So, my dog’s Instagram account has more followers than my professional Instagram account. There, I said it. I didn’t find that fact terribly troubling until I saw how concerned my husband was. “You know Henry has more followers than you, right?” Yes, of course I know – I’m Henry’s CMO. I give myself kudos for finding 184 people that happily like Henry’s photos and enjoy tracking his life alongside us. They are quite an engaged followership, if I do say so myself. If you’re interested in joining >>> @HenryintheOC.
In earnest, I’m just not a social media person. Those who know me well would tell you I’m actually quite an unsocial media person. I am private, contained, and very introverted. I like pen and paper. I prefer to talk to people in person. I don’t know the first thing about popular culture and could care less about celebrities. My day job requires a constant monitoring of others and their emotions, conflicts, needs, fears. When I’m off, I like to be completely off. The times I do engage, entire hours drift by and I look around to see life happening while I’m getting a kink in my neck and wrist by scrolling on my phone.
Beyond the physical and emotional challenges of my relationship with these mediums, I am a firm believer that if unharnessed, social media has direct and debilitating impact on people’s self-esteem and potentiality. People compare their insides to everyone else’s outside and that goes against every fiber of my being and what I stand for as a personal leadership expert. And yes, I know that I coach and speak at some of the world’s most prestigious social media brands. The ironies here don’t fail me.
Recently, this tension of finding meaning through volume, playing the game of quantity over quality has really been sitting with me. Even though my entire business has been built on word-of-mouth love, it’s time for me to evolve on a quantum scale. My vision for the impact I want to make on the world is ginormous. I crave depth for the masses. I want to do my part in raising the consciousness of the planet, one leader at a time and one organization at a time. How does one do this without fully engaging in social platforms? I suppose they don’t.
Thankfully, I continue to find pockets of light on social media – people and brands that are sparking such good in the world – creating meaningful conversations, serving their communities, sharing their passion and purpose without making others feel less-than. I applaud them and admire how they make a difference.
Through much of my own coaching and reflection, I finally get that my mission is larger than my discomfort. My message is bigger than my judgment of the medium. My desire to help is greater than my ego.
So, in the spirit of authenticity and vulnerability, I’d like to commit to you that it’s time for me to amplify my voice beyond the safety of this incredible newsletter community. I am ready to double-down on the WHY of the message and release the HOW it gets into the world. A book will be arriving soon as well as more video content, programming, and – of course – social media engagement. Thank you for listening to this vent.
Oh, and I’d be remiss to not ask: Please follow me @leadwithvalia. You can click the Instagram button at the bottom of this email. I’d like to at least get competitive with Henry’s numbers.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.Benjamin Franklin
From Theory to Action
My ask is selfish this week. Please share with me the type of content you’d love to see via Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, or this newsletter. What are you craving right now? What would be most helpful as you’re making your way through your leadership journey? What is missing in your organization? What does your team need? I want to ensure that the content is curated for those who are fully committed to this work (ie. YOU!). I am a content-generating machine and happy to serve in whatever way is best for this community.
And needless to say – any and all tips, ideas, recommendations, and suggestions on HOW the content makes it into the world via social media are more than welcome. Just email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.