November 1, 2012

Is Twitter A Great Leadership Tool?

I have the privilege of following Michael Hyatt on Twitter and several other channels. You should also. He is an expert on helping people getting their book published. And his materials on building your own platform sell like hotcakes.

Recently he shared this blog post where he talked about what a great leadership tool Twitter has become. When I see posts like this, I have to take a deep breath, so I don’t burst a blood vessel. To say I don’t agree with his opinion is an understatement. Twitter is a tool. It is not good or bad for anything. Here was my response from his blog comments. I felt it was good enough to be its own blog post.

Enjoy and learn.

My response …

I’ll have to disagree on this one. People give Twitter (and several other online channels) too much credibility. In addition to what you have said I’ve heard people laud the benefits of 140-character communication. “It makes people better writers”. “If Jesus were alive today, he would use Twitter to communicate with the world”. Phrases like these just make me shake my head.

Why in the world do people think that a tool where you can barely get out a single thought is a great leadership tool?

And why do people think that Twitter (or Facebook) was invented for anything? It was a programmer’s accident. It was not this glorious tool that was developed to change the world. It is a barely functional chat room from a company that is barely making any money. I do love using it to interact and share with people. And if you look at my feed you will see I have a decent following and great interaction. But I don’t think it is a revolutionary piece of software that can be used to guide people and nations. It cannot teach better or worse leadership any more than a pen and a piece of parchment.

Twitter is good for communicating in very shorts bursts.

What you do with it determines how useful it is. If someone is a good communicator, then any tool they used could be considered a “great leadership tool”. Be it a blog, a hammer, or a knife. Remember that there is just as much porn and spam being pushed out on Twitter as there is good leadership.

We spend too much time focusing on the tool. And this is scary because there are people that will believe this and start believing that if they use Twitter more, they will be great leaders (this is evident by several of the previous comments). Don’t focus on the tool people. The tool is not a great leadership tool. The people you follow and interact with, are great leaders.

Put in the time to sharpen your leadership and writing skills. And then find the tools to share those with the world.


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