How To Make An Impact Series #3

Imagine you are watching the start of a race. The runners are at the starting blocks. Their feet are set and their fingers spread just behind the white line in their lane. The starter raises his hand and says these words:

On your mark. Get set. Go!

Imagine that all the runners take off…except for one. This runner remains in the blocks. In his mind, he is envisioning himself in the race — legs striding out, arms pumping, racing neck and neck with the other racers. But this is only occurring in his mind. His body is still in the blocks.

I know, it’s a silly scenario. But I see this all the time when a person has an opportunity to get involved, take care of a need, solve a problem, or fill a leadership position — and he or she just sits in the starting blocks.

Brief Changes

Please be patient with the look and feel of my site.

I’m upgrading from Standard Theme 1.0 to 2.0. I need to go back in and make some changes to the backend. Since I’m learning as I go when it comes to things like php and css, the transition may take a bit longer.

Fortunately, the posts (the MAIN content) will keep on rolling and I trust you’ll find it easy to read…and helpful.

How To Make An Impact Series #2

I recently posted a comment to an online discussion. The question was, When did you first realize you were a leader?

In my response, I stated that my first leadership role was eraser monitor. “The job of the eraser monitor was to take the erasers from the chalkboard (do we still use chalkboards?) outside and bang them together to get the chalk off them. The monitor always returned to the room a bit pale.”

As a child, and well into adolescence, I viewed leadership as a role or position that someone filled. You were a leader if you had the title, the t-shirt, and the nametag. If you didn’t have a position, you weren’t the leader.

The Impact Graph

The Impact Graph (click on image to see full size)

This brings us back to the Impact Graph. There are two measurements in the graph. One distinguishes between leaders and followers, the other between impact and no impact. In the last post, I describe those who fall into the follower-no impact category as “spectators.” In this post, I want to address the leader-no impact category. A group of people I like to call “figureheads.”

Confessing My Typographic Sins

Photo by Sam Dunn

I just came across a great resource when it comes to common typographic “sins” that are committed by both designers and writers.

First off, props to Smashing Magazine and their periodic Smashing Newsletter for pointing this out.

The list is located on Ray Elder’s site (R+) and offers 34 common mistakes users make in typography. I admit that I’ve committed most of these sins at one time or another — some out of ignorance and others out of simple laziness.

How To Make An Impact Series #1

I work with student leaders.

Let me state that another way: I work with students who are in the process of developing their leadership knowledge, leadership skills, and leadership perspective.

In the course of this type of work, I find it helpful to provide students with various pictures and tools that help them identify where they are and where they’re headed. The Impact Graph is one of those tools.

The Impact Graph

The Impact Graph (click on image to see full size)

I designed this graph because students are curious about the path to leadership. They not only want to know how to lead…they want to lead.

My First Blog Post

I was a bit disappointed to find out that I can’t access the first 1200 “tweets” I wrote after I first joined Twitter. It appears that Twitter will keep your last 3200 and I’m at 4500+. If someone knows how to go back and find those I would be indebted to your knowledge.

While I was in my nostalgic mood, I also went back to see what I wrote for my first blog post. Prior to writing here at, I wrote at I may revive my work there at some point. But going back into the archives I found my first post. Here’s what I wrote on January 12, 2005:

Tweet Early And Tweet Often

If you had told me 10 years ago that I’d be using words like “twitter” and “tweet” on a regular basis…I’d would have laughed at you.

In fact, I’ll admit to you that I still get a little red-in-the-face when I try to explain to people why I believe Twitter is a valuable tool and try to describe the benefits of “tweeting.” Mostly because they start to giggle at me. It’s okay. People probably laughed at Christopher Columbus too.