TL;DR I’ve been quietly podcasting about what I’ve learned from a leadership development program I’m in. If you’re into podcasts you can either subscribe using iTunes (recently accepted, woot!) or directly via URL. If you’re on Twitter, please follow me there.
I was talking with a writer and fellow Red Hatter about how he’d gotten to the point he has (a bunch of sci-fi books published, the most popular blockchain writer on Medium, founder of several open source projects, etc).
He said that you have to find your own voice, and that the only way to do that is write. Keep writing and publishing, and try and make everything you publish a little bit better than the last thing you published, and someday, eventually, you will have become good without realizing it. His estimate was 10 years to become good, and another 10 before anyone cares.
The right time to start
I’ve been writing at work for years (documentation, presentations, explainers, interviews, and more) and am comfortable as a technician.
The audience and content for the content I produce are both constrained, and those constraints are core to my continued employment (which I’m partial to).
A lot has happened recently that made me realize that while there will always be a reason I should wait till tomorrow to find my voice and an audience for it in the world, there are just as many reasons to start now.
My daughter is turning two. My boss and mentor left my company. My own role and team are evolving.
I could go on, but the bottom lines is that I realized I needed to start based on the experience, knowledge, and opportunities I have right now to see what I can learn, contribute, and what comes back.
So I started a short (2 – 3 minutes per episode) weekly (ish) podcast series to capture and share some of the things I’ve been learning through the leadership development program I’ve been fortunate enough to take part in.
I have a few goals for the series.
- Get better at learning from life: It seems pretty obvious that you get better at living if you actually learn what you learn. One of the most time tested, proven effective ways of doing that is writing stuff down (or otherwise recording it)
- Be more “open source”: I work at a company steeped in Open Source: as a non-coder I’ve always been interested in ways to apply the philosophy in a less technical context. “Learning out loud” has always seemed like the best way to develop a voice and perspective, and it is in keeping with the open source philosophy that has been a big part of my life since I was a teenager.
- Help people: I have no illusions that anything I’ve written or will write will be especially ground breaking. I’m not also holding my breath for viral success. What I have seen is that people often need to hear something several times in several ways begin to take it on board. If my learning gives someone the nudge or perspective they need to get a little closer to where they’re trying to go, that would be an honour.
- Push myself to get better a creating: I remember when Casey Neistat started his first season of vlogs. Of course it was at least in part a way of building hype around his now defunct social media start up, but he also wanted to see what would happened if he made a movie every day. I’m not shooting for daily; I’ve been trying (and failing) to publish an episode a week and I’m hoping it’ll get easier / better / faster, etc.
But what about…
Of course there are a lot of things that I’m worried about.
Sometimes I look at the toxicity that shows up in some parts of the internet and worry about exposing myself to it.
The leadership development program that is the genesis of this podcast series takes up a lot of time on top of my day job. As fast as I get at this, keeping up is and will be hard
Additionally, the things I’m interested in writing about and otherwise exploring are related to technology, music, and culture. Exploring these topics in the same space may come across muddled.
Then the impostor in me asks: does it look self indulgent to share the deep / not deep thoughts I have as I work through a leadership development program? Will people think I’m lame?
A kick in the…
What finally got me to the point of publishing this podcast and sharing this post was Soundcloud rap. All over the world there are thousands of kids with something to say kicking their rhymes and uploading tracks to Soundcloud.
Their belief in themselves and what they to share is both inspiring and contagious.
So without further adieu, here are the first 8 episodes in my (as) weekly (as possible) podcast series.
- The slow way is the fast way – The Tim Show S01E01: Had I not gone “the slow way” I would have never gotten to go the fast way, which would have led to a worse project and ultimately customer outcome.
- The bottom drops out (but not really) – The Tim Show – S01E02: An episode about recovering from incorrect assumptions.
- Nothing is forbidden – The Tim Show – S01E03: Use your intuition.
- Motion is (almost) everything – The Tim Show – S01E04: Doing stuff that you’re already doing is way easier than doing something that you’re not.
- Your mess is your message – The Tim Show – S01E05: A leadership development program can make you take your eyes of things that really matter, with painful consequences. The lowest friction way back is piggybacking something I already have to do.
- Theft is both flattery and unlikely – The Tim Show – S01E06: For someone to steal an idea in a corporate setting, they need to have idle resources and or capacity, and the knowledge to execute. Almost no one has that.
- The best defence – The Tim Show – S01E07: Time spent defending your existing position could usually be better spent creating something awesome.
- Counterbalance tension with trust and a better story – The Tim Show – S01E08: This episode is all about finding or creating enough new plot points to change your story.
An investment of time and energy in transitions – The Tim Show – S01E09: This episode is all about the importance of recognizing and celebrating transitions, and the realization that some people do that simply by giving scarce time and energy.
Please help me
That’s it so far. I’d love any feedback you care to give, as a comment on this post, or on one of the episodes, or a direct message, or an email.
I’d especially appreciate it if you’d share this post with someone you think might be into this sort of thing. Finding an audience is hard: if you could share this post, or any of the individual episodes I’d really appreciate it.