A call for feedback
I posted this article February 19, 2010, with the title, “A Taste of Friday.” It is my least viewed article. I’d appreciate your honest feedback. Would you take about 1 minute to read it with a critic’s eye? I’m genuinely interested in your input. The pursuit of excellence requires others.
Have you ever had one of those weeks from hell? I know – it’s a dumb question. Everyone’s had a week when Tuesday felt like you’d already worked a week and Friday was only a glimmer on the horizon. I’ve got good news. Grab a party horn, its Friday.
I think you need a taste of Friday every day. Here’s how to get it.
Let’s be real, deadlines and time pressure are normal. Many projects aren’t completed until the eleventh hour or later. However, occasionally projects are completed sooner than expected. Don’t you love it when that happens?
Here’s your problem.
After completing a project early, without thinking, you simply grab the next job and go at it. After all, there are always more projects than time. Let me offer an alternative to “grab and go.”
Here’s a suggestion.
When you finish a job an hour sooner than you expected, shave off 15 minutes for yourself. Stretch your legs, find a private spot and breathe easy, read a chapter in a book, or get a latte.
You don’t have to feel guilty. You work hard every day.
Give yourself a taste of Friday.
For all the pragmatists in the room, there’s benefit to rewarding yourself. You’ll get more done. The author of, “Happy hour is 9 to 5” says, “The single most efficient way to increase your productivity is to be happy at work.”
Finally, a note to the type “A” folks in the room, do this before you blow a heart valve!
Why do you think this is the least read Leadership Freak post?
How would you improve it?
I look forward to your feedback and feedforward.
Community note: I’m delighted to report that LF had nearly 20,000 page views during September. My first goal of 1,000 views a day is getting closer. I know that’s small potatoes when compared to the big boys & girls but you gotta start somewhere. 🙂 Thanks for your participation!
You asked for some feedback. So, here’s my perspective. I think its great as a snipet ‘thought for the day’ and useful as a good tip. For me, it doesn’t really fit with the ‘Leadership’ style of other articles I read from this source which tend to have more depth, be more thought provoking and inviting of comment.
I would expect to see this kind of post on Facebook rather than Leadership Freak.
I trust you’ll find the feedback helpful and I look foreard to enjoying many more of your article.
I wondered if content was light. I appreciate your feedback.
Good morning Dan,
I had not read this post because I wasn’t connected into you back then. I think the post has value.
In answer to your question about “least read post”, I offer two ideas for improving:
#1 It could be that you attract very serious “love to learn” people to your blog who wouldn’t click on a post entitled TGIF! Perhaps they don’t put that on their list of learning 🙂
#2 Your writing style in most of your posts is “tighter”. It’s that tight style that draws me in and ignites my thoughts/replies. This post could be tighter if it read:
“Picture It — a week from hell. You are looking forward to the weekend yet for some unexplainable reason you reach for the next project. You soon regret it as the details and complexity envelop you. You may never know why you reached for it, yet next time try reaching for these tings instead …. (list). And for you Type A’s out there, studies show …..”
#3 Lastly, this post doesn’t have those classic LeadershipFreak questions. I realize people wouldn’t see them until they click, yet they are truly missing.
Keep up the great posts Dan. Love ’em!
I’ve wondered if my writing style was too tight. Your comment encourages me to keep working hard at packing content into 300 words or less.
Your reminder about LF readers is well taken. I agree that the LF community is serious about leadership. Don’t get me wrong, we have some real fun lovers. But the fun lovers aren’t frivolous.
Nothing like a great question to start the conversation…I couldn’t agree more. I wish I had a formula for crafting great questions.
Thank you for your feedback,
A complimentary webinar: Kate is leading a webinar Monday, Oct. 4. “GPS Your Brain to Better Connect and Work with Anyone!”
Check it out here: http://www.thinkhdi.com/resources/webinars/csweek.aspx
The reason for this least read post might be that deadline control us and we are unable to control deadlines. So, in theory it looks good to enjoy Friday but in practice people perhaps do not enjoy because they do not disconnect themselves from works even after then leave the workplace.
It can be improved by cultivating and inculcating habits that provide enjoyment and satisfaction.
