24 Jan Reading, Writing and Leadership

There are many reasons writers write, but why do readers read? A writer might write to persuade, but I doubt many readers choose a text in order to be persuaded. A reader might want to be informed, entertained, inspired, or emotionally connected to a story.

As I tackle to complete my first book, I have found that I am asking myself the same questions a leader would ask: What do I hope to accomplish? Who is my audience? Why am I doing this? It’s not very different than a leader deciding on vision, mission and values. That is, where are we going, how will we get there, and why should you follow me?

For me, I am writing to inform and inspire through a few stories I hope will make an emotional connection to a specific audience. The harder question to answer is why, and my best response is that I feel compelled.

Seth Godin writes in his new book, Linchpin, “The reason that art (writing, engaging, leading, all of it) is valuable is precisely why I can’t tell you how to do it. If there were a map, there’d be no art, because art is the act of navigating without a map.”

Like writing, there is no sure path for a leader. No map, flowchart, checklist, algorithm, theory or foolproof method can insure a leader’s success. Perhaps a leader’s true path is best illuminated by reading other leaders’ stories.

1Comment
  • Joel D Canfield
    Posted at 19:38h, 24 January Reply

    The harder question to answer is why, and my best response is that I feel compelled.

    That’s a great why.

    If your writing is driven by the fact that you have something which simply must be said, getting it said is my definition of success. It’s great when someone enjoys my writing; even better when it changes them.

    But if I depended on that to keep me writing, it’d never happen. I want those things, sure. But I write because I have to.

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