Face to face the two men stood. They had been at each other’s throats all night. One would make an over the top promise and almost immediately the other would trump him. Higher and higher they soared. Then, all of a sudden, the pitcher was starring the batter down. No longer was his team enjoying the luxury of the large lead they’d held earlier. It was his job to halt this surge the Giants before him were making.
Then just like that, my mind shifts again. This time the shift was toward leadership and the role of influence within an organization. You may think I’m crazy, I know my wife already does. This is not some form of ADD rising up at a later age. No, this is my brain on Twitter. 140 characters and 250 people make for an interesting string of diverse topics. Each tweet is like a headline. It’s an offering into the inspired. Each tweet is a person’s thoughts, ideas, hopes, and desires.
I recently had a friend catch me replying to a follower on Twitter. “Oh, you’re one of those Tweeter people huh?” he asked. I didn’t have the heart to tell him it wasn’t “Tweeter.” I did however explain to him that Twitter is a great tool for leaders and told him he should check out Michael Hyatt’s post on just that subject.
“I don’t need a megaphone to get my message out,” he responded. I explained to him that, for me, Twitter is less of a megaphone and more like a hearing aid. Sure, when I want to influence others, rarely do I have the opportunity to get my message out to 20,000 people unless I’m on Twitter. But that’s not the point. The point for me is the ability to listen. Thanks to tweets and re-tweets, I have the opportunity to scroll through endless thoughts presented by others. I call this the ability to Learn Twitter Style.
At one time I can see people’s thoughts on the Presidential Debate, NLCS Game 7, and Leadership; all in just a few 140 character posts. This is why I love Twitter and how I Learn Twitter Style:
Follow, Follow, Follow – Some people don’t follow those who follow them. My good friend Skip Prichard doesn’t believe in that. He follows people who follow him simply because it means more opportunity for him to find like-minded people. I have recently adopted this same principle.
Hashtag – Use hashtags such as #Leadership to search for topics. See what people are saying about #PostSeason or #Debates. This is a great way to find new people who you can follow (allow to influence you.)
Influence – Twitter is all about the conversation. It’s not just your platform to influence others but your opportunity to be influenced by others. I met @sunshinejess22 at a conference this year. I decided to follow her for her humor and candor. I’m glad I let her into my sphere of influence.
Discover – Find people whom you can Learn Twitter Style from. Then, follow the people they follow. Odds are, if you like this person, you’ll like the people they follow as well.
If you’re a good leader you understand that God gave to two ears and one mouth for a reason. You should listen at least twice as much as you speak. Twitter is a great way to do just that. Even if you don’t want to Tweet yourself, you can at least follow people and begin to Learn.