Save the Libraries!

Libraries are the natural habitats for words. On cool, autumn days, you can peer between the shelving and sight herds of untamed language – big bullish words, gentle doe-like terms, and gamboling syllables – charging past the carrels, tumbling into corners, then spilling back down along the wall of windows.

But these habitats are in danger because as our economy falters, libraries face unprecedented budget cuts. This is happening at the exact moment when patronage has soared as more and more people use the library to job hunt, take advantage of the computers, and feed their reading jones when they can’t afford to buy books.

Some people just complain and lament our shrinking language habitats, but our good friends at Central Rappahannock Regional Library (www.crrl.org) decided to drive home the point with fun and frivolity. We can all absorb lessons about communication from this video, but chief among them are

Important messages don’t necessarily require a serious platform

and

Electronic media allows (requires?) you to show a lot of personality

Thanks to Sean Bonney and the gang in Fredericksburg, Stafford, Spotsylvania, and Westmoreland, Va., for sharing their efforts.

(I’ve posted the long version below, but if you only want the highly delicious disco segment, you can link to it here.)

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It’s Not What. It’s Why.

I have never read a business book that couldn’t have been reduced to a good magazine article. But there are people out there who make me think with greater depth, and I value them beyond reason for that ability. Right now, I’m stuck on Simon Sinek, who has identified what great leaders have that people respond to.

Most of us communicate from the clearest thing to the fuzziest thing. We explain “what” first, “how” next, and “why” last. “Why” is always the most difficult to explain, but it is where our passions reside.

Few of us can be great leaders, but all of us can inspire employees or prospects and establish ourselves as people of worth and substance. We only need to invert our communication tendency, and first explain why we’re doing what we’re doing.

Watch this presentation Sinek gave at the TED conference in Puget Sound.

Want to know more about Sinek? Check out his website.