I believe enjoying Friday is nothing but balancing work and personal life.
I also think deadlines are usually enemy as long they control us, but become friend when we control them. Unmet deadlines or delayed met deadlines create fear, embarrassment and frustration. They control personal and professional freedom and prevents one to enjoy even Friday or holiday. However, when we met deadlines before time, we enjoy freedom. It might be personal or social. The deciding factor in the process is time. When we have personal time, we can manage our interest, hobby and balance all part of our lives.
I agree that one should take taste of Friday everyday. We enjoy Friday because we know that next day is holiday (In India it is Saturday when people enjoy pre- holiday moments). The enjoyment and happiness moments derive from our feeling of freedom. Freedom from work or other routine activities. If we can cultivate those feelings daily by completing task before time then it is possible to enjoy everyday as Friday. So, it is the cultivation of habits that yield good feeling, happiness and freedom.
Thanks for responding to the content of this post.
I’m going to take a quick walk around the block.
All the best,
Ajay is a featured LF contributor who teaches at India’s premiere Business school: http://www.itm.edu/
May be it was just the title.
Perhaps : ‘a taste of saturday” attracts the eye of people who are at friday.
Sure can’t underestimate the power of an attention grabbing title.
Be happy at work – I agree…
Interesting variation today – I’ll offer a slightly different perspective:
I’m wondering what some of the other reasons are that might lead a post to be the least viewed – maybe it’s less about the content, and more about the title, the picture, the day of the week (what if it had been posted on a Wednesday?), the readership at the time, etc….
I anticipate that, if you specifically ask for critiques you’ll get them, no matter what the post (least or most viewed). Personally I think this topic is relevant to leadership – leaders must be able to effectively manage their time and their moods, even if that sometimes means taking it a little easy!
I’ll leave with this – there are many things that you do that keep me coming back, and keep me sharing many of your insights with colleagues. For example,
– 300 words is great for a quick morning read
– I love the food for thought questions at the end
– Consistently providing a picture with the text helps me to remember the idea a little more
– I love the occastional variations in format (a post of reader comments, a request for feedback, the ABC’s of leadership, etc.)
Keep it up! It’s appreciated!
Your feedback is very helpful. You help me understand why you come back.
Thanks for coming back!
I wasn’t tapped into Leadership Freak when this was originally published. But right at the title I can immediately see a difference in writing style. And the first paragraph confirms it. The title admittedly causes me to take it less seriously, because it could just as easily be a title for a wine/food column and I’m not looking to read one right now.
The posts I’ve come to know and love on Leadership Freak are meaty and edgy (without being painful I should add). You have a great sense of writing style for the every man, reaching many personality types, while remaining a pro. The community you’ve attracted is widespread in experience, but pretty united in terms of outlook. Plus your posts are thought provoking and stimulate participation and additions to the conversation. Kind of like its own sort of team. I’m not sure how you do it in 300 words or less.
This particular post, while it’s helpful and has meaning, is softer. It’s structure is less defined. It takes more time for me to catch the points. If a co-worker sent me this on email, I might not get to it due to the title and first paragraph. If I did get to it, I’d enjoy it enough, but I wouldn’t take note or remember the author’s name. I was drawn to LF by leadership and this post doesn’t quite fit.
From a personal point of view of “what do I give my time to in the internet world” – I don’t have a lot of “extra” time and time is very precious to me. So what I do take time to read or interact with has gotta have a trade off somewhere, have value to me somehow, improve my day/work/life somehow, and not really “cost” me time. Might sound harsh, but that’s reality – we all make judgments as to what to spend time on. Somehow I need to be a better person thanks to that experience.
The fact that the Leadership Freak blog I’ve come to know has daily posts that are succinct and provoke process, led me to stick around after the first read – and keep coming back. Today, I look forward to reading LF with my morning coffee as a way to start my day.
Don’t get the wrong message, this is not a bad blog post at all. As a writer, I use a variety of different writing styles in my blogs and marketing materials, depending on my purpose, depending on what I’m marketing. But I know what drew me to your leadership community was not a post like this. And I’ll go so far as to say that the people in life who are seriously searching for something to push the bar, are not searching for this style. Not all posts are going to be winners. LF has successfully attracted people with a very different outlook on life.
