First day on the job as CBS Affiliate Creative Director, General Manager & friend Terry Hurly offered advice which has served well for 15 years. “Marty, when you send memos, do interviews, or otherwise deal with media or your employees, give OTHERS credit-sometimes even if you did it.” He continued, use the words “us,” “we,” “our” and not “I,” “me,” or “my.”
Years later, as the aimClear growth plan gestated, a dear Friend Dan Thralow sent over Jim Collins’s famous book “Good to Great.” Truly great leaders (level 5) share a number of mostly-common traits. One of them is crediting others (looking out the window) for success and taking responsibility (looking in the mirror) for failures. External factors contributing to success could include luck, excellent team members, & market trends.
Failure often stems from lack of a coherent game plan, inviting the wrong team members onto the bus, & not facing brutal truths. Tactic or trap, writing from the self-center person can be an intentional grammatical style book decision.
Ego, Humility, Team, & Brand
Blog posts, especially in the early days can be intentionally crafted to, at least, give the appearance of humility, selflessness, propensity for team work, and even brand your company as growing.
Many new bloggers we see miss the opportunity to communicate the size and depth of their organization. To say “we” is a fully ambiguous term. It could mean you and your strategic vendor partners, your husband playing devil’s advocate, or your dog. aimClear was “we, our, us,” before “we, our, & us” had a single employee. Ironically, now our support staff is 4.
It’s easy enough to be arrogant, especially if a person has little going for him or her. No matter how big a rock star we ALL get turned off by “me, me, me”. Even if there are truly no other humans participating in the process in any way, be very intentional in not writing “I think this” or “I did that”. Try counting how many times you write from the self-center person in your last three posts.
Time and Place
There is a time and a place for writing from the self-center person. When you really feel like making a point, that’s when to shout “Hey that matters to ME!” This is particularly useful when launching a good rant or humbly acknowledging a sweet accolade.
It’s sometimes hard to craft decent sentences, writing from self-experience, WITHOUT writing from self-center person. It’s an acquired taste. It’s also important to take personal credit where credit is due. It is a fine line. The best way is often to write the post from the self-center person, go back through, and take out all but a couple self-references.
Case in point, though, this post is entirely about my experience and opinion I did not use any self-center person words, referring to me, until this final sentence. 🙂