Once in awhile I really do agonize over what topic to cover in the daily Encourager.
So when I do, it’s a “Believe or Not” scenario fitting for Ripley’s.
I should probably do this more (the agony bit)… a lot more according to my wife, Cindy.
She’s still can’t believe that I featured in last week’s “Two Minute PSDs” people I really don’t know and have never met.
I had to gently remind her that while I may not personally know Seth Godin, Bernadette Jiwa, Jack Canfield, and Mitch Joel, I actually DO know Superintendent Karen McPhee… so, on balance, last week’s daily Encouragers weren’t totally fabricated inside my own head.
Cindy wasn’t buying it.
“What was the reaction from your readers?” she inquired. (OK. Like NOW she was a marketing guru or something putting me on the spot…)
“Well, if you really must know,” I said, “Many praised those messages and some told me they fell flat.”
“What’s your definition of ‘many’ and ‘some’?” she pressed.
“Well, if you really must know,” I said, strategically repeating myself to buy some time. “I use a complicated mathematical formula. If the supporters of any Encourager article outnumber the critics by a factor of more than one person, I report out that I have many supporters and only some critics.”
“You’re kidding, right?” she asked, looking straight at me. (Uh, oh. Is it my math she is questioning or my integrity?)
I tried another dodge.
“I know it may seem odd,” I said. “But I like it when people email me back their reactions. On the very same day, someone will write to say that the Encourager gave them a boost or a good idea, while someone else will respond within minutes and say that the same Encourager was irrelevant.”
“Really?” she asked.
“Yeah,” I replied. “But that’s the purpose. A single good idea or insight usually springs out of big pile of ideas and insights – and that’s what I try to do. Toss out a daily observation to my fellow school leaders and communicators and hope that occasionally they’ll find something that encourages and helps them.”
“How about the Encourager for today – Wednesday?”
“Well,” I admitted. “It’s not very sexy or flashy. But I know I’d want to know about this. I’m pointing out the pilot project the search engine Bing is promoting. They’re rolling out a new ad-free search tool for K-12 schools to try and wrangle some business away from Google. So I’m gonna send out an FYI along with the link to the Microsoft press release.”
“So you’re just going to email this information out without your usual bluff and bluster?”
“That’s the plan, hon,'” I replied. “Believe it or not.”