Wonderful and helpful feedback.
I’m taking these ideas away with me:
Titles matter – as others have indicated
Clear structure that helps readers quickly see and understand is important
Be brief yet provide rich content
Edgy but not deliberately offensive (I can be too edgy) 🙂
Your comment regarding time is important to me. I deeply respect the time people give to both reading and commenting. Like you, I don’t have time to read or do everything that available. So I pick and choose. Thanks for participating.
Julia is featured contributor on LF. Among other things she has an online store at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/pixieworx
You know Dan, I should also add that participating in your request for analysis, along with reading everyone else’s input, was a very valuable exercise as well. I think you benefited everyone with this activity! I know I’ve come away with some insight and resolve in my own projects as well. Time well spent!
Hmm, maybe that was Dan’s plan all along! 😉
Doc, I have to laugh because I almost started my post with “Very, very clever tactic Dan!” What a great way to stimulate more participation, re purpose an old post and take a break from writing. One my favorite psychology teachers would have applauded. 8)
Julia and Doc,
You know the conversation is always the goal that comes after trying to present good content.
I thought a post like this would show respect to the community, create a conversation, and provide value not only to me but others. 🙂
You guys are great.
Awwww… Actually it’s nice to hear that conversation is a goal for your blog as well, Dan. Some bloggers want comments, but not conversation. Which I can respect. But I tend to prefer a more community building angle myself.
Have an awesome weekend guys! I know I’m looking forward to mine.
Here are my thoughts, feedback wise.
(And before I go there, a) having almost 1,000 views a day would make some of us bloggers out here SALIVATE – “big boy/girl” or not it’s still a big accomplishment, and b) thank you for being open to feedback – it’s what makes the LF community great)
I think perhaps this post didn’t exactly know what it wanted to be. When I started reading it, based on the graphic, I thought it was going in the direction of “finding time to regroup” in the midst of intense time pressures. That had sort of a “time management” feel. Then there was a bit of a direction change into the necessity of happiness with the reference to “Happy Hour at Work” and the somewhat tongue in cheek reference to Type A’s.
I think this post did not succeed as well as many of your other posts because it got the reader thinking of several slightly disconnected concepts (time management, work satisfaction, personal energy levels). Perhaps a question tying all that together would have generated more feedback, i.e., what is a change YOU can make to put some more “Friday” into each day?
And to diverge a moment more. You said it was the least viewed, not the least commented (and I think my comments answered more the least comments than the least viewed).
For the least viewed issue, perhaps a subject line that says “TGIF” arriving in an inbox on Friday seems less like a post than a fleeting comment (?).
Lastly, it may be something completely unrelated to your words or your design. Perhaps lots of people were out on a Friday. Perhaps there were some glitches in your services that deliver your posts. Perhaps it is truly “one of those things.”
I think laser like focus is essential when trying to communicate in 300 words or less. Good call.
Best to you,
Paula is a featured blogger on Leadership Freak. Check out her bio at http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/paula-kiger
Dan – I like this post. Sure it’s lighter than others BUT that is the message. You need to lighten up some time.
Remember “read” stats mean they clicked on the post and opened it, not that they read it. The challenge you faced with this post was 1) that it ran on a Friday at a time when the #FollowFriday phenomenon was at it’s zenith, there were lots of “Friday” posts, 2) The title did not grab the reader and entice them to click open the link. It got lost.
Enjoy your Friday’s – no matter what the calendar tells you.
I’m always glad to see you drop in and share your thoughts.
One thing you reiterate is the power of a great title.
It’s Saturday now 🙂 have fun.
Dan – in real estate, it’s “location, location, location.” For blog posts, it’s “title, title, title.” This one is soft.
As for style and content, by the time anyone notices them, they’ve already clicked on the blog, so they count as having read it. A more useful metric would be how many times the link was forwarded. That better suggests how well people connected with the content.
There will always be a least read post. I wouldn’t read too much into it.
So glad to see you. Thanks for contributing to the success of LF.
Love the real estate metaphor. Thanks.
Mark is a featured blogger on Leadership Freak and a consultant. Check out his bio at http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/mark-friedman
Also being late to the party, this is my first impression of the post.
