Sam offers an incredibly unique and talented perspective to the Follow the Leader series:
“Telling the stories that need telling in order to motivate others to change the things that need changing, Sam is a social entrepreneur who believes in the power of local communities. He has spoken and written on the power of the Internet to change the world for the better, and specializes in studying new and emerging trends within the nonprofit sector, especially as they relate to younger generations. His first book, “New Day Revolution: How to Save the World in 24 Hours” will be available in October.
He is married to Lynnette and both of them currently live in Nashville, Tennessee. The two don’t have any children, but when they do, they hope they will grow up in a world free from hate and fear, where ideas and creativity are valued.”
What should we spend our time on? What shouldn’t we spend our time on?
Developing relationships is vital for professional or personal success. Sometimes, these relationships will be short and may not have much depth, but it could be just the connection you need to get ahead. At other times, these relationships will be long lasting and full of meaning. I think it’s important to never turn down an invitation to meet someone, to grab coffee or have lunch. Even if it seems from the initial request that nothing can develop, I’ve seen great ideas come out of chance meetings.
(click twice to enlarge and sharpen Sams’ calendar for this week)
How do you get it all done?
I manage my to-do list with my Inbox. It stays in the Inbox until I take care of it (‘it’ being replying to an email, setting up a meeting, writing a 5 Minutes of Caring piece). Also, I wake up at 5 AM. Most people cringe at that. But, I love what I do, so getting up at 5, getting online for 90 minutes (to read news, blogs, and email) and then going for a jog allows me to do more by 8 AM than most folks get done by lunch. There’s a huge advantage to that.
What does balance mean to you?
Balance is all about prioritizing. Naturally, our priorities change over the years. But, if you can figure out a few things early on that are important, it will help you decide what’s worth doing and what can wait. A lot of times, people spend a lot of time on things that aren’t that important, and they probably know this. I think life is much too short to be caught doing lots of things you don’t want to.
How many hours do you work a week?
My schedule is rarely (never) 9-to-5. I wake up early, meet folks for lunch, write at night sometimes, think about stuff when I’m driving, you name it. Recently, I’ve begun to stay off the computer a lot on the weekends. I once used the weekend to catch up on stuff. Now, I figure out on Friday what can wait until Monday. This way, I can spend the weekend lying on my couch watching what I DVR’d during the week. But, my Blackberry is always nearby so I can at least read emails, even if I don’t reply until Monday.
How do you think we can encourage young leaders?
Young people today have grown up and are coming of age at a time when access and creation are standard parts of their lives. Their parents were passive receivers of media and entertainment. Today’s YPs are active producers, making videos, writing blogs, and starting businesses, and then sharing all of this with anyone and everyone. I’ve found that young people are most engaged when they’re able to create something and have the necessary access to the tools required to do so. I don’t feel that’s an incredibly revolutionary thing, but so few businesses realize this.
How much time do you devote to blogging and promoting your blog?
I love to write, but only when I know I’ve got something good. I’ve been blogging on my personal site for nearly 4 years now, and it’s changed from blogging mainly about religious issues to anything personal to covering the nonprofit world. Because I write so much for CoolPeopleCare, I don’t blog everyday. But, I have enjoyed it more by waiting until I’ve got something particularly worthy of my time.