By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Leadership Theology, New Posts

“We’re not making ‘clickbait’ are we?”

The answer to this question is the difference between long-form investigative content that you must be intentional to curate and find via RSS feeds, and the short-form content paid to be pushed to you through your social media feed.

The answer to this question is the difference between those who read books, and those who proudly beat their chests at not having read since high school—or college.

The answer to this question is the difference between journalism that informs and enlightens, and journalism that riles an audience up in the short-term, before moving on to another spectacle.

The answer to this question is the difference between being inspired by quiet patience, and being entertained by a spontaneous piece of programmatic content.

The answer to this question is the difference between writing a blog post (or creating any piece of content for that matter) to be found by a search engine, and creating a blog post that has to grow organically when no one is looking.

As I approach the publishing of the 1,000th post on this blog, the answer to this question, at least for me, for any piece of content I create is, “No. I don’t write ‘click bait’ here.”

And if that’s what you’re looking for, there’s an overwhelming cacophony of it out there to find.

But not here.

Ravening Lions

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Leadership Theology, New Posts

Much of what you read, hear, and consume on the Internet is the intellectual, spiritual and emotional equivalent of baby formula.

Much of what you read, hear, and consume on the Internet is pushed to you with the intent not of edifying you, or raising you up, or of giving you new knowledge, but is pushed to you with the intent of tearing you down, or tearing someone else down.

And because this formula, or milk, is being pushed hard by people, organizations, and systems all of whom seem well-meaning on the surface, but underneath are like ravening lions, it’s tough to know what to absorb, and what to let go of.

The conceit wrapped deeply in this conclusion, however, is that somehow during this time in human history, it’s somehow different, worse, or more intractable, than it was at any other time in the history of human interpersonal communication.

It’s not.

The only difference between the communication schema now (formula + malicious intent + power in access to ways of flooding (or hacking) your attention) and the schemas used in the past (from carrier pigeons to television) is the speed with which it can get to your attention.

And the speed with which you can ignore it.

For people and organizations with radical, deep ideas, serving meat to a population whose attention and desire have been hacked to artificially desire milk, the problem of speed has never been an issue.

Difficult ideas, changes of approach, and adaptations always take time. Patience really is a virtue.

Easy ideas, cosmetic marketing changes, and powerful manipulations are always the province of those people and organizations who seek speed over results. For them, patience is a fools’ game and something to be hacked to get to a larger goal. FOMO is just another way of creating false anticipation for information or experiences that aren’t all that fulfilling in the long-term.

Which is usually not in your best spiritual, emotional, or intellectual interest.

Beware the ravening lions.

Shipping Matters

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Leadership Theology, New Posts

When we fetishize the act of failure more so than the lessons learned from risk-taking, shipping a product takes a back seat to preening in public.

Ok. But what is shipping?

Shipping is getting an idea out to the world.

Shipping is putting a product out on the market.

Shipping is connecting people together in a network.

Shipping is showing up and working with your whole heart.

Shipping is talking to that person in charge who you don’t want to talk to.

The act of shipping—delivering a product, idea, message, or service to the world, whether the world is ready for it or not—is the most important thing.

The lessons we learn from the act of shipping matter more, in the long run, than the act of failing to get people, audiences, and the market to “buy-in.”

It wasn’t that way for the majority of humanity over the last 5,000 years, and particularly in the last 150 years. But now, at this point in human social and economic history, shipping matters more than whatever you learned after the shipping happened.

Stop fetishizing the act of failure.

Start fetishizing the act of shipping.

No One Cares How Hard the Work Is

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Leadership Philosophy, Leadership Theology, New Posts

Here is a brutal, unavoidable, and unpleasant truth: No one cares how hard the work you’re doing is.

The fact is, many people believe their own story more than they will ever believe yours. And their story is one that involves their work. And their work is always harder than your work.

The fact is, many people (although they would never say this out loud) believe that their pain—disappointments, disputes, troubles, failures—is more important, more pernicious, more deep, than your pain.

The phrase “You don’t know me. You don’t know my pain,” has real resonance with many people.

The fact is, they are right: You don’t know them. You will never know their pain.

And that knowledge of that pain is unimportant in the grand scheme of how hard the work that they are doing is. Your pain is also unimportant in the grand scheme of how hard the work that you are doing is.

But many people care about the process of shipping the hard work.

Process is the thing that fascinates, connects, resonates, and ships. Seeking empathy (or sympathy) around the hardness of shipping the work, producing the work, or failing at getting enough people to care about the work, doesn’t scale.

Get your audience to care about your process, not about how hard the process is.