It does have a lighter feel too it, so perhaps a more directed tie-in to leadership competencies.
Speaking to the topic, wonder if the graphic had been fiscal and the header had been “money in the bank” or “multiplying your money”, would it have drawn more views.
Contentwise-the money in the bank being a figurative return on your own investment and identifying that leaders too need to recharge, regroup, recreate themselves so that they can serve others more. That sometimes feels incongruent, but is accurate. The more we manage ourselves, the more we can do for others. That is across the board in organizations, not just leadership. Because of the type A characteristics or fear of misperception of that recharge moment, leaders infrequently permit themselves that ‘luxury’…and so on with that train of thought. So I am going with the tighter connection then to leadership skills that may be overlooked or minimized.
And most definitely, thanks for asking for feedback Dan! Julia’s right, we all grew from your post.
I smile when I see you’ve commented. I never know what to expect from you. 🙂
Love this statement: The more we manage ourselves, the more we can do for others. — so true. In a way, leadership is about followers. In another way leadership is about caring for and developing yourself. I agree with those who believe self-development is central to leadership success.
You encourage me and others. Thank you!
Doc is a featured contributor on Leadership Freak. He’s from the West Coast (USA) Read his bio at http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/doc
It’s no surprise that we all have millions of emails to read through first thing in the morning. In yours, if the snippet I see as a preview of the post piques my interest as something of value, I click through to the article. I realize we all have different value meters, and what I consider to be valuable may not be the same as others.
And as someone who has already experienced the blowout of the heart (paramedics, flashing lights and siren, you know…), I’ve modified a small thing in my life to force the break at work. I used to bring in 44 oz big drinks (Diet Coke) and now I buy the 20 oz bottles, full knowing that they won’t last me through the morning–thus forcing the break to “refuel”.
Keep ’em coming, thanks for what you do, and thanks for asking for feedback–very few people do.
Just gotta say that simple things matter. Love the two coke strategy. I suppose some might say you should drink water but at least you are getting up, right?
Best to you and take care of your health,
Wow, you paid a high price to get the “need to refuel” lesson. Glad you’re still here to share your observations and lessons learned. Ironically, and as a complete aside to the LF topic, I can’t help observe (at my workplace at least) that the only people who take consistent 15 minute breaks OUTSIDE IN THE FRESH AIR every day are the smokers. It just always strikes me as ironic – I think non smokers rarely give themselves the opportunity/luxury to go outside twice a day and enjoy all of the beauty around us!
I’ve thought the same thing. Why don’t the non-smokers get up and do something for themselves?
While this post is a little lighter than your typical posts, it is a good reminder that we all need to relax and give ourselves a break – especially when we’re having a bad week. I enjoyed the humor in the post – especially the comment about “type A” (which I’ve been called numerous times over the years). And, I really enjoyed the picture. This week is “one of those weeks” for me, so perhaps this post is more valuable if the reader is currently having one of those weeks. Thank you for all of your posts – they provide insight, guidance and tools, and encourage critical thinking. I appreciate the time and thought you put into them!
I think your point about catching people at the right moment is very applicable. Good one.
Thank you for taking time to leave a comment.
Have a great weekend,
Hi Dan –
Long time, no write (but I have been reading!). Second confession, I haven’t read all the comments, so I may be redundant.
“TGIF” as a title doesn’t communicate a serious post. Not that all posts must be serious, but in scrolling through the wealth of info coming at us each day, it would be easy to blow past something seemingly less instructive.
Perspective; As Monty Python would intone, always look on the bright side of life. You are preparing and delivering a lot of content, and the vast majority of it rocks. A great hitter in baseball gets hits only 3 out 10 times. So I think you’d be well within reason to look back at TGIF and go, “Oops! Oh well. What’s for lunch?”
Have a great weekend!
Great seeing you again. I hope your business is doing well.
Thanks for the feedback and enjoy your weekend. Hope you can chill out.
Best to you,
Yes- this certainly fits with our core values at HireBetter. For me- work isn’t really work. I love those I work with- I have an extremely enjoyable environment- so even when I am working- It doesn’t really feel like I am. Which makes it difficult to walk away some times.
