Leadership / Management | Technology & Social Media

Want to make your mark? Just do it.

Dive Some of us make plans. We're going to learn to cook, or master the guitar, or write a book, or change the world. And then another episode of "Jersey Shore" comes on and ... well, that's all she wrote.

And while we're sitting on our butts, other folks are actually doing some pretty cool stuff.

Take an old college buddy of mine.

  • A huge fan of "Seinfeld," he decided he wanted to write a book about the sitcom. And so he did.
  • A collector of vintage vinyl novelty records, he decided he wanted to produce a podcast that showcased his collection. And so he did.
  • An avid musician, he decided he wanted to learn a new instrument -- the ukulele, no less -- and join a popular uke band in New York City. And so he did.
  • The father of a young son, he decided he wanted to write and record a collection of children's songs and sell it on iTunes. And so he did.

None of those accomplishments amounts to much in the pop culture world. He hasn't won a Grammy or written a best-seller.

But that's not the point. He does things. He doesn't just think about them, or talk about them, or wish them to be true. He by-God does them. He sees the end result, then he figures out a way to get there.

I often think there's way too much planning going on at work these days.

Take, for example, social media. I know of more than a few organizations that are still wringing their hands over how to join the social space. "Should we block social sites at work? What should our social media policy say? How can we control what other people say about us?"

You know what? You can drive yourself nuts trying to figure out every angle of an issue like that. Keep it simple. Figure out where you want to be, then figure out a way to get there. Talk to some experts, study some best practices ... then do it.

Sure, you might have to make some adjustments after the fact, but so what? Nobody's perfect.

The world is changing mighty fast these days. We need to be nimble enough to change with it. If we spend too much time sweating the details, we run the risk of missing the train entirely ... and rendering ourselves irrelevant as a result.

So write your book, or learn your instrument, or record your CD.

It beats anything you'll see on "Jersey Shore."

And thanks, Greg Gattuso, for the inspiration. Your accomplishments never cease to amaze me.


Bill Sheridan