Can writing help you to become a more effective leader?
“The most successful leaders are those who are bold, opinionated and willing to be accountable for their views, both inside and outside of the organisation,” discusses thought-leadership strategist, Mindy Gibbins-Klein.
Let’s face it, we love to know about other people’s lives, particularly those who are in the public eye. But is it all about sensationalism or are there very real, tangible business benefits to business leaders and CEOs sharing their stories with the world through a book? Mindy Gibbins-Klein explores the reasons why business leaders could benefit from writing and how to determine when to be visible and vocal.
A business leader said something astounding the other day. He said he would rather speak to an audience of ten people than write for an audience of a thousand. I thought that sounded a bit strange, so I challenged him on it. It turned out that he had written an article for a magazine with a good circulation, but he hadn’t had any feedback at all from it. He felt he had spent his time crafting a wonderful, informative piece that no one appreciated. He also felt that if that message had been delivered in person, he could have seen the response from people immediately, in their eyes and their body language.
It’s true what my colleague said, so how can we justify putting time into writing when we don’t get feedback? That, my friend, is the nature of writing. Sometimes you get to find out what your readers think of your material, and many times you don’t.
The same applies with a book. If you think about the time invested in creating tens of thousands of words without any idea how people will respond, it’s no wonder why many people never get round to writing a book.
Can you really afford not to?
With such hectic schedules and economic pressures to keep business ticking over, can CEO’s and leaders really afford to take the time to write and publish blogs, views and books, I hear your say?
My response is simple. You can’t afford not to! It’s precisely when times get tough that customers start scrutinising their purchases and looking for the best value for their money. In a market that is already competitive, shrinking demand means fewer pounds flowing around, and those pounds will go to the exceptional companies, those that stand out.
If I asked you to pick out some key business leaders that immediately spring to mind, I bet most of them have a book. This is because to really appreciate someone as a thought leader, you need to get into the heart of who they are, what they stand for and what makes them tick. Ultimately, we buy from people we like. We also like to read about them too.
But you don’t just have to be a famous face to gain the benefit from writing a book. As the CEO or leader of any organisation, you have a unique story to tell that can only be told by you. Just because the world doesn’t know about it yet, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be told.
Write from the heart, not through another person!
So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and embark on a writing strategy, now where do you start? One of the most common questions I’m asked by business leaders is ‘can’t I just get someone to write it for me?’
It’s a common misconception that using a ghost-writer will save a significant amount of time. To achieve a really accurate portrayal of the topic, the executive would need to spend time briefing the writer, then looking at various drafts and making comments and amendments, and reviewing it again.
Additionally, customers want to hear the executive’s own beliefs, in his/her own words. With the right plan, structure, techniques and guidance, anyone can write a great book in as little as 40 hours. If an executive is not willing to invest 40 hours in strategic thinking, planning and writing, I would have my doubts about his/her leadership and vision.
In conclusion, I believe that writing, be it through communicating with your employees, blogging or publishing articles or books, is a critical element of any leadership strategy. Sadly, many successful business leaders simply don’t realise the value that it can bring, not only to their organisation and successors, but in raising their profile and credibility with their target audience too.
By, Mindy Gibbins-Klein , Known widely as founder of ‘The Book Midwife’, Mindy is a speaker and consultant focused on business owners and subject matter experts who need to build their credibility. Her mission is to discover and expose REAL Thought Leaders and show them how to position themselves as the true authorities in their field by writing and publishing the best quality books, ebooks, articles and blogs, and by developing powerful speaking content.
As a writing and publishing consultant, She coaches and mentors clients through every stage of writing, publishing and speaking. Together with an extensive network of associates, She has helped over 300 aspiring authors to get their books and articles written and published to build their profiles as leading experts. Her latest book, 24 Carat BOLD – The Standard for REAL Thought Leaders, has been endorsed by some of the top leaders around.
She is also the founder of thriving publishing company Panoma Press, an independent publisher founded in 2005. The company specialises in high quality business books and personal development books that truly help people grow and develop. To date, they have published over 500 books and are represented in over 12 countries across the globe.
Latest posts by Mindy Gibbins-Klein
- Will you choose Thought Leadership in 2015 - December 22, 2014
- CEOs Should be Seen AND Heard - September 18, 2014
- Can writing help you to become a more effective leader? - August 16, 2014