When radio was young, Orson Welles held the world in frightened captivity when he narrated an adaptation of H.G. Wells’ fictional tale, The War of the Worlds. Since the first hour of the radio program was structured as a series of news reports, many tuning in to the broadcast heard frantic, panicked descriptions of an alien attack on our planet, and, trusting what they heard coming through the box, believed it to be true.
But that was 1938. Surely, that could never happen today, right? Well, probably not to that degree. But the power of words, once they are transmitted, is still undeniable.
Nowadays, with technologies that have gone beyond the one-way messaging of radio and TV, such as texting and Internet communications like emailing, social media, chat rooms, forums, and blogging, we are sending and receiving information to such a degree that our ideas can make an instantaneous impact. At the same time, however, our choice of words is more important than ever, and our message needs to stand out among the seemingly endless stream of sound bites we are bombarded with each day.
The most impactful leaders of our generation utilize the latest avenues of mass communication and social media to impart their ideas and share their knowledge. But what a leader says, and how she says it, is critical to her success. Words are indeed powerful, but their strength is intrinsically linked to the way they are communicated.
Blogging is an ideal format for a WOW leader to convey her message to a broad spectrum of followers. As a leadership journal of sorts, a blog provides a venue through which ideas can be shared, opinions can be voiced, problems can be discussed, and solutions can be offered.
So, how do you make your business blog a success? How do you turn your WOW ideas into a WOW leadership blog?
1. Keep it short. Whatever you say, say it fast. You are competing for the attention of busy, information-overloaded professionals. (Admittedly, keeping my blogs short, succinct, and to the point, is one of my greatest challenges.)
2. Make it relevant. Know your target audience. With a leadership blog, keep your topics related to the challenges faced by those in the business arena. Don’t stray off topic with irrelevant posts and offhanded observations.
3. Find your voice. Be confident in your own opinions, and then use your voice in a consistent and truthful manner. Remember that your words do have power, and can be helpful, thought-provoking, and inspirational to the right group of individuals. Through an open, honest exchange of thoughts, you can lead as well as learn, reinforcing your own leadership abilities and honing the skills that make you successful.
4. Stay positive. Although there may be times when your topic refers to negative subject matter, don’t always be the bearer of bad news. Keep your tone positive in nature with a solutions-based approach to realistic problems.
5. Think big. Unless Donald Trump is writing a blog, readership is anything but guaranteed. Once you start blogging, your following will likely be relatively small. But a great leader keeps her goals focused on continuous growth and steady progress. She is always thinking big, aiming towards expanding her viewer profile and reaching more potential leaders.
Blogging can be an invaluable tool for up-and-coming or established leaders. A blogger’s message may not have the effect that Orson Welles’ broadcast had on the public nearly 75 years ago, but through the latest technologies, the power of words can be just as impactful.
Sheri Staak has served in many Vice Presidential roles at both large privately held and publicly traded global companies. She’s a corporate powerhouse and has been the recipient of numerous sales awards and recognitions. In addition to her key position in a highly aggressive, extremely competitive industry, Sheri is a regular contributor to a travel newsletter, lending her expertise by writing articles that provide tips and advice for business travelers. She also shares her wisdom and business perspectives with regular postings at her leadership-focused blog, The Staak Report.