It has been one of those days. A day when my work life alignment is not in check and I feel particularly frustrated. Worse, I am behind in my blog posts for the week. Although it’s late at night, I want to get something at least drafted for you. As I sit here, considering what to write, it occurs to me, I should really write about this frustration I am wrestling with. That’s when it hits me: I already wrote about frustration. In fact, I wrote about frustration as a warning sign to leaders. As I reread the previous post on frustration, it all came back to me. I remember what I wrote, the lessons I shared and the advice I now needed to follow myself.
This is why I love blogging: it’s as much a help to me as I intend for others. Blogging helps me hold a mirror to myself. It reminds us of who we are, who we want to be and how we want to help others. By publishing my principles and perspectives, I create transparency, candor and accountability. I’ve heard other writers make similar comments. Even corporate blogs can recognize these benefits and look themselves in the mirror.
Benefits of the Blogging Mirror For Individuals
Benefits of a blog for the individual author include:
Transparency: By blogging about any particular topic, an individual is able to share the message directly with a broad audience. This eliminates any misconceived perceptions, helps dispel rumors and allows a mass dialogue where a single person can communicate directly with an audience at any time of day or night over an extended time.
Candor: Ironically, the very medium that has been accused of creating too much anonymity is now enabling the greatest degree of meaningful, personal interaction where truth reigns supreme. The Internet provides a platform where individuals can be as anonymous as they want. Yet, most of the top bloggers benefit by leveraging this medium to bare themselves openly and candidly to readers. This creates trust and trust spurs meaningful dialog among many other benefits.
Accountability: I presented the perfect example of this above. I preached a sermon on turning frustration into a warning that you were doing something wrong. Yet, there I stood after a full day of frustration, without recognizing the warning signs myself. Many bloggers, like myself, realize their blog is a tool to improve themselves by keeping record of their perspectives and principles for later accountability.
Benefits of the Blogging Mirror For Organizations
Blogging is not just a platform to benefit individuals authors. Organizations may use blogs for a similar purpose:
Transparency: The Internet has often been compared to the printing press in terms of impact to the evolution of communication. Rightly so. Public relations departments seeking to strengthen stakeholder relationships are increasing the transparency of their organizations. The mass dialog enabled by blogs and subsequent comments ensures an organization can be more transparent than ever before in history.
Candor: “…and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32). In today’s media rich environment, everyone has an angle. This is both a blessing and a curse. A blog could accuse your organization of false intentions and easily broadcast that message (a curse). However, your organization can also respond directly and immediately with the truth (a blessing).
Accountability: This is my favorite perspective on blogs for organizations. The mirror shines brightest on organizations by creating greater accountability. While many organizations are leveraging blogs for marketing and promotional purposes, some have taken it a step further and created this accountability. My favorite is the Southwest Airlines Blog, where they not only cover strategic initiatives but connect with employees and customers in a manner that reflects consistency in their values and servant leadership principles.
Of course, benefiting from a blog in this manner requires the commitment of the individual or organization. I’m far from perfect, but I’m learning to uphold this mirror to myself. Tomorrow, I will return to the office with a fresh perspective and watch for further frustration as warning sign.
Question: Do you or your organization run a blog? Is it being used as mirror for transparency, candor or accountability and why or why not?