Good leadership comes from moving towards a place, an idea, or an ideal where people are willing to follow without coercion or threat. A good leader will take people towards something better, and not just away from something worse.
Twenty-Fifteen: I’m doing something I’d been putting off for far too long. I’ve gotten serious about reading, again. I’ve dusted off my paperbacks and charged up my Kindle. It has been a year to take the time to feed my poor television-adled brain with a selection of healthy, nourishing fiction. So, read on, little brain. Read on. We’ve been going Book to the Future!
It’s somehow appropriate that I’m reading this book through an election campaign.
Roughly half way through this larger-than-I-realized book, I will say that I’m enjoying it. It’s a many-faceted love story, wrapped in East-coast Canadian colours, and rippled through with the expected politics of a fictionalized political biography.
I Googled Joey Smallwood, the real one, not the parallel dimensional protagonist version of this book, and tried to reconcile some of the true as-per-wikipedia facts of this politician and the events leading up to his time in office with the faux shadow characters interwoven within the bursting plot of The Colony of Unrequited Dreams by Wayne Johnson. There was some to reconcile, but Johnson has done something interesting with his tale, looping the narrative around an unprovably non-existent character whose unrequited love I’m assuming is somehow layered into the title of this novel.
Again, as this is a political biography, it is somehow appropriate that I’m reading this book through an election campaign, and a particularly feisty one at that. Whereupon I’ve read thus far, the fictionalized Smallwood is dabbling on the fringes of political life, defining his character and motivations, and in doing so encountering the self-serving motivations that we all of us suspect define anyone who seeks power through the whim of the electorate. All at once he is a pitiable character who is used and used up by the people he lets into his life, but as an everyman that pity bubbles to the surface as frustration at the licks he endures in the name of idealism and ideology.
In a clever re-creation of the historical and perpetual truths of the thing, the faux Smallwood of the book becomes more his ideology, too. Knowing how the story turns out is one thing, I suppose, but the road that takes one there is not always direct nor literal, and I’m thinking that one could muster the spirit to see that in these pages.
So, I’ll read on.
Yeah, I think so. Though I also suppose it not only depends what you are talking about, but on whether we as imperfect beings could ever attain true perfection in anything of if it is just an abstract, unreachable ideal state.
You may or may not have noticed, but I’ve been poking at this thing I call a personal “brand” for the last few weeks. I’ve nudged a few titles and labels for various sites. I’ve prodded a bunch of my content from place to place, actually centralizing a lot of it here on this blog. And I’ve massaged a few ideas I’ve had about identity and purpose, and largely started to settle on a few more solid planes of digital existence.
Part of this is stemming from pure practicality. Managing, maintaining, and paying for a swath of disharmonious domains was in stark discord to my vague sense of anything resembling an end-goal of this effort. Sure, ideas are valuable. But for a while in 2008 and 2009 I was registering a domain for every half-baked idea for a project or a story. The amalgamated time, effort, and money involved in keeping those bits of web estate secured has not been worth the amalgamated time, effort, and money.
Part of this is a meandering sense of the philosophical. The net is changing in character. If anything is important anymore it is certainly not the parcelling out of miniature chunks of the net into new and clever properties. Instead, the value of a concerted, focused idea and reputation — or set of the same — online is worth far more to the long game. I’ve got this nifty little four-character domain that can act easily as a central hub for my many little scattered ideas, pulling them together along at least one common thread.
Part of this is catering to my own lonely vanity. The original thought behind some of the ideas has faded out of my interest, and once again it is time to shift things along to suit my changing fancy. I’ve spent the last year or so paying very — no VERY — close attention to a small handful of folks who do a very good job of reputation management. These folks are not necessarily celebrities or Twitter-stars, either. They are just folks who’ve clearly, aptly, and focused-like-a-laser-ly built an image, brand, and identity for themselves on the net. I’ve been paying attention and I’ve been taking notes. And I’m going to try out a few of the things I’ve learned. (Though, I haven’t yet decided if I’m going to share what exactly those things are.)
And part of this is simply self-preservation and idealism. Call it out. Agree… or not. We were discussing the other day the idea of real estate as a metaphor for one’s web presence. Within the context of such a metaphor, this blog is a small, one-bedroom apartment that I’m renting on the eighty-seventh floor of urban Downtown Internetville. Sure, it’s a rental, but my lease is pretty flexible. I can move in nearly any kind of furniture I want and they allow small pets. And I need to spend more time here, maybe host a dinner party or two, and definitely make sure to sweep up on occasion. My little suite may not be as classy as one of those big mansions out in the suburbs, nor as flashy as a megastore like Amazon down the road. But, it sure beats just hanging out in one of those free-blog storage lockers over on the east end of town, or just living out on a park bench along Facebook beach.