Mindtouch has updated its list of the most influential Tech Comm experts, and I’m flattered once again to be on it. Especially when I find myself sandwiched between two of my favorite colleagues from the UK: David Farbey and Colum McAndrew.
My enthusiasm is tempered, however, because the list omits some pretty bright luminaries — people like Sharon Burton, Mark Baker, Danielle Villegas, and Julio Vazquez. By any measure, these people are influencers in Technical Communication.
Which leads to a couple of questions: How do you measure influence? And why don’t we do a better job of it?
I believe in building and cultivating a personal brand. By brand I mean the professional image or personality that you want to project. You build your personal brand, first and foremost, by building trust.
Leadership consultant Greg Hartle takes a slightly different tack, and I really like what he has to say. Continue reading
This is about two leaders who saw a situation, envisioned a better way, and through hard work and incredible determination made that better way a reality. I didn’t always approve of how they did it, but I have to respect and admire the results they achieved. Continue reading
Mark Baker says that the purpose of all communication is to change behavior. It’s hard to argue with that, especially because Mark defines the phrase change behavior pretty broadly. I think that influence might be a more suitable word. But that’s a small point, and overall I agree with Mark’s assertion.
But here’s the thing. Whether our writing is designed to influence people or to change their behavior, we have to remain constantly vigilant for unintended consequences. Continue reading
My reading this week included an engaging piece by Ann Friedman, All LinkedIn with Nowhere to Go, which decries the rise of “thought leaders” on LinkedIn, the business-cards-on-steroids social media site. Friedman especially dislikes how people with no history of actual business success can hang out the “thought leader” shingle and start attracting streams of followers.
Half of my double major in college was in English Lit. So I immediately thought of an exemplar for this 21st-century phenomenon: someone who lived in the 18th century, Samuel Johnson.
What? Continue reading