I like to go to Starbucks to write my blog posts. I am often there on Friday’s writing and getting caught up on things for my other business, The Sunday Punch Team. They have coffee, wifi, tables and chairs, and many other necessary things to accomplish my goals for the day.
But, as I sat there last Friday, something different happened. I found myself staring at a blank page for most of the time I was there. An opened Word document that was full of possibilities…but no content.
I often heard it said, for writers, that when you face the blank page (or writer’s block), you should just start writing. Write anything. Write something. And, eventually, you will write some words that will go together to make a sentence and sentences that will go together to make paragraphs and so on.
This didn’t work for me, this time.
However, it did make me think a lot about how leadership can be this way sometimes. Maybe it comes in the form of an employee who is new and they’re a blank slate. Or a child who is naïve to the world around them. Or a boss who needs some help to fully step into their role as a leader.
These blank pages are full of possibilities, but they lack some of the most important things to help them reach their fullest potential. And this can be exhilarating. But, it can also be discouraging and frustrating.
As I sit down to write a blog post, I have dreams that it’s going to be my best one ever. When I think about my kids, I want to lead them towards greatness. When I have a new employee on the team, I try to influence them to be the most effective person they can be.
But, sometimes, I just stare. Not sure what to do next. And, often, I do nothing. Of course, planning ahead, creating systems, and other pre-planning measures would help to alleviate these moments…but that’s not always a reality.
So, I will try again tomorrow. I will write my best blog post ever…tomorrow. I will raise my kids to be President…tomorrow. I will train that new employee to be the best they can…tomorrow. I will help that boss to be a better leader…tomorrow.
How about you? Do you have experience with blank screens and white space? How do you overcome it? What are some things you do when you have a blank canvass and you’re not sure what to do with it?