I am changing things up a little this week for my Reflections on Leadership post. Instead of sharing a true reflection on great leadership I wanted to share some reflections about myself. This post is different and important enough that I am cross posting on both my blog and as a LinkedIn article because I want it to stick prominently with my profile.
Each week I produce a significant amount of content.
- I share my Reflections on Leadership every Wednesday.
- I write a weekly blog post about my fitness journey each Sunday and at other milestone moments.
- Each day I share multiple social media posts to depict my fitness lifestyle, my favorite parts of Columbus, a glimpse of my project management life and a daily inspirational quote.
- I occasionally write and publish articles about a variety of leadership, project management and self-improvement topics.
- I wrote and recently published a book about how I used project management to transform myself through my weight loss journey.
- My thoughts are already turning to my next book.
I understand the question many of you may be asking yourself: “why does Tony publish so much content?” Even more, you recruiters, business leaders, professional associates, friends and other LinkedIn users may be asking “why does Tony post on LinkedIn about topics that are so personal in nature.”
I wanted to take a minute to explain why it is important to me to share content. I also want to address why I post on LinkedIn about my health & fitness journey on LinkedIn – a network generally reserved for professional pursuits.
One quick note for you avid followers of Reflections on Leadership this is a different post than the one from a year ago called Leaders Share.
I am an artist and so are you!
I believe that each one of us is an artist in our own way. Whether it is painting, music or countless other things we each have creative outlets that we engage in for self-fulfillment. We are all artists.
It has taken me years to discover it but my chosen artistic media is content creation. I love writing and creating content to communicate complex information in a simple way. I also love telling stories that interest and resonate with people. I do it in my professional life and I do it in my personal life. This is my art.
There is a difference between an art and a hobby. A hobby is usually an activity we engage in for fun and because we enjoy it. The big difference between this and an art is that an art form is more of a calling. Art is something that we can’t just not do because it feels like we are missing a part of us. I know my writing is an art because I can completely lose track of time sometimes when writing and the words just come flowing out of me.
Side note: writing is how I think too! When I am thinking through something, brainstorming, trying to figure out my point of view, defining a process or planning a conversation I start by opening OneNote or PowerPoint or just grab a notebook. I like to “see” my thoughts.
In short I produce content for personal fulfillment. Even if nobody reads what I write I will still write. For example I have been journaling daily for nearly 3 years and I do it just for me. This means that I don’t necessarily have to share my art (content) but I clearly do share. This is where the next point comes in.
I want to help!
On October 13, 2017 a coworker walked into my office and asked me if I had a minute to talk. He told me that my weight loss journey had inspired him to start his own and he was making progress. This was a pivotal moment in my decision to share highly personal content on highly public mediums. As it turns out this was just the first of many such stories I have from my journey.
I have always hoped that the work I do, the content I produce, the mentoring I provide, the coaching I do and many of my other outlets have an impact on people around me. That is why there was a point where I was mentoring seven people at one time and teaching a mentoring class – all of which were on top of my main job. This is why I love leadership so much. Leadership is an opportunity to make an impact on people.
I want to make a meaningful impact on people. I want to help people achieve there goals. I want to help people make their own dreams come true.
You never know when a piece of content you write or an experience you share or a moment of vulnerability will resonate with somebody. You never know when you are going to change (or maybe even save) a life. What I do know is that my stories and my continuing journey can be a contributor to the success of others. I know I have a point of view and that makes me happy to share. I am just getting started!
This is why I developed my vision statement: To create a world where goals never die of loneliness.
I am proud of my accomplishments.
In addition to the altruistic aspect of sharing my story and my journey there is also another side of that coin. I am super proud of my accomplishments and there is a degree of humbly patting myself on the back.
I have done a lot of unique things in my life. How many people actually run a half marathon (less than 2% of the US population) and how many do it 16 months after reaching the peak of a lifetime of obesity? I bet it is (or close to) zero! And this story just scratches the surface because, like everybody else, my “becoming” story takes many twists and turns (poverty, wins, losses, laughs, tears).
It took me more than forty years to become legitimately proud of myself (even of my mistakes) and I am not afraid to share that with others. I want everybody to get to that point where the are proud of themselves and are able to share yet still maintain humility.
This is who I really am.
All of this brings me to my final and maybe my most important point. This is the one that really explains why I choose to share stories about my weight loss on a professional networking site like LinkedIn. This is a point that has taken me a while to understand and many people struggle with through their entire lives.
I am more than my job.
I am not just building a career but I am trying to build a life of contribution and fulfillment! My accomplishments outside of my job say as much or more about the kind of asset I can be to individuals and organizations as any certification, degree, recognition or other professional achievement.
