connect with people in an authentic way that makes you feel you’ve known them all your life.
If you were to read only about Lee’s successes, you would think she never had a problem in the world:
Contributing editor for CBS This Morning
Author of three books
Mother of four beautiful children
Married to one of the world’s top journalists
Author of numerous articles published in magazines such as Redbook, Prevention, Country Living and Health
Co-founder of a foundation to help wounded servicemen
We so often read about people who are wildly successful, and think they are somehow different. In some way, the world only showers good things on them.
That’s not the case with Lee. We all remember when her husband, talented news anchor Bob Woodruff suffered a traumatic brain injury in Iraq. Only a month after succeeding Peter Jennings at ABC, it changed the Woodruff’s lives.
Cynthia Montgomery’s new book, The Strategist, will challenge you to rethink your approach to business strategy. For over twenty years Professor Montgomery has taught at Harvard Business School. For six of those years she led the strategy track at Harvard Business School’s executive program for owner-managers, personally helping business leaders around the world with strategy formation. Her experience is that rare blend of the academic with the practical, and her new book offers business leaders the benefit of her extensive experience.
Every year, I read numerous business books and can say that this is one that won’t be relegated to a shelf. It’s a blueprint, a guide to leading your company with greater success. Nothing is spared, and you will question not only your company strategy but also your personal leadership of the strategic process. See if you can answer with clarity the following questions:
Are you a strategist?
Why does your company matter?
Are you the leader your business needs?
Is your strategy filled with generic statements and empty clichés?
Do you know where your company is going and why?
After reading the book, I was personally challenged to rethink strategy. I recently had the opportunity to ask Cynthia about her work and her vast experience in strategy formulation and leadership.