In my last post, I talked about the importance of storytelling to libraries. Last Friday, I had the privilege of attending a multi-district workshop where Jamie LaRue was the main attraction. I heard Jamie speak once before, and he is quite the storyteller. I admire the fact that he can give a two-hour presentation without using a single PowerPoint or Prezi slide. He doesn’t need them. What he has to say is so powerful and transformative that any visual aids would only be a distraction.
The thing about Jamie is this–not only is he a storyteller, but he is a true visionary and a true leader, and most importantly, he not only talks the talk, but he walks the walk. He has wonderful vision, but it doesn’t stop there–he makes it happen. I’m sure he has lots of help along the way, not to mention funds, but he sets things in motion. He is inspiring. I’ve been to a lot of conferences and workshops. I’ve sat through a lot of useful, informative, even entertaining presentations. But I can count on two fingers the number of times I’ve been inspired. Jamie is a rare breed –a visionary leader who takes action.
There are lots of us in the library blogosphere who have a vision, or think we have a vision, about the way things should be or could be. But how many of us are actually taking action–taking risks–in order to put that vision into practice? Moreover, how many of us would have the first clue about how to actually put what we envision into practice? Could be I’m speaking only for myself on this count.
Having a vision is great. But it’s not enough. Writing about having a vision is great, too, but it’s not enough. Words can be inspiring. But without action and intent and purpose and results they can be fairly meaningless, too.
Maybe that’s why I’m having trouble finding my own words lately. If I’m not an inspiration to myself, then why would anyone be inspired by what I have to say? A visionary leader who takes action is inspiring. Not bloggers that write about what visionary leaders are doing. That’s taking the easy way out. That’s telling someone else’s story rather than creating one of your own.
Writing or speaking about what can be done is not nearly as inspiring as writing or speaking about what has been done. Especially if you’re the one that did it.
My hat’s off to all of you visionary leaders out there who are spending time doing. If you can spare some time to write or speak about what you’ve accomplished, all the better–inspire the rest of us.
But my guess is that most of you are so busy doing that you don’t have time to let the rest of us know what you’ve done. If that’s the case then please, quick, grab the nearest library blogger (you won’t have trouble finding one) and tell them your story. That’s the least we can do. Perhaps telling your story will inspire a blogger like me to create a story of my own.