Trying Something New

When is the last time you did something for the first time? These past few months when “our normal” was shaken up, it may have led to more firsts. I know it did for me and that can be a good thing.

If we’re not trying new things or getting a little (or a lot) uncomfortable, we’re not growing. When I first started this blog, I wondered if I could do it and if anyone would actually read it. Now, about 250 blogs later, I have come to enjoy the writing and editing of these blogs and it has turned into a fun relationship with followers.

It’s important to keep communication fresh and contemporary. So, we are going to start a new podcast on July 8. I am looking forward to hosting it with my long-time colleague and now Marco president Doug Albregts.

Jeff_Doug Social_1We’re going to have fun together. While Doug and I share similar values and philosophies, we’re different leaders and have different experiences.

Doug has been at the helm of national and international companies, including CEO of Sharp Electronics America and Scientific Games. He’s also in a band, so that makes him not only used to a microphone but also naturally cooler than I am. (Listen to us introducing it.)

Most people don’t think of themselves as “old school,” even if they are older like me. But it is a moving target and something that we have to keep working on as leaders. If we don’t, we can easily lose our edge and that often leads to our organizations losing their edge, too.

So, how can leaders stay contemporary?

  • Get outside your comfort zone.
    That usually means to keep trying something new. I started using video to communicate with our employees several years ago to connect closer with our team and better reflect my tone and message. It was not easy at first. It took a lot of takes. Now, I am able to go live and feel comfortable. I learned that more scripted videos are less effective and I did best with just a few talking points.

  • Adapt to new technology.
    Keep finding ways to adopt new technology, personally and professionally. Be willing to try something before you feel completely comfortable with it. What are younger generations doing? Go Live on Facebook professionally or do TikTok or Snapchat for fun.

  • Stretch your abilities.
    I started this blog, wondering if it would gain followership. But I did it anyway. Now, I am hosting a podcast for the first time, hoping it will be successful and will engage listeners. As leaders, we need to keep pushing ourselves.

It’s easier to become “old school” than stay contemporary. Ask yourself:

  • Who are the contemporary leaders around me?
  • What’s something new I’ve tried in the past month?
  • How am I anticipating what’s next?
  • Jeff_Doug Social_2How do people perceive me?

Contemporary leaders need to be self-aware and constantly evolve.

They keep thinking ahead, implementing new ideas, and pushing themselves and others further. What tone are you setting in your organization? Are you giving your organization an edge?

Tune in to the podcast to get timely business insight from industry experts and community leaders. Each episode we’ll break down new and better ways to boost success – from tapping into the latest technology trends to becoming a more effective leader. The first episode will air July 8. Subscribe today or learn more at

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Topics: Leadership, Contemporary