Pastor Dan Reiland offers a helpful exercise to help you clarify your thoughts and develop your influence.
What do you think?
I’m often asked this question, and while I’m typically guilty of having an opinion on nearly everything, sometimes I don’t know what I think. A great conversation with someone can unearth my thoughts, but more often, I write just to see what I think. How about you?
Writing produces clarity of thought. Clear thinkers are strong thinkers. The best leaders are strong thinkers. When I practice the discipline of writing I quickly learn if the idea is weak or strong. I quickly discover if I’ve “thought myself into a corner” and can’t go any further with it. In those times I’m glad I wasn’t talking! Sometimes writing produces weird stuff, but there’s always the delete button. When you do this, you are not wasting time. You are thinking, one of the most important things you can do.
Writing gives opportunity for creativity. It might intimidate you, but try a blank page and see what you come up with. You might need to prime the pump with a newspaper or a great article or movie. But as soon as you can, set the inspiration aside and start writing. When you are writing for creativity, don’t write an original draft as if it will be published. Fear of producing something dumb stifles creativity. Don’t worry about perfection, just write. You can edit and make it better later. Write to create! Use your imagination. There is a story in you, you have ideas budding in your mind. Let them out! Turn them into something productive!
Writing is a great way to test your influence. What happens when you write to people? It doesn’t matter what option you choose . . . whether Twitter, Facebook, an article, a book, or common email. Do people respond? Do they respond favorably? What change takes place? Who seems to care? Who passes your thoughts onto others? Who gives feedback or asks questions? If you write and it seems like no one is home, that provides a reality check on what you are thinking and your overall influence as a leader.
Keep thinking and keep writing!