Weeknotes, 23rd February

I'm reflecting on two main things this week: content service thinking and leadership.

I shared a blog post and email about what I’m calling content service thinking. By that I mean acknowledging that content is a central part of how organisations — especially charities — provide joined up services to users. (Read the post on content service thinking here.)

The email had my highest number of unsubscribes ever, but I’ve also had more people get in touch wanting to talk about it than anything else I’ve ever written. I’m fine with the unsubscribes: this edition was a bit of a departure from the things I usually cover. And I think for a lot of people this might have felt a bit intangible, compared to say, why PDFs are bad. I was absolutely thrilled to get emails from so many content friends, though. There are lots of people in the third sector on this journey towards embedding content as a key part of service delivery. I’ve got lots of chats booked in over the next few weeks, and I can’t wait to get nerdy about this with people.

Rachel McConnell invited me to be on panel at a Lead with Tempo meetup, alongside Rashmi van de Loenhorst and Ellen Gofton. I really enjoyed our conversation about mindful leadership. Rashmi and Ellen are both such smart, empathetic leaders and have so many insightful things to share. A few of the key things that resonated for me the most from the discussion were:

  • Leading a team is about more than line managing your team and being a ‘shit umbrella’/buffer between them and the business. To be effective and make things better for your team without burning out, you need to give yourself the time and space to connect with peers and lead up.
  • The ability to be present in the moment and really listen are the hallmarks of mindful leadership. This is in place of always ‘doing’, working the room, looking for an angle, and worrying about what’s coming next.
  • Leaders have to be able to say no. You need to be able to say no to work that isn’t important or where you can’t be effective. You also need to have your own boundaries and rituals that help you keep work in its place.
  • Rashmi also said something about the need to pause for long enough to tap into our deeper gut instincts. This made so much sense to me — the things I’ve regretted most about work and the biggest mistakes I’ve made were all times when I rushed and ignored a deeper instinct.

Wellness update

On topic, but this week was a battle to balance my impulse to do too much with knowing I need to take time off.

I took two mornings off this week: one to walk the dog and have a long coffee catch up with my friend Lucy; one to take my husband to a hospital appointment. The world did not end. My clients didn’t fire me. All my urgent work got done.

More posts

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How to get the most from generative AI tools like ChatGPT.

Could thinking about your content as a service transform how you serve your users, online and offline? I'm starting to think it could.

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