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2007 in review

December 31, 2007

December 31st, the last day of the year and time for that almost compulsory blog retrospective of the past twelve months… 

With the passage of time comes perspective, the clarity to see how the people, events, and opportunities that come and go from our lives help shape and define it.   Some years are more significant than others, viewed in hindsight as watershed events in the course of our lives.    Were our life a book, the chapter titles become obviously clear to us.   For me, 2007 was less the start of a new chapter, and more the continuation and evolution of the characters and plot established in the last one.

2006 was certainly a chapter break, and one of the most definitive years for me – it was a trifecta culmination of marriage, completion of the house, and the onset of a new career direction.   2007 was a continuation of those lines, with the celebration of our one year anniversary with a trip to Cancun and the ongoing work of refining and completing the house, and breaking ground on my new workshop which should be completed in the spring / summer of 2008.

From a career standpoint, I might summarize by saying “Be careful what you ask for, as you just might get it”.   This year I learned once again that the ability to do something comes not so much from asking for it, but from working toward it.    Asking to be a leader doesn’t make you one.  You have to do the work, demonstrating the path with sufficient clarity and inspiration that others will be compelled to join you. 

Historically, I’ve been fortunate since about 1997 in being able to craft my next job.  Early career advice meted out to me was that the best way to advance was to manage your current job, while going out and doing the next job you wanted to have.   In November 2005, I consulted on a project to monitor the blogosphere, and by Feb 2006, I wound up largely owning the project.  By July 2006, I realized that the blogosphere couldn’t be treated like a recurring survey or marketplace research that could be consistently and accurately quantified and qualified, nor should it be.   It is alive and very much reflective of the millions of human voices that comprise it.  2006 taught me that listening and watching were only valuable to a point, that getting directly involved was the only way to make a real difference in the near term.  I dove in through several projects.

In 2007, with the help of colleagues, I entered the blogosphere as a corporate blogger and am still very much a novitiate.   Blogging appears much like politics – your posts will not please all.   Authenticity is key.

2007 also saw the launch of a discussion forum, probably one of the more potentially valueable, enduring, and rewarding projects of my career to date.   One of the most personally compelling aspects of this project is that it is made possible by a couple of amazing colleagues, and the benevolence of perhaps a dozen experienced and devoted supporters outside the company.   This is a unique partnership of sorts and I am very excited to see how this will grow in 2008.  

2008 will be about making good on the promises made during  2007, and I suspect, making some new ones too.

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