Arguably the main (but certainly not exclusive) audience for each person on LinkedIn are recruiters and hiring managers. Most people turn to LinkedIn to find their next career opportunity or other professional endeavors. Because of this most people have learned to spin their profiles and posts as a self-marketing tool. While you can’t really blame people for doing this it becomes difficult to get a true sense of the person.
This isn’t me!
My hope is that my current and potential connections get to see the real me and not just my branding. By publicly sharing such personal content, including on LinkedIn, I am hoping that people can see what makes me tick. I want people to see these things whether I am looking for the next step in my career or not. It is important to me to be real and honest all the time and not just to sell myself.
I am passionate about my work and my various pursuits. I am a project manager at heart and I sincerely believe project management can change lives. I am living that belief every day because project management has changed my life. I have literally written a book about life-changing project management. Project management is more than just a job!
I work hard to be an inspirational, generous and service-oriented leader. In everything I do I try to help people achieve their goals. I want to help provide the right inspiration and motivation and then I want to use my coaching and mentoring skills to help empower people to achieve their own big goals. Human beings matter! I want to make an impact on people, those people can make an impact on companies and that drives results.
I am goal-oriented and a high-achiever. Through many different facets of my life and especially through my recent personal transformation I have set goals, built plans to achieve them, stayed focused, tracked progress, made course corrections and achieved that goal. Many of these goals have been major accomplishments and then I am on to the next. These are the same attributes I can bring to any role I take on in my professional life. Give me a relevant, SMART goal and I will crush it!
I am very analytical and believe in the power of data. My top Gallup StrengthsFinder strength is competition which means that I love measurable performance. Data is very important to me and keeps me motivated, it is just how I am wired. So data is, clearly, very important to me and I use data to tell stories in all aspects of my life.
I try to lead and act with humility and believe we can all do better. The vulnerability that I show in my writing and in my leadership comes from a place of humility. I know that I am far from where I can be and even further from where I started so I try to make progress and get better every day. I do this in my fitness, I do this in my knowledge, I do this in my leadership and in countless other areas. When we stop improving we stop living. I know this post may test the boundaries of my humility a bit but this is an exception, promise!
I am an accomplished communicator. Another one of my top StrengthsFinder strengths is communication and I like to make complex concepts easy to understand. I like to tell stories. This has always been a talent of mine and it is one that I continue to develop.
Like everybody else, I am multi-faceted and have broad interests which sometimes makes it tough to fit in just one box. In my life and career I have never been able to say “I’m a doctor” or “I’m a teacher” or any other clear answer about what I do and where I am going. I have skills, interests, passions, talents and goals that span a diverse range of categories. While I stop short of calling myself a “polymath” (which is a word that I just learned existed about a month ago) I do have those tendencies if not the expertise.
There are more but my humility is telling me to stop here.
Suffice it to say that I am not scared to put myself out there and be me even on LinkedIn. If this is appealing to potential connections I hope that they reach out as I love to meet new people. Maybe I can help you achieve a goal (personal or professional).
If it is not appealing. If you think I am crazy for sharing so much. If you disagree with my message. If you think I am unprofessional. I completely understand and respect your opinion. Thank you for reading my content and giving me a chance!
If you want to learn more about me just reach out. Also please consider purchasing my book – Operation Melt: How I Used Life-Changing Project Management to Lose Over 100 Pounds in Under a Year.
Call to Action: there are several things I hope you take from this post. But I will boil it down to 2 things I hope for:
- I hope that this new understanding about why I produce and share so much content provides some context that you keep in mind and that you keep reading my posts. Plus I hope you reach out if you want to talk more about your goals and mine.
- I hope that others will follow my lead and have the courage to be themselves even on LinkedIn. If we are all more transparent, real and vulnerable in our lives we will each be happier and accomplish more together.
About Reflections on Leadership
Reflections on Leadershipis my weekly article series reflecting on what it means to be a great leader. I hope that these thoughts can help you with your own leadership development journey.
My mission for Operation Melt is to help you melt away all of the obstacles to achieving your goals, not just your fitness goals. So, helping us all become better leaders is fully aligned with that mission. Maybe this will help achieve the Operation Melt vision…
To create a world where goals never die of loneliness.
Thank you for reading and please feel free to share your perspective on this topic, my Reflections on Leadership series or anything else via a share on social media or message me directly.
Want to learn more? I share my Operation Melt story, my approach and my lessons learned in my new book. Purchase your copy at OperationMelt.com/book/.