A “forest for the trees” moment

By now you’ve heard of the speakers for Ignite Law 2011. And no, I’m not one of them, which is perfectly OK. And thanks for the votes, “good luck” and “aww” when the speakers were announced. Quite reminiscent of ABATechShow’s open source presentation. Again, I’m touched.

The experience presents a “forest for the trees” moment, of which I seem to be having quite a few lately. I don’t refer to myself as an expert, in anything, as I think whatever you do is a learning process. You learn your strengths and weaknesses, what you like and what you don’t, what kind of personalities you get along with and what kinds you tend to clash. And you learn how other people view you, which is not always how you view yourself.

When Dennis Kennedy suggested I submit a talk about Twitter, I initially balked. It struck me as kind of absurd. OK. Not “kind of” but totally absurd. The “forest for the trees” metaphor popped into my head shortly after when a member of the Clio Support team suggested I create a introductory video about how to use Twitter. A few people have suggested that, now that I think of it. I was dismissive of the idea (we’ll see how long that lasts).

And then my brother Skype’s me and asks for help on how to integrate his blog with his Facebook page and Twitter account, and explain exactly what to do with Twitter. Friends of his suddenly follow and contact me via Twitter, also asking for advice. What is it, exactly, that I do that makes my use of Twitter successful…to other people. I say “to other people” because they clearly view myself and my Twitter use quite differently than I do. And that, mind you, is a good thing.

These requests, and submitting an Ignite Law talk, forced me to step “out of the forest” and look at the trees that make up the forest. To look at my network that I have inadvertently built. I can’t help but feel a sense of pride. I’ve cultivated a network of value. A network which I value, and that also values me in return. I hadn’t noticed that before; Twitter just seemed a natural thing to me, I just saw “forest for the trees.”

And then there’s that opposite problem, seeing the trees for the forest, or what is more commonly called “taking your eyes off your goal.” And what do you see? Obstacles. That, however, is for another post.

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One Response to A “forest for the trees” moment

  1. Brian says:

    Gwynne
    Take all the free advice you are getting and step away from the trees. Share all your wonderful knowledge of Twitter – you ARE an expert – even more so, you’re a great friend via Twitter. I for one am very happy I connected with you there.
    Brian Nash

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