I was recently in New York for the first time and, among other brilliant experiences like watching the New York City Ballet at the Lincoln Center, strolling through Central Park, admiring the stunning work done on the urban park the High Line, and catching up with wonderful friends such as John Stepper and Jenny Ambrozeck, I also had the chance to visit the famous Strand bookshop and do something I love: book shopping!
— Ana Silva (@AnaDataGirl) May 1, 2014
During the weekend I started reading Wenger’s work and only then noticed that the previous owner of the book had left inside it two used plane tickets as page markers: clearly he must have been travelling across the US and reading the book while doing so, and now I knew his name and where he was travelling to. And I felt we shared some sort of connection.
This got me thinking about the “breadcrumbs” we leave about our life and experiences, increasingly doing so online and available for the world, or at least our extended network of connections, to see: what we did, where we’ve been, with whom, what we think about certain topics, what we read…
As my mind wondered, this in turn got me thinking about the importance of sharing our own work (John would call it working out loud) and of blogging (it is no coincidence that I had just finished Euan Semple’s book “Organizations Don’t Tweet, People Do” where he talks extensively about the power of blogging).
The traces I’m leaving online have led to a recent contact about a job opportunity. They also led to a contact from someone that discovered my blog through my TEDxOporto participation, related to what I’ve been writing about, and sent me a very kind email asking if I could recommend some resources to help her with a professional project she’s developing. They also led me to invitations to write, speak or teach.
The “breadcrumbs” we leave are important to help shape our reputation and serendipitously put unexpected opportunities in our path. But we must be conscious that they are also important to, as I’ve shared in my TEDx presentation, augment our individual and collective humanity, and not just our vanity.
Now back to that book…