But I like the idea of taking a few minutes to do something to clear your mind. It’s amazing how that can refresh ones soul. You can come back ready to tackle the next project productively because you are not mentally drained.
Its great to see someone who loves their work and fellow workers! Thanks.
Someone said something like: you have to stop thinking in order to think. (or something like that) I think it’s true.
Dan, OK to cut yourself some slack. There’s nothing wrong with an occasional departure or suggesting everyone give themselves some sort of present each day. All posts don’t have to be intense or even resonate with every reader, although I certainly understand the desire to connect with the community in meaningful ways. I like the baseball analogy referenced earlier – 3 or 4 out of 10 gets you to the Hall of Fame! Maybe this post was your way of giving yourself a “Friday moment” – think about it!
I agree the baseball analogy is a good one. I appreciate your comment.
Best to you,
20,000 in a month??!! Given I launch mine officially on Monday, that makes me green with envy. Sounds like you are running with the big dogs to me!
On the post. I am new to LF, but it is one of my top five favorite leadership blogs. Why–because it challenges my thinking (take your ‘burn the mission statement” post, for example). The title here is light, which means I would skip it (don’t need a TGIF rah rah) and the concept is not one you can argue with or, very likely, implement.
Hope this helps–thanks for the opportunity!!
Thanks for stopping in and sharing your thoughts.
I wish you success with your blog.
Have a great weekend,
Hi Dan, I don’t think I was part of the LF community at the time and if I was I don’t remember this post. I dream about Fridays (yesterday we talked about dreams) and look forward to some “down” time to re-group and re-charge. Actually it is my favorite day of the week. I for one liked your post and the message to lighten up and chill come to mind. In my office Fridays are “casual” and our staff has lunch together talking and summarizing our week and providing a headstart on the upcoming one. But mostly it is a time break out the funny moments, let your hair down and rub elbows with the team and have fun. Our lunches on Friday sometimes take two hours but over the years it is amazing what providing all that freedom has inspired in the form of creativity and honest dialogue. The more we know about each other the more effective we will work together. Laugh a little Dan and don’t take things so seriously. All kidding aside I enjoyed the post. Seeing the lighter side of people is always a plus for me. Nemaste, Al
Love the personal side of your comment. Plus, I agree that teams that play together (long lunch) do better.
OK! I had to look up Nemaste. 🙂 Back at you my friend.
All the best,
Dr. Diaz is a featured contributor on Leadership Freak. If you’d like to know more about him, go to http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/al-diaz
I simply want to say that I love, love, love the image you have for this post. Also, nearly 1000 views a day?! Wow! If I get a fraction of that daily I think I am moving up! 🙂
Great information. Thanks. And a clever way to encourage visitors to your site … especially those who want to be helpful. Yes, very clever.
Thanks for dropping in and the good word. Success to you with your blog.
Great way of implementing interaction and getting feedback. I am a newby to blogging and business so this was great for me. I have a much lighter style of writing but I believe the same concepts can be applied in the midst of many writing styles that have been discussed here. I guess it all comes down to how you are trying to reach your readers and what part of their life you are trying to impact. Great post!
Thanks for the good word and I wish you success in your business and with your blog.
Have a great weekend,
Reading the post again, it is great and it adds value to me.
However, I didn’t read it the first it was posted, here is the reasons I could find, the title (I didn’t understand it), the pic (I couldn’t connect with it well), and the idea (here it is Thursday that is before the weekend) it needed some math and I wasn’t prepared, it appeared to me as cheering so I couldn’t figure the apparent contradiction, I thought it is maybe an American thing 🙂
Looking back, I realized that online, we have less than seconds to grab the attention of readers, and readers are from all over the world have different cultures and connections to ideas, it is really challenging!
I wanted to say thank you, your work with LF is greatly appreciated and it is highly valuable, I am learning and growing with every post and comment 🙂
Thanks for the feedback. I agree, you have to grab folks quickly. Then of course give them something useful.
Thanks for the good word. I wish you success.
All the best,
Reading the post was a feel good few minutes but I suppose if I am critical it could come across as flippant!
The title also felt a little disconnected.
Thank you for adding your feedback.