Michael Hyatt is the former chairman of Thomas Nelson books. Many of you reading this post know Michael as an author and blogger. His site, MichaelHyatt.com, is one of the top leadership sites on the web. He’s had a tremendous impact in my life and the lives of countless others. If it weren’t for him, there probably wouldn’t be a greatleadersserve.org.
Every time I’ve been with Michael, he’s stressed the significance of technology in our world. More specifically, he says social media is the most powerful leadership tool in the history of mankind. The first time I heard him say that I thought, Really? Could that be true? After hearing him speak several additional times on this topic and spending time with him in one-on-one settings, I’ve decided I agree with his assessment. Leaders who ignore social media are choosing to limit their influence.
My first encounter ever with Michael Hyatt was not through his blog or his book; we had breakfast together at a Chick-fil-A restaurant. He was there to meet with Dan Cathy, the president of Chick-fil-A. Dan was much farther down the path of social media at the time. It was still a distant thought for me, but I always love being around thought leaders in any field. So when I heard about the meeting, I tagged along.
As you might expect from someone capable of filling the role of CEO in a major company, Michael was engaging, thoughtful, and interested in us, and he communicated his ideas clearly. Although the meeting I’m describing was a couple of years ago, it was evident that he had already developed deep expertise in social media – not by studying it, by doing it.
Here are some of the nuggets (no pun intended) we gleaned from Michael over our breakfast of Chick-fil-A biscuits.
Social media requires time. At the time of our meeting, Michael was investing about five hours a week on his blog. I don’t recall us talking about Twitter. Based on the frequency with which I see his tweets, I’m guessing he spends a few minutes throughout his day on this as well. For me, I’m posting only three times a week compared to his five, but obviously I’m not as proficient as Michael. It takes me a little longer to create and post my content.
Sharing stimulates growth. Michael talked about how his commitment to share with others had made him a much better student of life and leadership. He shared a new filter he used to evaluate the ideas he encountered as he moved through life: Could this help leaders? He was growing with those he helped along the way. As I’ve been reminded before, the best teaching is from the overflow of our lives. Michael was (and is) living this truth.
Authenticity matters. Michael encouraged us to share what was on our hearts in social media – to be genuine and share openly and honestly. He also suggested that we write our own content. This is an idea that took me by surprise, because I wouldn’t have considered any other option. I’m still surprised when people ask me if I write my own posts (the answer is yes.)
Michael’s encouragement and wisdom that morning helped me think more deeply about how I might someday use social media to encourage and equip leaders. The seed that would become this site was planted in my mind that day. Thanks, Michael, for challenging me – and serving leaders around the world![GLS_Shield]
If you’ve not read Michael’s new book, Platform, you should order it today.